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Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol. 1998 May;78(1):37-40.

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

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  • 1Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Leyenburg Hospital, The Hague, The Netherlands.



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.


50 midwives and 30 obstetricians were asked about their actual policy on food and fluid-intake during labour.


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.


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.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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