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Hypnobirthing Techniques - How to use your BRAINS for pregnancy & birth

This has to be up there in one of the most useful tools I teach in my courses, how to use your BRAINS for pregnancy, birth, and beyond!

Don't worry this isn't me implying your stupid & don't know how to use your brain! BRAINS is simply an acronym for decision making, and this is what it stands for...

Benefits - what are the benefits?

Risks - what are the risks?

Alternatives - what alternatives are available?

Instinct/Intuition - what is your instinct telling you?

Nothing - what if you simply do nothing?

Smile/Second opinion  - smiling is a great way to instantly relax the jaw, in turn relaxing your pelvic muscles. And of course, you can always ask for a second opinion. 

It's worth noting that when using this tool we not only want to think about what the benefits/risks of doing/accepting something , but also what the benefits/risks of not doing/accepting that thing are too. We need to understand the whole picture in order to make a fully informed decision. 

This is such a great hypnobirthing technique for pregnancy & birth (and in everyday life tbf!) whenever we may be faced with a decision, be it a big one or a small one. Something that I always remind my hypnobirthing clients is that they always have time, time to take a step back & really think about the decision they are facing, time to use BRAINS to help them make an informed decision for them & their baby. 

The notion of having time to make a decision is often surprising for clients, and I get it, we're sat in front of a midwife at an antenatal appointment, or a consultant in a birthing room and we suddenly don't feel like we can simply ask for some time and space, but this time is so important as often we find ourselves in that sympathetic nervous system in these circumstances. That fight/flight/freeze/fawn state is activated and we're not able to make the best decisions that feel right for us. Maybe we ask to step outside for 10 mins, or maybe we ask to call them the next day, we might even ask to let them know at our next appointment depending on what the situation is. My point is, give yourself that space, if you can, get out of the space you are in & into neutral ground where you are more able to feel safe to make those decisions. 

It's also worth noting that whenever you are asking for someone to explain the risks of something to you, it's a great idea to ask them to tell you in a percentage, or a number, rather than simply saying "the risk of [x] doubles"  (relative risk) they should say "the risk increases from 0.4% to 0.8%" or "the risk increases from 1 in 400 to 2 in 400"  (this is the absolute risk) that way you can really understand those potentially risks and make a decision based on what feels best/most comfortable for you. 

Em x


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