Consenting in Adversity

The strength of a Birth Map is found if our journey needs to detour. Considering some of the more difficult pathways in advance, can help us immeasurably in the event of adversity.

You may have heard that birth plans set us up for disappointment…there are some common mistakes made when creating a birth plan, which have been addressed in The Birth Map.

With a Birth Map we consider various pathways, including contingencies. There is a very important legal point to make here: you have the right to make decisions – even if it results in death or injury to you or your unborn. You have every right to choose a pathway that allows death or results in injury – for whatever reason. This is in recognition that there is No One Way, and that an informed decision is about more than information.

When faced with adversity, meaning we have found ourselves on a contingency pathway, we can reduce the stress by having considered it in advance. When the decision we face is a genuine matter of life or death, it is still possible to be autonomous and aware. A conscious care provider will ensure you understand what is happening, and allow you to absorb this new information. This could be happening under very immediate and urgent circumstances. If consent is required: you get to decide.

For some facing the very rare event of adversity, perhaps where death is very likely or even certain, death is The Option. If religious or philosophical context disallows interference, even if medical pathways may ‘save’ the situation, we must support these families on this path. Choosing not to interfere, even if this means death or injury, does not make the decision maker callous or irresponsible. It means they have conviction in their understanding of life and are making an informed decision based on their context.

With Great Responsibility comes Great Power

Key to this is taking Full Responsibility. This means understanding that you get to decide: NO MATTER WHAT. Understanding that this may mean death or injury means we can be far more prepared for the adverse pathways.

Preparing for adversity:

UNDERSTAND YOURSELF AND THE PATHWAYS: Understand the pathways (using The Birth Map), and how to try to avoid the adversity. Adverse events are rare, being prepared can help make them even less likely. In the event we can not avoid adverse – we will be ready This can reduce our chance of trauma by helping us to remain calm and capable. In understanding our needs, we can then make a more informed choice in where we birth and who our care provider may be.

ALIGN WITH THE RIGHT CARE: Know your care providers skill set . What are their limitations, and advantages? What skillsets are you in particular need of? Where do you need to give birth?

VOICE YOUR CULTURAL, EMOTIONAL, PHILOSOPHICAL OR RELIGIOUS NEEDS: prepare your care provider if you will not consent to life saving medical intervention. Ensure they understand what you need, emotionally also. Do you have neurodivergent, mental health or physical needs that will impact your abilities or decision making in adversity? What about your partner? The more your care provider knows about you, the better they can provider individualised care. Do not assume they will know or ask – they need you to make them aware. When you understand yourself and the pathways, you will know what you need to disclose.

May Your Journey be Yours

You can join the free member access to flip through The Birth Map and play The Game of Birth to help you build your understanding of the pathways.

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