Recommendations Relax On Liquid Intake During Labor
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.
Um... wow. Thanks!
From what I can gather, the risks of aspiration are only a problem when general anesthesia is used (3.5-13% of cesareans), and the technique has improved. I've searched for a study that shows an actual number or percentage of patients who do end up aspirating during a surgery, and I can't find anything. I'm thinking it's NOT at epidemic proportions...
It is honestly ridiculous to deprive every laboring woman of food! Labor is often long and it requires quite a bit of energy.
Obstetrics, yet again, is being practiced via a "one size fits all" mentality. Women with a high risk of needing a cesarean (ie women with known placental problems or other serious medical problems) should be monitored more carefully, but low risk women should not be automatically relegated to this bizarre list of approved beverages.