Recently, in reading the book "Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering" by Sarah Buckley, I was introduced to the idea of BRAN in labour and birth. Today, I came across the same idea again but with an added "I", making it BRAIN. This is what it stands for -
B - Benefits
R - Risks
A - Alternatives
I - Intuition
How does this apply to birth? Well, when taking the journey of pregnancy and birth within our medical system many choices and potential interventions may come toward you. There may be times when it doesn't seem you have a choice or that something is the best way based on how it is described. These are the times when you are called to listen within and slow down for a moment. It is always your right to ask questions, take time, and choose. This is your body, your pregnancy, your birth, your baby.
Benefits - You may ask your care provider what the benefits are of the proposed test, intervention, etc, so that you can make an informed choice.
Risks - Knowing the risks vs. the benefits of something will always help you to tap in to what is most important to you. Remember that you have a right to say no, to ask for more time, and to take space to connect with your partner (or Doula) before you make any decisions.
Alternatives - Sometimes there may be other ways to achieve (or attempt to) the same outcome that are more in line with your wishes, visions, and values.
Intuition - This is where your deep innate feminine wisdom gets to come forward. Go inward, connect with your baby, with quiet space, to feel and hear the knowing that doesn't always get value within the medical model of care.
Nothing - meaning you DO NOTHING. What would it be like if instead of doing something you practiced trust, patience, and deep surrender instead? What if you did your research, weighed options, felt all the feelings, tapped in, and then instead of acting you did nothing and waited. What if you trusted your body and your baby..?
I encourage you to practice this during your pregnancy, and life in general. The act of slowing down, making space, listening to the inner whisper, and waiting for and trusting the answer is a powerful practice.