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Let Us Eat During Labor, Dammit!

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New research gives moms hope.

woman eating french fries

Sick of ice chips during labor? A new study found that women who had something to eat or drink during labor were at NO increased risk of complications.

"There were no increased inductions -- no increased rate of C-sections or any other complications," Dr. Holly Phillips told "The Early Show." "I think a lot of women would welcome the opportunity to have something to eat or drink during labor, because I think it's called labor for a reason. It's hard work. You need fuel to get through the hard work."

The American College of Gynecologists say clear liquids -- such as sports drinks, water, and fruit juice -- are fine during labor. Some doctors allow popsicles or Jell-O.

Would YOU like to chow down during labor?

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9 comments so far | Post a comment now
Pamala January 20, 2010, 1:22 PM

I always thought it was to keep the stomach clear so that if you have to go in for a c-section you don’t have to worry about throwing up and so forth. Who knows. I wasn’t hungry until right after birth, never during it though.

newmommy09 January 20, 2010, 1:59 PM

I was induced at 630am and had my daughter at 330pm and wasnt allowed any food. I was sooo hungry! I would have loved just a bit of a snack atleast. Next time I know to eat before i go.

chris January 20, 2010, 2:06 PM

I was in labor for 26 hours. I wasn’t so much hungry as I was thirty the whole time. It was the first time I ever had apple juice and man I LOVED it.

mom of 2 January 20, 2010, 2:33 PM

I was wondering who in the world would want to eat while in labor. But I guess if your labor is long and are comfortable you probably would want food. I wouldn’t know because my longest labor was four hours and no pain meds because there wasn’t time.

Robin January 20, 2010, 9:15 PM

My water broke at 10:30 AM. My son was born at 3:33 AM. I hadn’t eaten since dinner the night before my water broke. 33 hours without solid food. Then they couldn’t get me anything except jello until the cafeteria opened for the morning. At which point they had to “find” an extra tray.

Anonymous January 21, 2010, 5:36 AM

i went into labor at 330am and didn’t have my son until 5pm (c-section)- you can’t eat until 6 hours after your c-section. i was STARVED since i hadn’t eaten since dinner the night before. you better believe at 11pm that night i sent my husband to get me a sub, the following morning i found out i was supposed to be on a clear food diet for 24 hours…oops, and OH WELL! for the record, they did give me gatorade during labor and i threw it up.

Lexi January 21, 2010, 6:56 AM

I would have LOVED to eat when I was in labor! I was sooo hungry. They told me I couldn’t eat until I had her…I was determined to get some food…when it came time to push it took me all of 13 minutes to get her out hahaha.

PlumbLucky January 21, 2010, 8:05 AM

I thought the purpose of not eating during labor was to avoid throwing it up or otherwise voiding it.


I wanted NOTHING to do with food…and that was even after having nothing to eat for over 24 hours (9pm cutoff but I think I ate nothing after dinner at 6, 6 am induction, son born at 9 pm), until after my son was born.

mercaties January 22, 2010, 1:55 AM

With my first child I was induced at 5pm on a friday and didn’t go into active labor until 6am Sat morning (baby was actually born at 11am) but they let me eat in between. Once I started active labor, I would barf everytime I had a contraction or had to push. With my second one I had a scheduled c-section so I couldn’t eat after midnight the night before. Wasn’t too bad considering my c-section was at 8am but I was deffinately starving by the time my c-section was over.

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