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Using Your B.R.A.I.N.

B.R.A.I.N. is an acronym that can help parents to gather information from a care provider or birth attendant when a procedure or intervention has been proposed.

B: BENEFITS
First, ask the What & Why questions: What is it you are offering? Why is this being offered now? What is the expected effect/impact on my labor? What is the hoped-for outcome?

R: RISKS
Now, dig deeper: What risks are there to this procedure? What does the procedure involve? Does it lead to or require other procedures? What are the side effects?

A: ALTERNATIVES
Next, explore other options: What are some other things we can try first? What have other people tried that might work? Is there any medical reason we couldn’t try X first? Is there any medical reason we can’t wait another (time period)?
Don’t say: “Could we…?”, that allows them to give you a yes/no answer.

I: INTERVAL and INSIGHT
Take time to go over what you now know: “We need to have some time privately to discuss what you’re telling us and make a decision, thank you.” Check in with your three ways of knowing! What is the practical information telling you? What is your self-knowing telling you? What is your gut telling you? Are you making a decision in awareness, or from fear, confusion or mistrust?

N: NEXT BEST THING
We are consenting to/declining the procedure.
We are going to wait for (time period), then revisit your recommendation.
We are going to try X for(time period), then we’ll move to your option.
We would like a second opinion.