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Ice Chips - Not my choice of fuel for labor

January 08, 2013

Ice only in labor

Labor is hard physical work.  Most people doing hard physical work get hungry and thirsty.  Would an athlete running a marathon not be allowed to drink water?  Would a mountain climber be denied a protein bar? Why then are women in labor often restricted to ice chips?

Unfortunately, food and drink is often restricted when giving birth in a hospital.  As doulas, we know that this makes no sense.  To back this up, there have even been studies to prove this practice isn't justified.  Why won't hospitals and care providers make a change and let women eat and drink as THEY choose?

How many times have you heard a nurse list vomiting as a reason for not eating or drinking in labor? I say, if they want to take the risk of "throwing it back up later" then let them.  It's their body.

As a childbirth educator, I find myself teaching about current research, but warning students that they will probably have to sneak food and possibly drinks in labor.  As a doula, I have been on the lookout for medical personnel while my client was having a snack.  How can we stop this restriction on laboring women?


1 Response


December 18, 2013

The fact that they put vomiting as the reason, is probably more for their benefit than the patients; they’re helping you go through labor, that’s hard enough without you puking every now and then. Also, you should probably stop helping clients sneak food. As a doula and NOT a doctor, it’s not your right to do so, and you might end up being the cause for problems down the line. Besides, if you have to sneak it, you probably shouldn’t be doing it. That goes for most things. As for fuel for the women, I’m sure they have that handled, just think of the IVs and such, of course they can’t let the client be all weak, that itself can cause problems for everyone.

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