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Women's Issues :: Eating and Drinking during Labor (Page 4

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Significance to Midwifery
Midwives have traditionally attempted to maintain current medical standards and provide their
clients with the safest and most satisfying birth outcomes in the most natural environment possible.
According to the American College of Nurse-Midwives(2007) the hallmarks of care include
recognizing birth as a normal physiologic process, empowerment of women, advocacy for informed
choice, shared decision-making, and the right to self-determination. As such, midwives are
interested in giving laboring women sound advice based on well-designed and implemented research
studies regarding their options of eating and drinking while in labor. Encouraging a woman to eat or
drink what she chooses during labor helps the mother maintain a sufficient energy level, increase
her sense of control, and keep a positive attitude during the process.
References
American College of Nurse-Midwives. (2007). Core Competencies for Basic Midwifery Practice.
Retrieved September 1, 2007 from
http://www.acnm.org/siteFiles/descriptive/Core_Competencies__6_07.pdf
Blackburn, S.T. (2003). Gastrointestinal and Hepatic Systems and Perinatal Nutrition. Maternal,
Fetal, & Neonatal Physiology: A Clinical Perspective (pp 426-427). St.Louis, MO: Saunders.
Chervenak, F. A., McCullough, L.B., & Birnbach, D.J. (2003). Ethics: An Essential Dimension of
Clinical Obstetric Anesthesia. Anesth Analg, 96, 1480-5.
Douglas, J. (2004). General anesthesia for obstetrics: a deadly or a winning combination. Canadian
Journal of Anesthesiologists, 51(6) R1-R4. LaValley, M. (2003). Intent-to-Treat Analysis of
Randomized Clinical Trials. ACR/ARHP Annual Meeting, Orlando Florida. Retrieved October 1, 2007
from http://people.bu.edu/mlava/
OSullivan, G., Liu, B., & Shennan, A. (2007). Oral Intake During Labor. Int Anesthesiol Clin,
45(1):133-147.
OSullivan, G. & Scrutton, M. (2003). NPO during labor. Is there any scientific validation? Anesthesiol
Clin North America, 21:87-98.
Parsons, M. (2004a). Midwifery Dilemma: to fast or feed the labouring woman. Part 1: The Case for
Restricting Oral Intake during Labour. Australian Journal of Midwifery, 16(4)7-13.
Parsons, M. (2004b). Midwifery Dilemma: to fast or feed the labouring woman. Part 2: The Case
Supporting Oral Intake during Labour. Australian Journal of Midwifery, 17(1)5-9.

Parsons, M., Bidewell, J., & Nagy, S.


(2006). Natural Eating Behavior in
Latent Labor and Its Effect on
Outcomes in Active Labor. J Midwifery
& Women's Health, 51, e1- e6.
Parsons, M., Bidewell, J., & Griffiths,
R. (2007). A comparative study of the
effect of food consumption on labour
and birth outcomes in Australia.
Midwifery, 23, 131-138.
Polit, D. F., Beck, C. T. (2004).
Nursing Research: Principles and
methods (7th ed.). Philadelphia:
Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
Quenby, S., Pierce, S., Brigham, S. & Wray, S. (2004). Dysfunctional Labor and Myometrial Lactic
Acidosis. Obstetric and Gynecology, 103(4), 718-23.

Scheepers, H., Thans, M., Pieter A., Gerard G.M., LeCessie, Saskia, & Kanhai, H. (2001). Eating and
Drinking in Labor: The Influence of Caregiver Advice on Womens Behavior. BIRTH, 28:2.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (2000). Healthy People 2010. Retrieved July 8, 2007
from http://www.healthypeople.gov/
Weber, R. (2006). Comprehensive Reliability. CSE Magazine, 5, 52.

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