|A Mom in Labor. Image Source:Pixabay|
A new research has however refuted the aspiration claims and suggested that pregnant women would actually benefit from being allowed to eat during labor. 385 studies published after 1989 were analyzed by researchers from Canada’s St. Johns Memorial Hospital in search of support of the theory that eating during labor increased the risks of aspiration. The exercise had very interesting findings.
Aspiration cases during labor in the United States for the last three decades were nearly non-existent with only one death being reported between 2005 and 2013. And even in that one case, the mother was obese and there were complications during labor which could have contributed to the death. According to the study, no deaths were reported in the UK between 2000 and 2005.
The researchers found that withholding food during labor could actually be dangerous. The lack of energy makes the labor longer increasing the risks of fetal distress. Foods such as soups, fruits and toast would provide the mother’s body with the fuel needed to labor and eventually push the baby out.
The researchers insisted on the need to evaluate each patient on a case by case basis. This is because there are certain factors that increase a laboring woman’s risk of aspiration that outweigh the risks of withholding nutrition, said Erin Sprout, co-author of the study. The factors include pre-clampsia and obesity.