Food during childbirth yes or no?

If you have ever seen what childbirth looks like in movies and series, you could conclude that during childbirth women just scream, drink some water and nibble on pieces of ice, which is not far from the truth because doctors in America advised women to abstain from food and even and water during childbirth, but that should change soon.

Recent research says that there is no need for a woman to give up food during childbirth and that a light meal can bring certain benefits, of course if the woman is healthy and if the natural birth takes place exactly as it should, without complications.

Pregnant woman sitting in bedroom with glass of water smiling

According to research published at the annual conference of anesthesiologists, it is said that the recommendations for spitting from food date back to 1940, because it was believed that a woman could inhale pieces of food and fluid into the lungs during childbirth, which could lead to pneumonia. As anesthesiology has advanced in the meantime, experts claim that there are no more fears of such consequences.

Doctors also stated that such a case happened only once between 2013-2015 and that the woman was diagnosed with a high-risk pregnancy and complicated childbirth. Healthy mothers whose birth goes according to plan do not need to abstain from food.

Also, every woman who has given birth knows that childbirth is physically quite strenuous and that it is difficult to do it on an empty stomach. One of the signatories of the study, doctor Christopher Harty, stated that the caloric needs of women who give birth are equal to marathoners who drink protein shakes during the marathon in order to endure the race to the end. He even believes that not eating during childbirth can prolong the process itself. “Without adequate nutritional values, a woman’s body begins to use fat deposits as a source of energy, which increases blood acidity in both mother and baby, which can potentially alleviate contractions and prolong childbirth, but also reduce the baby’s birth rate,” said Harti.

The fact that I can’t eat anything during childbirth can create additional stress for women throughout this experience. In Germany, the staff offers large amounts of water to mothers and allows them to eat if they want, while in our country this is not the case everywhere.


On the other hand, doctors emphasize that not all mothers can eat during childbirth. This group includes women who are at higher risk of aspiration, including women with preeclampsia, eclampsia, obese women, and those who use opiates during childbirth.

For healthy pregnant women, who have not had any problems during pregnancy, light food during childbirth can reduce stress and provide comfort, but also give them extra energy and therefore there is no need to starve, especially if the birth lasts.

Source: LifePress magazin by

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