Sweet Pea Births

Chandler, Arizona

Sweet Pea Births

...celebrating every swee​t pea their birth


Q&A with SPB: Variations and Complications

Posted on May 17, 2016 at 3:41 PM
Q: How can I tell the difference between a variation and a complication when I'm in labor?

A: It's the difference between waiting it out with a variation; and choosing interventions for a complication. What ever the birth journey, give yourself permission to do what it takes to have a Healthy Mom, Healthy Baby outcome.

Let's start with some basics:

A "variation" in labor is something that is still within the range of normal, and just needs time to resolve itself.  With watchful waiting and allowing for time, a variation usually leads to the birth of the baby without any further intervention. 
A "complication" is something that would require an action or an intervention.  There may be a greater urgency for intervention since it may be outside the range of normal.

How will you know the difference?  {Shameless plug} Take a Bradley class, or any other good childbirth preparation course to learn the difference.  In the Bradley Method, part of our philosophy is to educate couples to be informed consumers. So in class, we talk about many of the different variations and complications not to scare you or burst your bubble of peace, but to equip you with knowledge so that if on the outside .02 percent chance that you would face some of the complications, you have a general idea of what your options are to preserve the intention of your birth journey.  

By the same token, by having a basic understanding of the different variations of labor that don't necessarily follow the flow chart your care provider is following, a couple is better able to decide whether they want to wait it out or "do something" to move labor along. 

There are two questions that will tell you the difference between a variation and a complication.
Is Mom okay?
Is Baby okay?

Once you know the answer to those questions, you will have more information to use as you navigate the course of your birth journey.

There are also some behaviors that will indicate the difference:
Variation: lights stay low, you are just having a conversation with a nurse in the hospital or maybe the student midwife in a home setting.

Concern: the nurse may bring in another nurse to look at the record from maternal/fetal monitoring. Lights may stay off or be turned on for a moment.

Complication: the room starts to fill with people. Usually the lights are switched on and you are seeing a higher level of care providers. Interventions are suggested and you will need to choose a course of action sooner rather than later.

I hope this helps you distinguish the difference between knowing you have time to "wait it out", and being in a situation where decisions need to be made along the birth journey.

Please leave me a comment if you have any questions you would like to see answered on Q&A with SPB.

  Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: convenient to Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, PaysonThe material included in this video is for informational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The viewer should always consult her or his healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation.  Krystyna and Bruss Bowman and Bowman House, LLC accept no liability for the content of this site, or for the consequences of any actions taken on the basis of the information provided.  This blog and video contain information about our classes available in Chandler, AZ and Payson, AZ and is not the official website of The Bradley Method®. The views contained in this video and on our blog do not necessarily reflect those of The Bradley Method® or the American Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth®.

Categories: Labor Augmentation, Labor Marathon, Labor Sprint, Labor Support, Q&A with SPB

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