light diet and obstetric labour

A strength of the double blind trial in clinical work is to challenge old postures in care and give clear and safe guidelines.
Such a trial was to determine whether or not a light diet affects women’s ability to deliver normally and safely. Every Maternity suite throughout the world has its own policy.
Such a trial is recorded in the BMJ 11th April 2009. Consumption of a light diet
( described as a low fat, low residue diet eaten at will ) and the control was water.
The women were nulliparous as the labour was likely to be longer.
Both groups had the same outcome so it is reasonable to allow a light diet during labour. The danger is of aspiration and this is most likely in the obese .
O’Sullivan et al 2009 Effect of food intake during labour on obstetric outcome: randomised controlled trial BMJ vol 338 p 880
Editorial BMJ 2009 Eating a light diet during labour BMJ vol 338 p 842.

Martin Eastwood
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