Is It Safe To Eat And Drink During Labor

Until now, most hospitals and midwives believed that a woman should not be given any food or drinks during labor before childbirth, however there has been a gradual drift in this philosophy and now certain hospitals allow pregnant women to have fluids for hydration. That certainly is quite a respite, because earlier hydration was carried out only with IV drips. Now most of the maternity centers offer you options like Ginger ale, popsicles, and broths Etc.

The prime reason why women have been discouraged to eat and drink during labor is because of the risk of aspiration; owing to the food getting digested the stomach.  It is believed that the risk of aspiration can create complications when general anesthesia has to be administered for an emergency cesarean.

However, some of the latest study reports state that having food or fluids in the stomach doesn’t really cause any complications and that the risk of aspiration is more dependent on this expertise of the anesthesiologist.

While all complications and risks have been ruled out, there have been some other reports, which in fact recommend having food or fluids during labor, as they have observed some beneficial results eating and drinking for the mother. Some of these study reports suggest that the mother has more than just plain water during labor, especially something as energizing as sports drinks.

Having a healthy drink, say a shake or a sports drink will leave lesser scope for the problem of ketosis, which arises because of a diminished supply of carbohydrates. Also, your body will get a constant supply of energy throughout labor, and it may prevent you from experiencing a drop in your blood sugar. In fact, having some healthy drinks during the labor can cut out the need for intravenous hydration.

There hasn’t been any specific research on what kind of for drinks are most advisable during labor, however the basic idea is to drink something that is easily digestible, contains less fat and has the right balance of electrolytes. So, while a sports drink is the best option, diluted fruit juices or Ginger ale can also be good alternatives.

Sidharth Thakur