Our culture perpetuates an idea that birth is often risky. Health Professionals are on the look out for what can go wrong. The whole medicalised culture is based on risk, not on normality.
You’re either ‘low risk’ or ‘high risk’.
This implies risk is the focus of our birthing journeys.
And sometimes, it doesn’t take a great deal for us to be put in the high risk category; for example, one extra pound in weight; we can have a high BMI and are suddenly cascaded from low risk to high risk like some kind of ticking time bomb.
The categories we are assigned to set the tone for the decisions we make.
And in the birthing process, every decision we make has a knock on effect further down the line.
So to help you make decisions when it comes to your birth, You might want to know what the ‘actual’ or ‘absolute’ risks are to enable you to make a more informed decision.
For example, your say my ‘risk is doubled’ but are we talking from 1 in 1000 to 2 in 1000.
Or are we talking from 300 in 1000 to 600 in 1000.
Our decisions would be very different given these stats above, right?
When any intervention is suggested, you could use your BRAIN acronym
But I would add an E. BRAIN-E. E= EVIDENCE.
BENEFITS: ‘What are the BENEFITS?’
‘RISKS: What are the RISKS in my specific circumstances?’
ALTERNATIVES: ‘What ALTERNATIVES do I have?’ ‘What options do I have?’
INTUITION: ‘What does my INTUITION tell me? What do I want to do?
NOTHING: ‘What if I do NOTHING?’
EVIDENCE: ‘What is the EVIDENCE?’
BRAIN – E
For example, ‘My iron count is slightly low and you say I’m not ‘allowed’ a home birth. I know the benefits of staying at home but what exactly are the actual risks of me choosing to stay at home anyway? Is there any evidence to support your recommendation’
Decisions can then be made by the person whose body is in question based on their own unique set of circumstances.
And when we all ask, options and evidence will start to be provided as standard procedure and presented as though we have a choice.
And I for one, will be waiting for that day with enthusiasm.
For more information on how to take control of your birth in and around Manchester, Cheshire or Stockport using hypnobirthing, feel free PM me for more details.