birth

New Study Proves Eating Real Food (Not Ice Chips) During Labor Is Better

Photo of smiling pregnant woman relaxing in nature on a beautiful sunny day, caressing her bellyPhoto of smiling pregnant woman relaxing in nature on a beautiful sunny day, caressing her belly

Pregnant ladies, I have some good news for you. It’s about to make your childbirth experience a lot better… and shall I say, more delicious? According to a new study, healthy women with low-risk pregnancies may actually benefit from eating during labor (which was previously suggested by a past study). You heard that right: No more of those crappy ice chips. Say hello to, well, just about whatever you want. Pita chips with hummus, anyone?

The researchers at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia analyzed 10 different studies that included 3,982 women in labor–all of these women were pregnant with one child and were not at risk for a C-section. The study compared women who were permitted to eat food during labor with those who were only allowed to suck on ice chips.

The results prove that eating during labor didn’t increase any risk for labor complications like vomiting, which is the only reason for eating ice chips. Apparently, the women who ate during labor also had shorter labors, about 16 minutes shorter, to be precise. 16 minutes isn’t something to scoff at.

While eating during labor doesn’t guarantee you a shorter birth experience, it’s something worth considering, especially if you’re hungry (because, um, labor takes a long time…). That being said, the American Society of Anesthesiologists suggest eating lighter foods, like juice, soup, fruit, or toast. I mean, it’s not like you were going to order a pastrami on rye, were you? (I mean, maybe you were, but it may not be the best idea, no matter how good it is.)

Goodbye, ice chips. Go back to soft beverages.

The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. Comments are moderated, so use your inside voices, keep your hands to yourself, and no, we're not interested in herbal supplements.

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