Is It Safe To Eat And Drink During Labor?

Eat And Drink During Labor

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Have your morning sickness and food cravings driven you crazy throughout your pregnancy? Are you worried sick thinking what to eat and what to avoid as your delivery approaches?

It is normal to be a bundle of nerves at the thought of labor, and a deluge of advice on your diet may be adding to your woes. If you are still clueless about what to eat or drink in those final moments, read on to know more.

Eating And Drinking During Labor – Is It Safe?

During the early hours of labor, a woman experiences high levels of the hormone prolactin, which stimulates hunger. As the labor progresses, there is an increase in the hormone oxytocin that reduces the desire to eat .It is important you follow your doctor’s instructions on eating or drinking before the birth.

Here are a few things that you must remember: eating or drinking during the last 24 hours before your delivery is alright only if you are going to have a vaginal birth .

  • Your doctor may not allow eating and drinking for a minimum 24 hours prior to a cesarean birth.
  • If your doctor has any doubts about the nature of delivery, she will ask you to refrain from eating or drinking anything orally for the minimum stipulated time before birth.

It is possible that while you may be preparing for a vaginal birth you need to shift to a cesarean procedure, at the last moment. Eating or drinking before this may lead to complications.

[ Read: Breathing Techniques During Labour ]

What To Eat During Labor?

Once you have the go-ahead from your doctor, you may safely proceed with a few quick snacks during your labor. Remember it is good to consume carbohydrates before your labor, as they are easy to digest. Carbs will give you the energy to help you through your contractions.

Some foods to eat during labor are:

  • Cereals
  • Plain biscuits
  • Crackers
  • Bananas
  • Potatoes
  • Soup
  • Pasta
  • Bread
  • Yogurt

Remember to:

  • Eat slowly and chew your food properly.
  • Eat small meals instead of big meals.
  • Make sure you eat only foods that can be easily digested and will not make you feel bloated.
  • High-fat foods are a strict no.
  • You can have a small snack every hour during your early labor to preserve energy for the delivery.
  • Eat before you head for the hospital. It may be chaotic at the hospital, and you may not get a chance to eat at all.

[ Read: Natural Pain Relief In Labour ]

What Can I Drink During Labor?

While you are in labor, especially at the hospital you may not feel like eating much. A good alternative is to haveisotonic drinks. Your body can quickly absorb isotonic fluids to give you the right amount of energy needed for the forthcoming delivery.

Try having:

  • Water
  • Diluted Squash
  • Fruit smoothie that contains bananas or yogurt. It gives you the extra dose of energy

In most cases, your doctor may decide to place you on an IV drip instead of allowing food or drinks orally. If your pregnancy shows signs of going for a cesarean birth, your doctor will ask you to refrain from eating or drinking.

[ Read: Positions During Labor ]

Make sure you discuss all these aspects with your doctor before the actual time of labor. In case you are not able to eat or drink but are craving, try to focus on something else.

Hope this article cleared your doubts regarding is it safe to eat and what to eat during labor. What foods and drinks did you include during labor? Did you refrain from any food or drink to avoid complications? Do write back and share your experiences here with other moms.

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Debolina Raja