To tear or not to tear

Saturday, December 31, 2011

B.R.A.I.N.

Friday, December 9, 2011

You're in the middle of a medical situation, childbirth, for instance, and your care provider suggests that a certain procedure or medication will be helpful-- or even necessary.  Do you just nod and agree?  Should you trust your doctor or nurse's recommendation?

Hopefully, you trust that your care provider has your best interests and well being in mind, but . . . except in cases of emergency, I argue that it's best to take a minute-- or 10-- and ask yourself and your care provider some important questions.  You may find that said procedure will not have the outcomes you want.  You may learn that for you the risks outweigh the benefits.

In my childbirth classes I review the acronym B.R.A.I.N. with my students.  Acronyms are good because, as we all know, questions are easy to forget when in the midst of a medical challenge.


B:  What are the benefits to me and my baby if we do this now?
R:  What are the risks?  Are there any side effects?  How will doing this treatment or taking this action now affect the course of my pregnancy or labor?
A:  Are there alternatives that we should consider?  Is there something less invasive or less costly worth trying first?
I:  What is your intuition telling you about this situation and the actions you should take?
N:  What happens if we don't go forward with this medication or procedure?  What happens if we do nothing?  What are the risks, if any, there?

When in doubt I like the approach that says WAIT AN HOUR (or even a day or two, depending on circumstances) before moving forward with a decision or change in strategy.  If your careprovider is very against this you probably have an emergency.  Usually, though, that added time will afford perspective and will give you time to become comfortable with your decision.

So, definitely, take some time and get more information.  Otherwise, how can you say you have given your informed consent?

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What to Bring to Birth: Especially for Doulas and Coaches

Sunday, October 23, 2011

I am currently working on packing a birth bag for my stints as a doula.  I remember packing as a first time mom and later as a fourth time mom.  It was always so exciting, though the last time I packed a lot less!  Didn't need so many clothes, never needed the bathing suit for the jacuzzi tub at the hospital.  There actually was no jacuzzi tub.  Should've definitely packed my own Tylenol for postpartum aches.

This time I'm trying to be prepared for labor assisting and have come up with the following list of things to gather.

  1. Snacks and water (for me, mom, dad, and possibly even the medical staff).  Fruit, nutrition bars, pbj, crackers and hummus, cookies, honey for energy . . . could all be useful.
  2. iPhone to make calls/ access internet/ labor apps
  3. Tennis balls in a stocking, for massages
  4. Rice filled sock to use as hot pack
  5. Cold pack/ ice pack  (how do I keep it cold?)
  6. Pilates ball (if mom doesn't have one)
  7. Massage oil plus a little lavender essential oil
  8. Music possibly (check with mom)
  9. Lip balm
  10. Hair elastics
  11. Watch with "second" hand
  12. Change of clothes
  13. Fan-- manual or battery powered
  14. Assistant coach/ Labor assistant manual
  15. Back up doula's contact info
  16. Money-- hopefully, I would have some on me regardless, but you never know
  17. tylenol or something for my aches-- or the client's!
  18. eye pillow
  19. gardener's knee pad
  20. big cloth for rebozo
  21. plastic bags for shoes, etc.
  22. deodorant
  23. toothbrush

 
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