It is essential to stay hydrated during your labor and birth, and if you are dehydrated, it will affect your labor. You can become lethargic and lack energy, and your uterus is going to have a hard time contracting efficiently, which can slow down or stall your labor. There are three ways you can stay hydrated during your labor, by drinking fluids, receiving fluids from an IV or a combination of the two. IV is short for intravenous, and IV fluids are delivered via a needle directly into a vein.
In U.S. hospitals, it is common practice to routinely use IV fluids during labor, especially if you receive other interventions like an epidural or Pitocin. The benefit of being given IV fluids is that you stay hydrated during labor. This intervention also comes along with risks that can impact you, your baby, and even breastfeeding. Whether or not you plan to receive IV fluids during your birth, it is still a good idea to drink fluids during your labor. There are some tips and guidelines on what fluids are best to drink during labor and how you can ensure you stay hydrated during your labor. This episode covers the benefits of staying hydrated during your labor, how you can stay hydrated by drinking fluids, and the benefits and risks of IV fluids during labor.