If you're a mom, you probably remember only being able to snack on ice chips during labor because you were told that eating anything else wasn't safe.
Many pregnant women have been following this advice ever since a 1946 study by Dr. Curtis Mendelson found that women were vomiting and aspirating (inhaling the contents of their stomachs) during labor. But thanks to medical advancements, these risks have been greatly reduced. According to the American Society of Anesthesiologists, there has only been one case of aspiration associated with labor and delivery between 2005 and 2013, and the woman was obese and had preeclampsia.
A new study published in the Obstetrics & Gynecology journal has found that women with low-risk pregnancies are not only fine chowing down, but that eating can actually help them give birth faster.
Ten trials were carried out with 3,982 laboring women who were considered low-risk and were carrying one baby.
The control group was restricted to ice chips and water until they delivered.
Three groups were allowed to eat low-fiber foods during labor.
Some women were only allowed sports drinks. Others could have just honey date syrup.
The last group could eat anything they wanted, and were found to have shorter labors -- some by as many as 16 minutes! What's even better is that eating more freely wasn't found to increase the incidence of vomiting or aspiration.