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The Importance of Food & Drink during labor


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  #1  
June 8th, 2007, 11:32 AM
*Aspen*
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Can you list what are the good reasons for eating and drinking during labor?
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  #2  
June 8th, 2007, 11:52 AM
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maintaining stamina! No calories and carbs=no energy. Easy as that. But there is also: Recent studies that have been conducted on oral hydration and food intake suggest that women who are allowed to eat and drink to comfort in labor have shorter labor (by an average of 90 minutes), less need for augmentation with Pitocin, require fewer pain medications, and the babies had higher apgar scores than of those in the control group. There is more, Ill get back with this one later
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  #3  
June 8th, 2007, 12:10 PM
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Hehe, one more thing to add to my list of thing to fight for in labor. Man, I;m exhausted already
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  #4  
June 8th, 2007, 12:57 PM
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The biggest reason is to keep up your strength. Also dehydration makes contractions worse and interventions more likely.
I believe one of the biggest reasons they don't allow or want to allow pregnant women is because if they need to put you under for surgery you could aspirate your stomach content. Thing is when you are in labor you shouldn't need to be put under unless there is a true life or death, seconds matter emergency. Well if someone was in a car accident, they wouldn't wait 8 hours to perform surgery, they just do it. The risks of aspiration really aren't that high.

If you find out that you are not 'allowed' to eat or drink while in labor, just take your own stash of food with you. I always take things like granola bars and fruits. There are usually cups available so you can grab one of those for drinking. Or take your own. If they catch you eating, ignore them and do what you feel comfortable with.
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  #5  
June 8th, 2007, 03:42 PM
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Thank you ladies
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  #6  
June 9th, 2007, 06:01 PM
Lotsakids's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Deffinately hydration & energy.
I ate & drank throughout my entire last labour & was encouraged to by staff. I ate an AWESOME chicken casserole only about 2 hours before my last child was born. I don't know what I would have done without it, because I was literally exhausted by the end.
If they argue that you'll be sick, your body will still get some benefit from it even if you are sick & that said I've never actually been sick during any of my labours.
The surgery arguement is a really hard one, because statistically there is a high risk now that anyone going into labour will need surgery (GRRR!!) But that said, if it's only a risk involved with surgery under a general anaesthetic then it's alot smaller risk because most people have a C-section with an epidural.
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  #7  
June 9th, 2007, 06:39 PM
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Well this isn't the way I planned it but let me share my eating in labor....

I went to the mall to walk to get labor started, and it did, and I didn't stop walking until I was having contractions 2 minutes apart and lasting 1 minute. They weren't demanding my attention though, and a couple days before that I had contractions that long and close and nothing came of it, so we went out to eat with my in laws (who had come to the mall too and were playing with my son). So there I was in a steak restaurant and I ordered a coke to drink. By the time they came back to take our order I decided this was real labor and got a salad and asked for some water instead. I also had a roll. But yeah, that's right, I drank a glass of coke while in labor. She was born about 4 hours after that meal ended but I didn't eat any more after that because it was such a demanding and rigorous labor.

P.S. If anyone wonders, I had given up coke but then I had low blood pressure and dizziness and my midwife told me to drink a little caffeine to help-- and it did! Once baby was born I gave up caffeine again beacuse I didn't want to find out what a caffeinated baby looked like (breastfeeding), kwim??
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  #8  
June 9th, 2007, 06:56 PM
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Not eating and drinking also contributes to fetal distress - youll often time see late decelerations in heartbeat, see baby sleep more, etc (which they dont like to see on the heart monitor) if youre not eating. Think about it - when you have no energy baby has no energy. Birth takes energy from both you. If youre starving, so is baby.

Ask your dr if hed like to you starve yourself for 12+ hours while you hike a mountain even with a 1% chance of it making you sick. See what the answer is.

And sorry, but If I end up needing a cesarean, have to be put under, then wether i ate or nto is the least of my worries. Like someone else mentioned - they dont wait to do life saving surgery on car accident victims just because they ate an hour ago!

Lala...
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  #9  
June 10th, 2007, 04:49 AM
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Also... if you DO get sick and throw up (I did) it's way better to have SOMETHING there to throw up rather than just dry heaving... that's so much worse!
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  #10  
June 10th, 2007, 08:36 AM
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Throwing up opens up the bodys passageways and helps the cervix dilate. So does laughing So there is a reason for the throwing up!!!! LOL!
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  #11  
June 10th, 2007, 10:19 AM
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Quote:
But that said, if it's only a risk involved with surgery under a general anaesthetic then it's alot smaller risk because most people have a C-section with an epidural.[/b]
Just to play "devil's advocate"(I hate that term):

FYI the risk is not for surgery under a general anesthetic (although it can still be risky). The risk is for if you are having the c-section under a spinal or epidural because there is no way to keep the vomit from entering your lungs (i.e. apiration--which can cause a nasty pneumonia). If you've eaten within about 6 hours of the c-section the anesthesiologist is going to put you under general anesthesia so that the cuff on the endotracheal tube can block vomit from going down your trachea and into your lungs. Doing otherwise is just BEGGING to get sued.


