Normal hospital protocol for a laboring parent is to administer continuous fluids through an IV. In fact, it’s one of the very first things that is done upon hospital admission.
Did you know that this practice was introduced and has been the norm since the 1940’s ?
Why is it protocol?🤔
Can you refuse IV fluids?🤔
What are the possible side effects?🤔
📌The protocol for continuous IV fluids comes from the hospital prepping you for an emergency c section. YES, you heard me right! If they allow you to eat and drink normally, they fear that you will inhale stomach contents under general anesthesia. Did you know that this is actually a VERY RARE EVENT AND PRACTICALLY UNHEARD OF TODAY? But yet, it’s STILL protocol to administer IV fluids. It’s the cycle of hospital tradition that is unnecessary 🤨
📌Restricting a laboring parent from drinking fluids and eating can lead to dehydration which causes a whole other set of problems, including a longer labor which will require the use of Pitocin, which kick starts the domino effect of interventions 😕
📌Continuous IV fluids has the potential to cause edema in the mother, causing her to swell from the excess fluid. This causes a whole other set of problems too 😩
📌Guess who else swells from the excess fluid? That’s right! Your baby! Your baby gains fluid weight and is weighed immediately upon birth. This gives a false reading of weight. When baby is seen later on by his/her pediatrician, baby has lost excess fluid weight, and now your pediatrician encourages you to formula feed because “breastfeeding is not going well due to baby losing too much weight” THIS CAN HURT YOUR BREASTFEEDING RELATIONSHIP! No one takes into account excess weight loss because of false weight reading due to excess fluid. Babies exposed to IV fluid should be given a larger weight loss expectancy.
📌So if mommy is swollen from IV fluids, what else can happen?🧐 Her nipples can become swollen, making it harder for her newborn to latch to a swollen nipple and areola. This is where you might see a newborn slipping off of a latch many times. Making mommy and baby frustrated in those crucial first moments of initiating breastfeeding 🤱
📌Continuous IV fluids can also inhibit mommy’s ability to stay completely mobile during labor. Staying mobile reduces pain and keeps labor moving along. Mommy and daddy shouldn’t have to be fumbling and dragging along an IV 😒
📌If you are planning on an epidural, you will need at least 1 bag of fluid before getting the epidural and then stay on IV fluids till delivery of baby 👶🏻
📌LOW RISK MOMMIES AND BABIES DO NOT NEED CONTINUOUS IV FLUIDS. WOULD YOU RUN A MARATHON WITHOUT DRINKING AND EATING? YOUR BODY NEEDS FUEL TO GIVE BIRTH 🔥
✅WHAT CAN YOU DO INSTEAD?✅
➖you can refuse IV fluids altogether
➖you can compromise by refusing IV fluids but agreeing to a saline lock (prep your IV but not administer anything to you unless a complication arises)
➖you can agree to a minimal amount of IV fluids whether it’s intermittent administration or very slow drip, and STILL SELF HYDRATE AND EAT
➖self hydrate and eat! since you will be laboring, have your partner be in charge of reminding you to drink and keep well hydrated!
➖liquids with electrolytes are great, coconut water 💦 too, and food/snacks that are high in protein to keep your energy up. Honey sticks are awesome too!
❇️What does ACOG and The World Health Organization say about it?✅
📌ACOG says that low-risk people should be allowed clear liquids. In a recent statement, they point out that routine continuous infusion of IV fluids may offer no benefit to people in spontaneously progressing labor and may harm freedom of movement.
📌The World Health Organization urges against the use of routine IV fluids and that low risk women should be offered drinks and light meals during labor.
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