It is important when making decisions in general, not just in labor, to use your BRAIN. By using the BRAIN model, a woman may be able to better visualize her options and information available, without allowing herself to be overwhelmed by one particular facet of the situation.
What are the benefits of the proposed option? How may making this decision benefit you or your baby?
What are the risks of the proposed option? How may this decision negatively impact you or your baby?
What are your other options? Are there any alternatives available that may be more desirable?
What is your intuition telling you? Do you have a gut feeling about the decision either way?
What will happen if you choose to do nothing and leave the situation as it is?
For example, a woman is 41 weeks pregnant undilated and uneffaced, and her doctor approaches her about induction. The woman may go through the BRAIN model somewhat like this.
My baby will not have extra time to grow larger, which could pose an issue in delivery if he gets too large. The placenta will have less time to begin deteriorating. I will be able to finally meet my baby. I will no longer have to endure the discomforts of pregnancy.
I am not dilated or effaced so my bishop score may be very low, making it unlikely for me to have a successful induction. I could end up with a cesarean. My baby may experience respiratory distress. My uterus is more likely to rupture.
I could try walking more or exercising, such as doing deep squats, to promote dilation and effacement. I could have sex with my husband to help apply prostaglandins to the cervix. I could use herbal remedies.
My intuition is giving me a feeling I shouldn’t induce, even though I’m really anxious and excited to meet my baby.
If I don’t do anything, I might just go into labor on my own soon. I might not go into labor. This option may include simply waiting a while before reconsidering the decision such as waiting an hour, a day, etc.
By using this model of decision making, the mother is able to rationally explore each different aspect of the decision at hand and make the decision she feels most comfortable with, and do so feeling informed and empowered, rather than just making the decision based on one facet of the situation.
This model is effective in making decision in more than just birth and labor situations, but every day life as well.
“Making Decisions in Labor: Use Your BRAIN.” Google. Web. 03 Oct. 2010.
“BRAIN: An Acronym for Informed Decision-making | Facebook.” Welcome to Facebook. Web. 03 Oct. 2010.
Foster, Illysa R., and Jon Lasser. Professional Ethics in Midwifery Practice. Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett, 2011. Print.