Aspects of food and fluid intake during labour. Policies of midwives and obstetricians in The Netherlands.

H.C.J. Scheepers*, G.G.M. Essed, F.J.P.H. Brouns

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Leyenburg Hospital, The Hague, The Netherlands.

OBJECTIVE: This study outlines the current policies on food and fluid intake during labour in The Netherlands and discusses the pro's and con's of food-restriction. STUDY DESIGN: 50 midwives and 30 obstetricians were asked about their actual policy on food and fluid-intake during labour. RESULTS: A restrictive policy during normal labour is followed by 20% of the midwives and 14% of the obstetricians. About 75% leaves the decision on food and fluid-intake to the women themselves. CONCLUSIONS: Despite the non-restrictive policy in The Netherlands, the mortality due to the Mendelson-syndrome is not higher than in countries where a restrictive policy is followed. During normal labour there are no conclusive reasons for food or fluid-restriction. From a metabolic point of view it is hypothesized that the intake of energy-rich substrates may have a positive influence on labour progression. Further study on the subject seems indicated.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37-40
Number of pages4
JournalEuropean Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Reproductive Biology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1998

Cite this