What Can I Eat While in Labor?

You might have been wondering what can I eat while in labour. You’re probably curious about the benefits of certain foods and drinks and the harms of others. Here are some tips to keep in mind. Read on to learn more. Besides fruit, nuts, and vegetables, you can also have protein and carbohydrate-filled foods. In early labour, these foods might include a turkey sandwich, some nuts, or fruit, and a soup made with rice or noodles.

Limiting food and drink during labor

Many health care providers recommend that women limit food and fluid intake during labor. These restrictions may seem unnecessary, but the benefits of drinking water and other fluids are well-documented. Besides providing the mother with the energy she needs, fluids can help her deal with the physical demands of labor. Not only will fluids keep her hydrated, they also provide her with the nutrients she needs to perform her job. Ultimately, the aim of limiting food and fluid intake during labor is to ensure the safety of the baby and mother.

Some women have a higher risk of aspiration during labor. These women may need surgery. In addition, women with diabetes, acid reflux, or previous abdominal surgery may benefit from eating ice chips during labor. The study design, however, cannot establish a cause-and-effect relationship. Still, the results show that the study is not meant to be a definitive guide for health care providers. But it does suggest that women who are low-risk should avoid restricting their food intake during labor.

Health benefits

While you’re in active labor, you’ll probably feel as though you’re not hungry. It is fine to drink liquids like water and black coffee. During active labor, however, you’ll want to focus on food that’s easy on your stomach and contains natural sugars. Foods with high sodium content or those with strong aromas may cause nausea or even an adverse reaction. If you don’t have any solid food at home, you can buy a few packets of fruit and drink them.

Protein-rich foods like Greek yogurt, cheese, and nut butter are great during early labour. These foods provide energy quickly, but can make you feel nauseous and tired afterward. Protein is especially important during labor, and you should also avoid fried and sugary foods. Some women also like to pack energy gels or energy blocks to keep themselves going throughout the process. These products are oftentimes used by marathon runners and long-distance runners and are easy to consume during active labor.


The traditional belief that women should not eat during labor has been debunked. Researchers looked at the medical records of nearly two thousand women in labor and found no evidence that consuming solid food while in labor causes any significant harm. The idea was first popularized in the 1940s when women were regularly administered general anesthesia. The study’s author, Dr. Curtis Mendelson, hypothesized that women who were unable to eat during labor were at risk of developing pneumonia from the contents of their stomachs.

The ASA House of Delegates passed the Practice Guidelines for Obstetric Anesthesia, which recommend that women eat and drink light meals during labor. Light meals can be simple fruits, soups, toast, sandwiches without large slices of meat or juice. While women lose their appetite during active labor, they are encouraged to drink plenty of fluids. Despite the risks, studies suggest that women who restrict their intake during labor are more likely to experience increased stress and discomfort.


Restrictions on eating and drinking during labor are often a cause of concern among expectant mothers. In a recent study, 40 percent of women giving birth reported that they consumed liquids and ate food during the labour process. However, many women aren’t allowed to eat and drink during labor, due to the fact that eating and drinking are not recommended by SOGC guidelines. The policy depends on the hospital or caregiver.

Restrictions on drinking and eating during labor are not recommended by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), the largest professional organization representing obstetricians. According to ACOG, moderate amounts of clear liquids should be allowed for low-risk women during labor. Nonetheless, women should avoid solid foods during labor. Some studies have found that women who consume small amounts of solid food or drinks during labor can benefit from eating them.