Oral Intake in Labour

Selected Guideline Examples Date
North Bristol NHS Trust March 2014
Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust March 2014
Wider Scope
General Points
  • Categorise oral intake according to risk of emergency procedure
  • Obese (BMI >40) should not eat in labour
  • If parenteral opiates given should avoid food
  • Balance of ketosis in starvation against increase in gastric volumes and solid content with eating.
  • If no specific risks evidence shows light diet permissible
We Liked
  • Best practice points to summarise
  • Reminder that eating and drinking should be re-established as soon as possible and safe in the postoperative period (Bristol)
  • Clarification re definition of clear fluids and what type of sports drinks allowed
  • Clarification of what food is suitable as a light diet
  • Well referenced. (Bristol)
We Didn't Like
  • Excessively detailed discussions about research (Bristol)
  • Stopping fluids only if LSCS definite (Bristol) suggest when likely rather than definite
  • Confusion about whether women who have received pethidine can have isotonic drinks (p3) or just water (p1)
Not Sure
  • Bristol has comprehensive evidence detailed that is interesting but possibly too long in the main guideline.

Information for expectant
parents and midwives’

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