It’s been nearly two years since I first spoke with Rebecca Dekker from Evidence Based Birth about eating and drinking during labor, and the importance of evidence based information and practices. Recently, Rebecca and her team updated their article on the evidence of “Eating and Drinking During Labor” and- not so surprisingly- not only does the previous evidence still hold, but there is further data support it. This is great news for laboring people- but you’ll have to listen until the end to get the nitty-gritty on the update. Along the way, you’ll also hear about what constitutes evidence-based care, and why it’s important. (Hint: many hospital labor practices are not based on evidence, and can in fact be detrimental to the process.) Listen to find out how you can know what is what.
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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?
- Updated handouts to discuss with your care provider
- What’s changed since 2015
Links to the updated article, and new research on eating and drinking:
- Evidence on Eating and Drinking during Labor, from Evidence Based Birth
- Most healthy women would benefit from light meal during labor, article from the American Society of Anesthesiologists
- Real Life Stories of Eating & Drinking during Labor, Submitted by moms to Evidence Based Birth
Links for more on evidence-based perinatal care:
- Evidence Based Birth website
- Science and Sensibility website
- Improving Birth website
- Kelly Mom website
And if you want to dig into the research yourself:
- Understanding Research: The Birth Professional’s Guide
- PubMedCentral’s free articles
- The Cochrane Library
About Rebecca Dekker
Rebecca Dekker, PhD, RN, APRN, received her Master of Science in Nursing and her Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing from the University of Kentucky. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Dr. Dekker has built a strong reputation in maternal and infant health circles for her pioneering work as the founder of Evidence Based Birth.® The mission of Evidence Based Birth® is to promote evidence based care by putting the research evidence about childbirth into the hands of families and professionals, helping change maternity care from the inside out.
Dr. Dekker serves as a peer reviewer for maternal health research journals, volunteers on the advisory boards for Improving Birth and DONA International, and has presented to a number of leading organizations in the childbirth field, including the American College of Nurse Midwives, the March of Dimes, Lamaze, and DONA International.
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