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Informed Choices and Consent BRAIN

Every choice you make in life (and during labour and birth) comes with benefits and risks. Choices also depend on your own needs, values and health at the time you are making them. To make the best choice for you, you need to have all the information included in the BRAIN model in language you can understand.

BRAIN Vranni

All people need to have the opportunity to make truly informed choices and be supported in doing so. This helps you feel empowered and in charge and increases the chances of you feeling good a about your labour, birth and postpartum experiences, setting you up for a positive start to parenthood.
You need three things to make a truly informed choice:
1. An expert on the evidence (a midwife or doctor),
2. An expert on your health, needs and values (you),
3. A way to respectfully share your views with each other.
(paraphrased from the Ontario Public Health Association, Informed Decision Making in Labour and Birth)
What is Consent?
More and more discussion is happening in our societies about what consent means, usually in the context of sexual contact. However, consent is also very important in health care. We often think that consent in healthcare is just signing a piece of paper saying “yes”to everything but it is really so much more. Consent is an ongoing discussion with your healthcare providers before, during and after any procedure done to you or your baby. True consent happens when you get the information you need to freely, actively and obviously say yes, and when you feel free to say no knowing that choice will be respected.
Consent is not obtained through manipulation, pressure or fear, is not possible when one person has more power than the other, cannot be assumed or implied and is always actively obtained. There is always time for a healthcare provider to ask you “Are you ok with what is happening right now? Do you have enough information to make a choice you feel good about?”
No matter what is happening have the right to change your mind and to say no at all times. Just by saying no you revoke your consent and whatever is happening must stop immediately.