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Decision making in pregnancy, labour and birth

Birth Preparation

Sometimes decision-making can seem overwhelming, especially in pregnancy and birth, because there are seemingly so many decisions to be made which may have the potential to impact your health and that of your baby.

Some decisions will seem like a no-brainer, and others may require more thought. It really depends on your personal situation.

For example:

  • What model of care will I choose?
  • Who do I want to attend my birth?
  • Do I want a GBS swab?
  • Should I be induced?
  • Do I want a stretch and sweep?
  • How will I feed my baby?

A simple framework for decision-making is BRAINS. You can use this acronym in conversations with your care providers, with your partner, or while doing your own research.

B – Benefits- What are the benefits of doing this for myself and my baby?

R – Risks- What are the risks associated with this for myself and my baby? How do these risks compare to alternatives?

A – Alternatives- What are the alternatives ?

I – Intuition- How do I feel about this?

N –Nothing/Now- What if I do nothing? Do I have to decide now, or can I have time to make my decision?

S –Statistics- Will statistics help me make my decision?

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