You may be pleased to know that new Canadian research has come out to suggest that eating a small, light meal during labour is ok for most healthy mothers.

Since the 1940’s, we were previously told to forego any eating due to the risk of pneumonia caused aspiration. Aspiration is a condition where food or liquid gets inhaled into the lungs while using anesthesia.

Thanks to medical advancements in anesthesia care, this problem is now highly unlikely in a modern facility.

Eating a light meal is now looked at as have significant benefits for low-risk mothers to help sustain the energy it takes to progress through the various stages of labour.

If you are able to eat, you will want to have snack sized portions instead of a big meal. Once you’re in active labour, you may find that you no longer have an appetite but you now have reserved a little more energy thanks to having a little nutrition in your body.

Sugary foods tend to be easier to digest but the energy will wear off faster and can make you “crash” feeling more tired than you previously felt. So it’s best to stay away from things like chocolate. However sucking on honey sticks may give you the surgery need you want without leaving you to crash on a sugar high.

Carbs will give you a slow release of energy and are there for better for labour.

So what kinds of things are best to eat:

We suggest things like:

  • Bananas
  • Mashed Potatoes
  • Toast
  • Honey Sticks
  • Carrots
  • Yogurt


We can’t forget drinks too. Sports drinks or coconut water are also great for labour due to the their ability to restore your electrolytes.

If you’re wanting to eat in labour, make sure you chat with your doctor about any concerns that you may have and your own unique risks for labour.

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