Main Category: Pregnancy / Obstetrics
Also Included In: Nutrition / Diet
Article Date: 26 Aug 2013 - 0:00 PDT
'No reason' to restrict food and drink during childbirth
|Patient / Public:|
Researchers have found that restricting food and drinks during labor does not benefit mothers in any way, according to a study published in The Cochcrane Library.
Many hospitals worldwide have policies that restrict foods and fluids once a woman has started the labor process. These policies are in place in the event that a cesarean section and general anesthesia is needed. However, researchers from the University of Liverpool in the UK say this procedure is "unwarranted."
An analysis of five UK studies was conducted involving 3,130 women. All women were classed as low-risk for the need of general anesthetic throughout labor.
The researchers analyzed both mothers and newborns and compared those who had food and drink restrictions with those who did not have restrictions.
Three primary outcomes were reviewed for women:
- A cesarean section
- A vaginal birth
- The mother's satisfaction of the birth.
For the babies, the researchers reviewed APGAR score - a test that doctors and midwives use to evaluate the baby's condition by scoring breathing effort, heart rate, muscle tone, reflexes and skin color. The researchers also analyzed babies' blood glucose levels.