That being said, nothing wrong with eating. I agree. It's good for stamina/strength. I plan on munching away on light snacks.Just know that if you go to the hospital and end up needing an emergency c-section and the anesthesiologist finds out that you've eaten recently you're going to sleep for section. Doing a spinal or epidural would essentially be considered malpractice.
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  #12  
June 12th, 2007, 03:46 PM
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DH went grocery shopping for popsicles, string cheese, and yogurt after dropping me off at the birth center, but I only ever got to drink water because my labor went so fast. Otherwise,you can bet I would have been eating! My MW encourages it. They actually had to keep reminding me to drink water. It was really nice to have thsa stuff afterwards, too. My MW won't release from the birthing center until mom eats a hot meal with protein in it afterwards as well.
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  #13  
June 12th, 2007, 08:55 PM
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It isn't uncommon for a women to throw up during a c-section. Most of the time they won't put you under just because you ate in the past 6 hours. While you would have an epidural or spinal, you can still turn your head to throw up. When you are put under general, you can't and there is the added risk of throwing up.
This is what I have found in my research and talking to an anesthesiologist.
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  #14  
June 13th, 2007, 11:29 AM
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Quote:
It isn't uncommon for a women to throw up during a c-section. Most of the time they won't put you under just because you ate in the past 6 hours. While you would have an epidural or spinal, you can still turn your head to throw up. When you are put under general, you can't and there is the added risk of throwing up.
This is what I have found in my research and talking to an anesthesiologist.[/b]
I would be interested in talking to that anesthesiologist because in my neck of the woods it would be considered not following the standard of care if you didn't put someone to sleep and intubate (i.e putting at tube in their trachea to keep vomit from entering their lungs--it's irrelevant if a person throws up, we just don't want it in their lungs) if they had eaten in the past 6 hours (either that or you delay the surgery, which can't be done if it's an emergency). I'm just saying this since this happens to be what I do for a living.

ETA: Once again, I still believe that eating is fine. I definitely plan on doing it during labor and I dare someone to try to stop me. LOL.
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  #15  
June 13th, 2007, 07:52 PM
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Quote:
Quote:
It isn't uncommon for a women to throw up during a c-section. Most of the time they won't put you under just because you ate in the past 6 hours. While you would have an epidural or spinal, you can still turn your head to throw up. When you are put under general, you can't and there is the added risk of throwing up.
This is what I have found in my research and talking to an anesthesiologist.[/b]
I would be interested in talking to that anesthesiologist because in my neck of the woods it would be considered not following the standard of care if you didn't put someone to sleep and intubate (i.e putting at tube in their trachea to keep vomit from entering their lungs--it's irrelevant if a person throws up, we just don't want it in their lungs) if they had eaten in the past 6 hours (either that or you delay the surgery, which can't be done if it's an emergency). I'm just saying this since this happens to be what I do for a living.

ETA: Once again, I still believe that eating is fine. I definitely plan on doing it during labor and I dare someone to try to stop me. LOL.
[/b]
I was going by what I was told when I talked to an anesthesiologist in our area. If you are an anesthesiologist than you are obviously more educated on this matter than I am. I was told the risk was higher when you were put under than if you had a spinal or epidural. I will have to do some more research on this to find out for sure. For now since that is your profession I will leave it at what I was told. Thank you for your side on this.
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  #16  
June 13th, 2007, 08:26 PM
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Quote:
Quote:
Quote:
It isn't uncommon for a women to throw up during a c-section. Most of the time they won't put you under just because you ate in the past 6 hours. While you would have an epidural or spinal, you can still turn your head to throw up. When you are put under general, you can't and there is the added risk of throwing up.
This is what I have found in my research and talking to an anesthesiologist.[/b]
I would be interested in talking to that anesthesiologist because in my neck of the woods it would be considered not following the standard of care if you didn't put someone to sleep and intubate (i.e putting at tube in their trachea to keep vomit from entering their lungs--it's irrelevant if a person throws up, we just don't want it in their lungs) if they had eaten in the past 6 hours (either that or you delay the surgery, which can't be done if it's an emergency). I'm just saying this since this happens to be what I do for a living.

ETA: Once again, I still believe that eating is fine. I definitely plan on doing it during labor and I dare someone to try to stop me. LOL.
[/b]
Thank you for your side on this.
[/b]
No problem. I just like to provide the flip side of things.
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  #17  
June 17th, 2007, 12:08 PM
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They gave me fruit juice at the hospital in early labor. It was great. But it wasn't long before food was the last thing on my mind.
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  #18  
June 19th, 2007, 09:53 PM
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They gave me fruit juice at the hospital in early labor. It was great. But it wasn't long before food was the last thing on my mind. [/b]
Yep, I got grape and cranberry juice while I was in the early stages of labor. I was wanting food about 4 hours into it, though!
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  #19  
June 20th, 2007, 07:22 PM
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Quote:
Quote:
They gave me fruit juice at the hospital in early labor. It was great. But it wasn't long before food was the last thing on my mind. [/b]
Yep, I got grape and cranberry juice while I was in the early stages of labor. I was wanting food about 4 hours into it, though!
[/b]
Where did you deliver?? I live in Orlando!

Things got intense for me fairly quickly, so that's why I couldn't even think about eating. My water broke in the morning and while I was waiting for dh to get home from work I ate some cookies. We didn't have too much to eat and I was too excited to make anything.
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  #20  
June 20th, 2007, 09:27 PM
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Quote:
Quote:
Quote:
They gave me fruit juice at the hospital in early labor. It was great. But it wasn't long before food was the last thing on my mind. [/b]
Yep, I got grape and cranberry juice while I was in the early stages of labor. I was wanting food about 4 hours into it, though!
[/b]
Where did you deliver?? I live in Orlando!

Things got intense for me fairly quickly, so that's why I couldn't even think about eating. My water broke in the morning and while I was waiting for dh to get home from work I ate some cookies. We didn't have too much to eat and I was too excited to make anything.
[/b]
I actually lived in Lakeland at the time (halfway between Orlando and Tampa). I delivered at Lakeland Regional Medical Center. I live in Oviedo now, and I still know nothing about the hospital I'll be delivering at.... I need to get my butt in gear and do some research!!
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