Don’t force to fasting and don’t forbid fluid intake during labour.

Traditionally during labour it is not allowed to take liquid or food because it is believed that in the case of general anesthesia the gastric content may increase the risk of Mendelson syndrome (chemical pneumonia caused by gastric juice aspiration during anesthesia) whose incidence during cesarean section is estimated to be of 15:10.000. The Randomized Controlled Trials (RCT) comparing restriction vs feeding did not found differences in terms of neonatal outcomes neither in terms of harmful effects, included the Mendelson Syndrome, to support this restriction.
Even the intake of a quantity of 10 tablespoons of carbohydrates has not negative effects. Thus, there is not good reason to fasting women during labour, especially in case of women with a low risk of obstetric complications.


1. Practice guidelines for obstetrical anesthesia. A report by the American Society of Anesthesiologist Task Force on Obstetrical Anesthesia. Anesthesiology 1999;90:600-611
2. Singata M. et al. Restricting oral fluid and food intake during labour. Cochrane Database Syst Rev.2013
3. Scheepers HCJ et al. A double-blind, placebo controlled study on the influence of carbohydrate solution intake during labor. BJOG. 2002;109:178-182.



Attention. Please note that these items are provided only for information and are not intended as a substitute for consultation with a clinician. Patients with any specific questions about the items on this list or their individual situation should consult their clinician.