Reuters Health reporter Andrew Seaman recently spoke with Dr. Vincenzo Berghella, professor of obstetrics Director of the Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine at Thomas Jefferson University, in light of his new study that suggests eating during labor can be safe, and possibly even beneficial, for women.
In the study, Dr. Berghella analyzed records of 3,982 women who gave birth. Those who consumed more than ice chips and sips of water gave birth more quickly by an average of 16 minutes.
Dr. Berghella reasoned that water and food might help prepare women for the hard work of labor, particularly since the uterus is mostly muscle. “If we’re well-hydrated and have adequate carbohydrate in our body, our muscles work better.”