I didn’t know what to ask. Looking back I wish I had known to ask those questions. Things might have turned out differently then. I just assumed what they were suggesting was the only way to go — Maxine
- Know the risks and reasons for intervention
- Know your alternatives
- Know your rights
- Attend independent child birth classes
- Listen to only empowering birth stories
- Read great books on ways to have a natural birth
- Learn ways to manage birth that don’t require drugs
What you can say to caregivers
While talking with caregivers, women can say:
- I don’t understand.
- Please explain this to me.
- What could happen to me or my baby if I do that? Or if I don’t?
- What are my other options?
- Please show me the research to support what you’re recommending.
- Where can I get more information?
- I have some information I’d like to share with you.
- I’m uncomfortable with what you are recommending.
- I’m not ready to make a decision yet.
- I’m thinking about getting a second opinion.
Any question that a woman has is worth asking. When answers are not clear, women should ask again until they understand.
What is Informed Consent and Informed Refusal?
You have the right to be fully informed of any perceived risks or benefits for any procedures or tests, and decisions about where and how to birth.
Take responsibility. Learn about the implications, facts and other options.
One way to help you make an informed choice is BRAN.
B is for Benefits. When you’re in a situation and confronted with a decision to make then if you can remember BRAN it’s very helpful. So B is for Benefits. What are the Benefits to what you’re suggesting?
R is for Risk. What are the RISKS?
A is for Alternatives. What are the alternatives to the drs/midwives suggestions?
N is for NO. What will happen if I say no?
If you are still undecided, it is your right and responsibility to get a second opinion.
You have the right to refuse medical treatment.
The right to informed consent is outlined in the Universal Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights; 2006 as follows:
Any preventive, diagnostic and therapeutic medical intervention is only to be carried out with the prior, free and informed consent of the person concerned, based on adequate information. The consent should, where appropriate, be express and may be withdrawn by the person concerned at any time and for any reason without disadvantage or prejudice.
I have been taught where women are free, we will learn how they give birth best. They will show us. They will trust us. Look at them and listen closely.
Dr. Michael Odent — Obstetrician