Can I eat during labour?

Delivery, Questions/answers

Marie, I was wondering if I can eat during labour at the hospital. I want to bring snacks because if I go 2 hours without eating, I don’t feel well. Thanks for your help, Jasmine.


Excellent question, Jasmine. In fact, during active labour, you should not eat or drink, because it can increase the risk of vomiting. Also, in case of an emergency, it’s better to have an empty stomach to avoid aspiration in case of surgery.

However, you can eat light snacks when your contractions ( quand les contractions )and aren’t regular. But once labour begins for real, you shouldn’t eat. Never eat fat to avoid long-term residue in your stomach. Anyways, during active labour, intense contractions don’t really make you want to eat.

For drinking, when labour is slowly starting (becoming regular, latency phase, the start of induction), (début de la régularité, phase de latence, début de provocation), we suggest hydrating well with clear liquids (no pulp or other residues) with fluids with electrolytes to maintain your blood balance at this point. These can be sports drinks (Gatorade), but no energy drinks, which are not adapted to your condition. During more intense labour, you may be offered shaved ice to suck for hydration and comfort.

Even if you have an epidural and your pain is relieved, you are not allowed to eat and only to drink small amounts, as your stomach should be at rest because your energy will be used for labour and delivering your baby. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure! 😊 

I hope this helps, and all the best!

Marie

The Baby Expert

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