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Switch to Forum Live View Eating During Labor May Not Be So Bad, Study Suggests
3 years ago  ::  Oct 25, 2015 - 10:57PM #1
Posts: 14,591

A study by the American Society of Anesthesiologists suggests that most healthy women would benefit from a light meal during labor.  This is contrary to the established practice of physicians directing women to fast during labor.

Researchers analyzed hundreds of recent studies and concluded that women in labor need the same kind of energy and calories as marathon runners. When they don't get it, their bodies turn to fat for energy.  That can reduce contractions, leading to longer labor and lower health scores in newborns.

For years, women have been told it's dangerous to eat during labor, both for them and their babies.  But women who have been through labor say fasting their way through it didn't seem adequate.  "I think it's really impossible to think that ice chips would be enough," said one mom to CBS News.

For generations, the rule was "no food or liquid" because of risk of inhaling it into the lungs -- especially under general anesthesia.  But anesthesia has changed, and now anesthesia is typically an epidural or spinal block.

The rules that have been in place about eating and drinking during labor were intended for practices that have been outdated for generations, observed Dr. Taraneh Shirazian, an obstetrician at NYU Langone Medical Center.  "They are practices that don't affect the vast majority of women," she said.  She noted that "[i]n low-risk women some drinking, mild fluids, light meal is okay. "

Not every obstetrician may be quick to change protocols.  But, reportedly, the study results should allow for a conversation before the baby's due date about each woman's particular situation, health, and risk factors for eating and drinking during or before labor.

Merope | Beliefnet Community Manager
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3 years ago  ::  Oct 26, 2015 - 12:27AM #2
Posts: 44,029

I ate during my wife's labor and there was no problem.

Dave - Just a Man in the Mountains.

There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there always has been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.   Isaac Asimov
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3 years ago  ::  Oct 26, 2015 - 2:51PM #3
Posts: 17,597

Back when I birthed all my children the rule was no food or water.  Ice chips really do not cut it.

The thoughts were if a C section was ordered the woman might throw up.  It's the no eating after midnight for those who have a surgery scheduled type rule.

For a healthy birth canal delivery it doesn't make any sense to not have especially water.

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People change for two main reasons: either their minds have been opened or their hearts have been broken.

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