New Evidence That Women Should Eat And Drink During Labor

June 14, 2017By 0 Comments

A study published in the March 2017 issue of “Obstetrics & Gynecology”—the premier peer reviewed journal of The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists—concluded that there was no danger for low risk laboring women in eating and drinking.

Ten trials, which included 3,982 women in labor, were evaluated. In three trials, women were allowed a low residue diet, in six they were allowed carbohydrate drinks and one allowed unrestricted food and drink. The women were compared to controls—laboring women who were only allowed ice-chips or sips of water.

There was no increase in vomiting, Cesarean Sections, maternal or neonatal complications in the women who had the less restrictive intake. There was no incidence whatsoever of aspiration (inhaling stomach contents into the lungs). In fact, labor was shorter in women who had the less restrictive intake.

The study concludes “Our meta-analysis showed that a policy of less-restrictive food intake in low-risk singleton pregnancies is associated with shorter labor. A policy of less-restrictive food intake is also associated with no evidence of harm.”

We in the humane-birth movement have long advocated that women who birth in hospitals, who are doing the hardest work of their lives, be given real options in labor including eating and drinking, intermittent auscultation and unrestricted movement. All of these requests have scientific basis and yet hospitals continue to deny laboring women their rights. It’s time that area hospitals leave the barbarism of starving women in labor and offer them food and drink! If you are planning a hospital birth, insist on your rights!

(Written by Dr. Katharine Morrison in response to this article:…/Less_Restrictive_Food_Intake_Duri…)

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