Many childbirth educators, doulas, and healthcare advocates like to use fun and memorable acronyms for reminding clients and students about the process of informed decision making. Some educators send their students to the BAR to learn about the Benefits, Alternatives, and Risks of different tests and interventions. Others encourage plenty of BRAN in the diet, adding the N for “Not now/Never”. But, here at Dandelion Birth Services, where Information and Intuition go hand in hand, I prefer to teach my students and clients how to use their BRAINs! That means, as a good birthcare consumer, you’ll check in with your self and your care team on the following points before making a choice about a procedure:
B What are the Benefits?
R What are the Risks?
A Are there Alternatives?
I What does my intuition tell me about this?
N Can we wait on this? Can it happen Not now or Never?
The “I” for Intuition is a very essential part of the process. We each deserve evidence based answers in order to make healthy choices. But evidence only takes us so far. After all… “I” am not a statistic. “I” am not a research study. “I” am not a percentage on a chart. “I” am the one with the unique perspective of head, heart, and experience inside me. “I” am the parent of my child. “I” am the best expert on me.
So, take the time to research your options and understand the science behind them. But don’t leave out the very important step of listening in to what your inner voice is telling you. Do you know how your intuition speaks to you? Is the voice quiet or strong? What are some ways you’ve found to help you get in touch with your intuition?