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Eat, Drink, and Be Labouring?

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The practice of restricting oral intake during labour has been and remains controversial. Overall, the nutritional needs of labouring women are poorly understood. This literature review reveals that little evidence exists to support the general restriction of oral intake for all labouring women. Education of health professionals and pregnant women regarding intake in labour is required to encourage collaboration in the development and institution of appropriate policies in keeping with the available evidence for best practice.

Keywords: aspiration; gastric motility; labour; oral intake; policies

Document Type: Standard Article


Affiliations: 1: JENNIFER BEGGS is a certified midwife in the Antenatal Ward at the Royal Hospital for Women in Sydney, Australia. 2: M. COLLEEN STAINTON is Professor and Clinical Chair of Women's Health Nursing in the Department of Family and Community Health Nursing at the University of Sydney and at the Royal Hospital for Women in Sydney, Australia.

Publication date: January 1, 2002

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