Feeling empowered in your birth space

Giving birth is a huge life event and one that for many can leave us feeling confused and de-railed afterwards.

However, it is possible to feel confident and in control of your birth choices and birth environment if you use the acronym: BRAINS

There was a point before and after my birth that I panicked. I was faced with a decision to make that I had not anticipated and really felt on the spot overwhelm.

It’s really important to not feel pressured into making sudden decisions. It is truly ok to ask for some time alone to discuss the conundrum and make an informed choice, not a rushed one. This can really empower you and make a huge difference to how you perceive your birth experience.

My husband and I had taken a hypnobirthing class and we learned the BRAINS technique. I’m so pleased we did as we used it very efficiently after the birth of our daughter.


What – are the benefits to parent AND baby?


What – are the risks to parent AND baby?
How might labour change if we had the suggested intervention?


What alternatives could we try first? (Reiterate we would like minimal intervention if your preference).
Do you have any other suggestions to keep this birth as undisturbed as possible?


What is the indication for the intervention

Are you concerned about parent OR baby

Is there a medical reason?

If parent and baby are well, we’d rather wait. Can we wait another hour if all is well?

What is your intuition telling you?

Tune into your body with breathwork or self-hypnosis. Many of us will say we “just knew” what to do.


What would happen if we did nothing?

If parent is well and baby has no signs of distress, we would like to wait. We would like time to think about it.

If labour has slowed down/stopped, can we go home for a bit?


Marie Fell the pilates physio pregnancy


Ask gently, softly and with a smile! Building a good rapport allows everyone to feel calm and enables you to develop a relationship based on trust and camaraderie.

The use of this acronym can really be a game changer and allow you afterwards to feel that you were in control of your birth decisions which is truly empowering for the parent.

We also asked for “some time” to think through our options and to allow a little “wait and see” mentality. These are also great ways to also give you some breathing space and time to reflect and think when placed with decisions you don’t have an immediate answer to in your birth space.

This source of information can be found in Mindful Hypnobirthing by Sophie Fletcher, 2014, Vermillion Publishers.