Why it may be okay to eat and drink during labor - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Why it may be okay to eat and drink during labor

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For years, women have had to endure childbirth without food or drink.

Now -- a new review of research suggests many laboring moms shouldn't have to go hungry.

The "no food during labor" policy was put in place because of a small risk for Mendelson's syndrome -- which occurs when small bits of regurgitated food are inhaled during general anesthesia.

Experts examined studies that looked at restricting food and drink for women who were at low risk for needing general anesthesia during labor.

They concluded there's no justification for such restrictions -- but said more research is needed for women who are more likely to need heavier anesthesia.

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