For a long time, it has been a common rule in hospitals that you could not eat or drink during labor. The main reason women were initially discouraged from eating during labor is not as relevant now, and a lot of research does not support policies limiting food or drinks during labor. In the past few years, this rule has improved to allow drinking clear liquids, but not every doctor is on board with eating during labor. In contrast, women who give birth at a birth center or home are encouraged to eat and drink during labor. This article examines the energy and hydration requirements of your body during labor, and the evidence to support why you should or should not eat and drink. Plus, if you decide that you want to have food or drinks at your birth, this episode covers the right things to bring, and how to navigate current hospital policies.

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