How-to Reduce Unnecessary Interventions and Make Informed Decisions During Labour


How to reduce unnecessary interventions during birth?

It is well known the ripple effect that medical interventions (e.g. induction drugs, epidural, episiotomy, breaking the waters) can have on some labours and deliveries. Using the B.R.A.I.N. acronym to make informed decisions about tests, procedures, and pain relief helps you determine when interventions are beneficial and when they are not. Sometimes, medical interventions are necessary for safe and healthy outcomes. Other times, interventions can slow labour, increase your likelihood of having a cesarean delivery, or have adverse effects on mom and baby. This method of decision making helps you make decisions with confident that you're doing what's best for you and your baby. Doulas are great at guiding parents through all of this.

When interventions are offered or recommended during labour, ask these questions:

B- Benefits: What are the benefits? How will this help? What problem will this solve?

R- Risks: What are the risks? Are there any possible side effects? How can I become informed about this?

A- Alternatives: What other options are there? How do those options compare?

I- Intuition: What is your gut telling you to do? Take a moment to listen to your intuition.

N- Nothing: What would happen if you did nothing? What if you wait an hour? A day? A week?

Taking prenatal classes like the ones I offer to parents in-home in Toronto can help you feel prepared to face your options during labour. Being educated and supported is crucial for a healthy and happy outcome, no matter how birth unfolds.