You find out that you’re pregnant… Congrats! Now starting in are the thousands of emotions that come along with pregnancy. We have found that some of the biggest obstacles and delivery intervention disappointments come from not being fully educated on all the choices that you really have.
For example: If you’re planning a hospital birth and want a natural experience it is wise to study up on the effects of the typical interventions used so that you’ll be able to make an educated decision on them. When you enter the hospital, they are very slow to let the natural process do its work. Instead they do multiple interventions to speed up the process or keep it going. Then the body reacts and the baby reacts, and often in the end the birth does not go the way you feel your natural birth should have gone.
We recommend the BRAN model:
- Benefits- what are the benefits of the intervention
- Risks- what are the risks
- Alternatives- what are the alternatives to what they are proposing
- Nothing- what happens if we do nothing?
Gabrielle Volkmer, blogger of Birth Beyond Bias writes:
“The first hiccup came in the form of continuous fetal monitoring. I had planned to be periodically monitored and “off” the monitors for most of my labor. I was absolutely baffled and frustrated when the nurse said I would be continuously monitored. But I hadn’t been taught about when fetal monitoring might be a good choice and when it might not, so of course I did what the nurse said because I thought it was the safest option for my baby.
At 8 centimeters, I began to experience back labor. I coped with it for a while but it became so intense that I demanded something for the pain and was given a drug through my IV line. I had no idea what medication it was or what the potential side effects could be. At the time, I didn’t like not knowing but I didn’t feel like I had any other options.
It turns out I’d been given narcotics for the pain. I didn’t know enough about narcotic pain medication to know that they do not take away pain – that they merely take the “edge” off. When I still felt pain, I was not a happy camper, as I had expected the narcotics to make things better. I didn’t know anything about epidurals, either, but when the narcotics failed to provide adequate pain relief, I demanded one.” Read more…
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists comments, “Patients are entitled to participate with their physician in a process of shared decision making.” We have seen all too often the hospital staff making decisions without consulting the mother. It’s heartbreaking when such a huge life changing event goes astray. This is why we are here to help you every step of the way. Be proactive in studying out these interventions yourself and if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to give our office a call.
This is your baby, your body, and your choice.
Gabrielle Volkmer is a certified ICEA childbirth educator, postpartum doula, blogger, wife, and mother. She writes the Birth Beyond Bias blog, providing insight and inspiration to thousands of readers. Her writing has also been featured around the web on sites such as The Huffington Post, BabyMed and The Birthing Site.