Monday, August 31, 2009

Liquids in Labor?

An ACOG (American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology) press release says:

Washington, DC -- Women in labor may be allowed to quench their thirst with more than just the standard allowance of ice chips, according to a new Committee Opinion released today from The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and published in the September issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology. Although the guidelines on prohibiting solid food while in labor or before scheduled cesarean surgery remain the same, ACOG says that women with uncomplicated labor, as well as uncomplicated patients undergoing a planned cesarean, may drink modest amounts of clear liquids during labor if they wish. (Read the rest of the story here).
It's about time. We have known for years that clear liquids while laboring is not a problem and is only restricted based on the slight possibility that a general anesthesia might become necessary if an epidural didn't work for an emergency c-section. However, even that has been questioned since a small amount of clear liquid moves quickly through the stomach and doesn't remain as solid food does, presenting the small risk of aspiration.
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