Health care decisions are difficult. It can feel overwhelming & confusing. There’s pressure to act quickly. And many times there’s conflicting information out there! My dear friends at Third Coast Birth & Family introduced me to an acronym used for making decisions during pregnancy and even in the heat of labor that I want to share with y’all: BRAIN
When faced with a decision, ask yourself:
What are the benefits? Does this meet my goals and desires? What’s the best-case scenario? Is there evidence to support this?
What are the risks? What’s the worst-case scenario? Does that outweigh the potential benefits? Is there evidence to support this?
What are my alternatives? Do I have other options? Do I need to seek out other providers to find out what those might be (get a second opinion)? Do some of the other options have a better benefit/risk relationship?
What does my intuition tell me? What’s my gut saying? Sleep on it. See what settles in your mind and body after mulling the decision over.
And what happens if I do nothing? Is waiting and seeing a good option? Does this decision have to be made immediately? More information might arise and the path may become clearer.
This little acronym can help slow down and give some order to decisions that have far-reaching consequences. It also moves the decision-making from the provider, back to YOU. The person. It’s your body, your health, your decision to make. No matter how strongly presented, a treatment plan from even the most esteemed doctor, researcher, chiropractor, acupuncturist, etc. is just a suggestion. It’s their best theory as to what will work for you. That decision can have a lot of factors: clinical experience, current research, cost, rules and regulations of their location (i.e. hospitals, clinics, etc), insurance coverage, education, the current standard of care for any given diagnosis, availability of accurate diagnostics… and even less desirable things like bias, stereotyping, burn-out, etc. It’s a lot. So remember it’s not carved in stone and there are usually more options than you think to any given issue.
And truly, this little gem could help with any important decision-making. Test it out. Lemme know what you think.