As a doula, I sometimes have clients who find themselves needing to make decisions that they weren't anticipating having to make during their labor. For example, the client may not have wanted to use any pitocin (the synthetic version of oxytocin) to help augment their labor, but suddenly the option is there and needs to be thought through. In a case like this, I find one tool extremely useful for my clients in the labor and delivery room: The use of B.R.A.I.N.
Let's take this scenario step by step using this tool.
In our scenario, the doctor/midwife has suggested the use of pitocin to help the labor along. The care provider should be asked at this point why they perceive that this would be beneficial at this point. For example, one benefit might be that it could be a tool to help an exhausted mom who has already been laboring for a very long time.
The mother and partner will want to know what the risks are of using pitocin. A few good questions might be, "What are the risks to mother/baby?, What are the side effects? Could this lead to more interventions? Do you, as the provider, see any risks associated with trying this?
It's always a good idea to look into alternatives if you don't like the option before you. Ask the provider what else they may suggest if you are not 100% comfortable with what's being proposed.
Never underestimate a mother's instincts...or her partner's for that matter. If you are having serious reservations about what's being presented, trust your God-given instincts in that matter. I always believe it's good to trust a mother's "gut" when it comes to her birth and her baby.
Nothing? Yes, nothing. Maybe you can negotiate some more time. You can always decide to wait it out and keep doing what you are (unless of course baby/mom are in some sort of danger). Always know that you have a right to refuse anything you aren't ready to agree to. Instead of forging ahead, know that it's okay choose to do nothing.
Remember, when being presented with something during your labor that you weren't expecting, having a process by which you weigh your options can be super helpful.
So...don't forget to use your B.R.A.I.N.!
Happi loves serving families in the Northwest Suburbs of Chicago as a labor doula and childbirth educator. When she's not at a birth, she loves spending time her husband and three boys.