Eating and Drinking during labour (part 1)

But where comes the idea that you cannot eat during labour?

It all started in 1940s (1), when woman were given inhaled anaesthetics or an injection of morphine and scopolamine that caused unconsciousness and no memory of the birth, back then anaesthesia was less safe and the risk of aspiration was higher than is today.


What is Aspiration?

Is when a person is put to sleep with medication, and they vomit into their mouth and the content can be aspirated to their airways, “wrong pipe” and can lead to infection and breathing problems.


In 2015, at the annual meeting of


, they described in their research findings that most healthy people would benefit from a light meal in labour (2). In 2017 other Systematic Review and Meta-analysis concluded, that low-risk women who were allowed to eat during labour had shorter labours and this didn’t influence other obstetric or neonatal outcomes nor did it increase the incidence of vomiting (3).


1-DOI: 10.1016/s0002-9378(16)39829-5

2- Harty, C. et all (24 Oct,2015) - A Review of Fasting and the Risk of Aspiration in Labour,

3-DOI: 10.1097/AOG.0000000000001898