Study: Eating a light meal during labor may be OK

AP file photo.

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – A new study says most healthy women would benefit from eating a light meal during labor.

The American Society of Anesthesiologists analyzed hundreds of studies that found moms in labor need the same kind of energy and calories as marathon runners.

Researchers said when women don’t get the energy and calories needed, their bodies turn to fat for energy. They said that can reduce contractions, causing a longer labor and lowering health scores in newborns.

Women have been told it’s dangerous to eat or drink liquids during labor because of the risk of inhaling it into the lungs.

It was more dangerous under general anesthesia, but anesthesia is different than it used to be. Now, it’s typically an epidural or spinal block.

Dr. Taraneh Shirazian, an obstetrician at NYU Langone Medical Center said the rules have been outdated for generations.

“In low-risk women some drinking, mild fluids, light meal is OK,” Dr. Shirazian said.

Experts said women should discuss with their doctor their health and risk factors for eating and drinking in the hospital before the baby’s due date.

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