Forbidden Food & Drink

Sep 06

Jenny Jacki Hunter

I always keep a snack in my training pack for my pregnant clients. Most of them are mindful that they need to eat every few hours to keep blood sugars level, but with pregnancy on the brain, sometimes my girls forget and end up mid-workout feeling queasy and zapped of energy.

So it completely blows my mind when doctors and hospitals forbid laboring women from eating or drinking during labor. As a doula, my job is to make sure my client is comfortable, has effective contractions and support her in any way I can while her body works to push that baby down and out. Sometimes I’m awake for 36 hours and I’ll be damned if I’m going hungry! I keep odorless snacks handy, like fruit, nuts, granola bars and plenty of water to go around.

What of my laboring client? Her body is a calorie-burning machine – labor is truly a marathon-like sporting event with a distant finish line and unless she has a source of fuel and hydration, she is headed towards disaster. Even though she may not want to eat much, keeping her on top of hydration and choosing easy-to-digest foods is key to going the distance!

Honestly, this whole theory of prohibiting women from eating and drinking during labor is archaic. It’s been outdated as of 2009, and yet, in every hospital birth I’ve ever been to, women are welcomed with a styrofoam cup of measly cup of ice chips.

Get with the times! Ugh!

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