Using Your BRAIN In A Hospital Birth

When planning a hospital birth, it is super important that you are informed and confident in your decisions, or your birth plan may quickly change, in an unnecessary fashion. To avoid this, use the BRAIN method of educating yourself, and making decisions.

BRAIN is a simple acronym that stands for Benefits, Risks, Alternatives, Intuition, and Nothing. It’s a reminder to always ask yourself in every choice, what are the benefits, risks, alternatives, and what does my intuition say? As well as keeping in mind, that you could also do absolutely nothing different than what you are doing in that moment, then decide what that would look like.

Below are some examples of when you might use BRAIN to your advantage.

Induction Methods:

Pitocin

Cytotec/Misoprostol

Cervadil

Foley Bulb/Cook Catheter

Cervical Stretch & Sweep

Artificial Rupture of Membranes

Nipple Stimulation

Pain Relief Options:

Epidural

Spinal Tap

Nitrous Oxide

Sterile Water Injections

TENS Unit/Acupressure

Belly Sifting

Counter Pressure

Monitoring:

Electronic Fetal External Monitors

Internal Fetal Monitors

Uterine Activity Monitor

Checking Vital Signs Routinely

Setting:

Lights off

Music

Aromatherapy

Support People

Talking/No Talking

Cervical Checks

Students/No Students

Hydration/Food

Mobile/Position Change/Walking Hallways

IV/Hep Lock

Mirror/No Mirror

Emergencies

Decide when and if you want to consent to:

Episiotomy

Vacuum

Forceps

Postpartum Pitocin for Hemorrhage

Active Management of Placenta

Cesarean

Newborn

Vitamin K

Erythromycin

Hepatitis B Vaccine

PKU

Blood Sugar Test

Hearing Test

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