Informed consent in healthcare means you will be given understandable and clear information about your choices so you can make the right decisions about your health and healthcare.
You have the right to consent or decline.
Before you give your consent, make sure:
- your healthcare professional has explained each of the options available to you;
- that any risks, and the likelihood of those risks, are explained;
- you understand the benefits;
- you understand the purpose of the action you are consenting to.
This is a concept we spend a significant amount of time discussing in the Hypnobirthing Australia Positive Birth Program.
The key outcome is to help parents to feel informed and confident in their decisions in pregnancy and birth when a test, intervention or procedure is offered to them.
The way the recommendation is offered is so important.
If I said to you ‘the risk of stillbirth doubles’ vs ‘the risk of stillbirth doubles from 1 in 10,000 to 2 in 10,000’ would this likely impact your decision making?
It can feel incredibly difficult to say no, especially when intervention is offered in a hospital setting, the balance of power usually swings the way of the medical practitioner. It’s even more challenging when the birthing mother is busy birthing her baby.
It’s common for pregnancies and births to encounter some kind of curve ball, so its key to understand how you can come to a decision that is right for you and your baby, and is a result of useful evidence-based information rather than coercion or convenience.
We use the B.R.A.I.N technique to help with decision making, so you can understand exactly why you would or would not agree to an intervention:
Empower yourself and your birth partner with tools and education leading up to one of the most significant days of your lives, the day you meet your baby.