Throughout pregnancy we are faced by choices, possibly more than any other time in our lives. Which blood tests should I have? Should I have pain relief during labour? If so which ones are right for me? Do I really need that Caesarean?
So what is the difference between regular decision making and informed choice?
Informed choice is a decision based on thorough research; backed up by even more research, scientific studies, and experiences from other mothers. It is not an instant agreement that may leave you feeling disempowered in the future. It is a decision made actively by you, together with any other supporting roles that you may choose to consult such as a doula, doctor, midwife, partner, etc.
It is common to feel regret if you do not achieve the ‘perfect’ birth that you have planned. But this is where informed choice really makes a difference. If you trust your instincts; weigh up all your options and choose the one that feels right, then however your baby is born know that you tried your hardest to have the birth you wanted. Take solace in that; reflect on everything and take what you want from it. Then move on and enjoy your new little life.
Outcomes are never guaranteed- such is life- but we should always be comforted in the knowledge that we made a decision based on what is best for our children and ourselves.
Make an informed choice.