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Do you have to not eat or drink during labor?

If you have ever given birth in a hospital, you probably know there are a lot of rules. Doctors and nurses bombard you with all the things you can and cannot do during labor. Some of these things are simply routine, while others are based on solid facts. One thing you may be told in a North Carolina hospital is that you cannot drink or eat anything during labor, but is this really necessary?

Labor is a very physically intense process. It takes a lot of energy. Is it actually smart to deprive a woman of water and food if her energy is fading and she’s thirsty? Many doctors still believe that it is, but CBS News reports that a new study shows this labor advice may be outdated and incorrect. In fact, it is suggested that drinking and eating during the process of bringing a new life into the world could actually be a good thing and beneficial.

One of the reasons this rule went into place was because decades ago, women were often sedated during labor. They were given anesthesia to help with the pain. You may know from having surgery that if you going under anesthesia, you are told not to eat or drink because you could get sick and then inhale it into your lungs. However, such methods are not used anymore. Pain relief in usually through a spinal block or epidural, which do not leave you at risk of getting sick and inhaling it.

Eating can help you to get energy to continue on, while drinking just makes you more comfortable. So, the hospital may be wrong here. This information is for education and not legal advice.

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