Birth Options: Use Your BRAIN!

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Pregnancy and birth can be an experience full of tons of different emotions. One we see frequently is worry! What procedures are “okay”? Which options do you have? With everything you need to decide, it seems impossible to know the “right” answers to each and every question. In most cases, though, there isn’t a “right” answer, just an answer that is right for you!

As doulas, we have a brilliant method of helping you explore your options. Simply use your BRAIN!

No, really. B.R.A.I.N.

This is a really quick and easy way to explore what your options are and make a choice that works for your family.

Let’s use an Epidural as an example and walk through what it might look like to use your BRAIN to make a quick decision.


Ask “what are the benefits of this procedure/decision?” Answers are often health of baby, comfort of mom, or improved outcome overall. The

In our scenario, the benefits of an epidural might be increased comfort of birthing person which could result in sleep, allowing them to recover the strength they need for pushing in the event of a long labor.


What are the risks of the decision? The risk of an epidural might be decreased feeling which leads to less control during pushing, loss of mobility (meaning the rest of the labor will continue in bed), and inability to use a shower/bath as a means of comfort.


What are the alternatives? In the example of an epidural, alternatives may be any other physical comfort measure that provides relief. A warm bath or shower, counterpressure, massage, distraction, Rebozo, or position change could all be considered alternatives.


What does your intuition say? We are often more in tune with our bodies than we give ourselves credit for and taking a moment to pause and reflect may give you a great idea of what the right decision is for you.


What happens if we do nothing? In the case of an epidural, doing nothing does...well, nothing. If we do nothing we could wait an hour and come back to the option again. It doesn’t take it off the table, just changes the timeline.

This super simple system (try saying that five times fast!) is an easy way to explore your options quickly and help you make a decision. Sometimes we have more time to research and don’t need a snap decision. In these instances, using BRAIN will still help walk you through exactly what you need to research.

Making the right decision for your family is important! Exploring your options for laboring, birthing, pushing, feeding, and even birthplace often leads to feeling more empowered, more secure, and having a better birth experience. Whatever you decide, we’re here!