Dr. Berghella combined data from multiple studies. Of the 1,215 women included, 622 (approximately half) were given 125 milliliters of fluid per hour, which is common practice. Researchers found that women who received 250 milliliters per hour were less likely to get a cesarean section. In addition, labor was one hour shorter for the more hydrated women, and their pushing phased decreased by about three minutes.
“We’ve known that it’s important for women to stay well-hydrated during pregnancy and labor,” Berghella said. “This study suggests that IV fluids could help women maintain hydration at appropriate levels, reduce the likelihood of c-section, and decrease length of labor.”