Understanding making decisions in pregnancy is a really important part of your birth preparation.


Imagine this- your birth has gone a certain way. Perhaps it’s not how you were initially hoping it might go. However, if you understand why it went that way, were involved in the decision making, felt informed, respected and able to ask any questions you needed, you will feel vastly different than if the same thing happens but you have no idea how or why. Making decisions in pregnancy is key to a positive birth.

It is so important you understand that in pregnancy and birth, you do not give up the rights to your body. Your ability to, and rights to make decisions are more important than ever. 

You may of spoken to friends and family who have said “I wasn’t allowed to x,y,z”, or “I had to x,y,z”.

Actually, this isn’t true at all. YOU are the decision maker behind your pregnancy and birth, you have to do the allowing. Everything that is offered to you is just that- an offer. 

Our maternity systems are amazing and we are very fortunate to have access to the care that we do- however they are huge establishments designed to care for a massive amount of woman and babies, with policies and guidelines to cater for a one size fits all approach rather than an individual case by case basis. 

Woman and babies are all unique, and your situation is different to your neighbours, your sisters, your colleague. Bringing it back to individualised care is essential.  

newborn baby in a birth pool

With rising levels of intervention, often times clinically unnecessary, it is more important than ever to make sure you understand what is being offered, why, and if it is right for you.

In her book The Positive Birth Book, Milli Hill highlights that the Royal College of Obstetricians grade their guidelines according to the strength of the evidence it is based on. 

  • Only about 9% of the guidelines are grade A (top quality)
  • About 50% are Grade B,C and D
  • The remaining 40% or so are based on clinical experience and no evidence at all.
You need to feel confident to ask questions, and get informed about your choices, so that you can make decisions that feel right for you and your baby. 

Asking questions

We have a great tool to help you if you are faced with making decisions in pregnancy.

This could be a decision about induction, a caesarean birth, speeding your labour up, a change to your place of birth etc. 

When faced with any decision, any time where you need to ask questions, remember to use your BRAIN

Decision making in pregnancy

Benefits- What are the benefits of going ahead with this?

Risks- What might the risks be if we go ahead with this?

Alternatives-  What alternatives do we have?

Instincts- What is my gut feeling?

Nothing- What if we do nothing?


Whenever possible, you want to give yourself time to discuss your options, and make your decision. If you are faced with a decision in labour- it is so useful if your birth partner feels confident in asking these questions. That is why I always encourage birth partners to attend my online antenatal course, so that they feel informed, prepared and confident. 

Don’t be afraid for asking for evidence and statistics to support whatever recommendations your health care team are giving you. Clear language using the absolute risk (i.e “one in X compared to one in Y”) rather than lealitive risk (i.e “your risk doubles”). 

Always do your own research and reading, and remember your baby, your body, your birth. 

Join my next Hypnobirthing course in Newbury or online and we will go over everything you need so that you and your birth partner feel confident, clear and informed ahead of your birth. 

hypnobirthing teacher infront of computer

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