Eating During Labor, with Rebecca Dekker

The Birthful Podcast: Episode #27

In this episode of the Birthful Podcast, I talk to Rebecca Dekker of Evidence Based Birth about evidence based labor practices, and specifically about eating and drinking during labor. It turns out that many hospital labor practices are not based on evidence, and can in fact be detrimental to the process. How can you know what is what? Rebecca has the answer.


To listen here, click the play button on the player above, or click the button below to listen in iTunes.

go to iTunes



What we talked about:

  • The 3 “legs” of Evidence Based birth
  • Where did the idea of not eating during labor come from?
  • What does “risk of aspiration” have to do with being struck by lightning?
  • Studies show that 80% of women were not allowed to eat during labor
  • It’s your (low-risk) labor and you can eat if you want to
  • How can IV fluids affect your baby’s weight?
  • Handouts to discuss with your care provider
  • Following the evidence so you don’t have to: inductions for big baby, failure to progress, vitamin-K shot, waterbirth, doulas, fetal monitoring.


Links for more on evidence-based maternity:

And if you want to dig into the research yourself:


UK College of Nursing Faculty, 082310

Courtesy of Rebecca Dekker

[mark]About Rebecca Dekker[/mark]

Rebecca Dekker is Assistant Professor of Nursing at a research-intensive university in the U.S. She received her Master of Science in Nursing and Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing from the University of Kentucky and her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Although her academic research career began with a focus on testing treatments for depression in people with heart conditions, Rebecca has built a strong reputation in maternal and child circles for her pioneering work as the founder of Evidence Based Birth®. The mission of Evidence Based Birth is to get research evidence into the hands of mothers and families, inspiring them to make more informed decisions about their care.

Rebecca serves as a peer reviewer for maternal health research journals, volunteers on the advisory board for, and has presented to a number of leading organizations in the birthing field, including the American College of Nurse Midwives, the March of Dimes, and Lamaze and DONA International.

Find out what other birth topics Rebecca is tackling at, or join the conversation on Facebook.


Get Your FREE Postpartum Plan!

Sign up to get access to my NEW Postpartum Prep. Plan to help you prepare for life with a newborn! You'll also get updates from me from time to time.

We won't send you spam. Unsubscribe at any time. Powered by ConvertKit

Recent Episodes

Is Homebirth for You?

Is Homebirth for You?

Robina Khalid of Small Things Grow Midwifery explains what it takes to truly consider a homebirth, and shares with Adriana how to prepare for a successful experience. What myths or misconceptions do you have about homebirth? We'll unpack them at @birthfulpodcast on...

Cesarean Risk: What’s Your Place of Birth Got to Do With It?

Cesarean Risk: What’s Your Place of Birth Got to Do With It?

Cesarean rates have increased 500% in one generation, and about half of them may be unnecessary. Harvard Medical School professor and ACOG Fellow Dr. Neel Shah talks with Adriana about how the hospital you choose can be your #1 risk of having a surgical birth, how we...

*May contain affiliate links. This means that -at no extra cost to you- I may get a small percentage of what you buy. That is one of the ways of helping me continue to do this podcast – Thank you!