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Women in Labor Can Drink Clear Liquids

Laboring Women Can Get Their Drink On

Expectant mamas going through marathon labors can now quench their thirst with more than ice chips. For the first time in several decades, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has modified their liquid intake guidelines allowing women to drink clear beverages during labor.

According to the new recommendations:

"Women with a normal, uncomplicated labor may drink modest amounts of clear liquids such as water, fruit juice without pulp, carbonated beverages, clear tea, black coffee, and sports drinks. Fluids with solid particles, such as soup, should be avoided, however. Women who have uncomplicated pregnancies and are scheduled for a cesarean delivery may also drink these clear liquids up to two hours before anesthesia is administered."

It seems that the reason for limiting women to ice chips was to avoid aspiration – food and liquid entering the lungs – in the event of an emergency anesthetization. The decline of maternal death due to aspiration has lead to the new recommendations, which should be welcomed news for thirsty mamas. Were you allowed more than ice chips while birthing?

Image Source: Getty
Join The Conversation
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 8 years
Women in labor should be aloud to eat and drink whatever they want to. Its an archaic practice to withhold such precious energy boosting things.
Moms Moms 8 years
A disposable cup with crush iced, 1/2 cranberry juice and 1/2 water with a straw is the ultimate hospital cocktail. I won't touch the food there, but remember how delicious this drink tasted after both my kids were born. Can't wait to have it this time around.
sham28 sham28 8 years
Yup, I thought this was alcohol- related too. Then learned about the no-liquid rule as the purpose for the ice chips. Doubly disappointed! I've got a few years before I need to worry about it though. :)
MissSushi MissSushi 8 years
I wasn't allowed anything, not even ice chips during labor. I was in labor for nearly a day, and when it was finally over and she was born, it was an hour after lunch time. Not having eaten for 24 hours and then giving birth, i was STARVING. They gave me a hassle trying to tell me I would have to wait until dinner time at 6pm. Ridiculous. After arguing the point, since both home and any sort of resturant was 20-25 minutes away and he was off with the baby watching her get cleaned up, they brought me a sprite and a mini package of those peanut shaped cookies. Talk about a complete waste of energy giving me that crap to eat. At 6, dinner was broccoli, tea, and the thinnest grossest soup you've ever seen. I had no idea getting food at the hospital would be such a hassle, they didn't offer a cafeteria to the public, its a VERY small town hospital. Death trap really. Next baby I will be bringing some nice nutritious snacks and foods so the hubby doesnt have to run out to the store afterwards.
patina patina 8 years
This is absurd. There is no sound medical reason to not allow women to eat and to drink during labor. You wouldn't run a marathon without rehydrating & refueling. Asking a mother in labor to work that hard without any nourishment is cruel. Usually, food should be kept to think things you might eat after a stomach flu, like breads, yogurt, soups, but really, you can have whatever you desire; just keep in mind that you may throw it up later. (This isn't because the body doesn't want food, it's because labor is a dynamic, intensive process & sometimes, you just need to puke). If your hospital has a NPO policy, I'd change hospitals quickly!
cheersdarlin916 cheersdarlin916 8 years
I don't remember being thirsty during labor but it only took me 5 hours from start to finish to deliver my 10 pound boy.
runningesq runningesq 8 years
Ha, I thought this was going to be a recc. to drink some wine during labor :P
FrankiLee FrankiLee 8 years
I was allowed very very small amounts of water. Very small! I remember being SO thirsty, and could not believe that all I was offered was these little tiny sips of water. Looking forward to this next time around!
schnappycat schnappycat 8 years
I had some ice chips, but for some reason, I didn't really need them very much. I don't remember being excessively thirsty. But I also had a relatively quick labor. But this is great news for sure!
Chrstne Chrstne 8 years
I have not ever been in labor, but I wasn't aware that you couldn't even have a glass of water. Wow, that sounds harsh. I now suddenly feel sorry for my mom, who gave birth to a 9+ pound baby. Eek.
Aphrosette Aphrosette 8 years
They gave me ice chips and popsicles (I think I had about 10 popsicles since I was in labor at the hospital for 25 hours)
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