Jump to content

Fuel for a marathon...and labour?
Would sports gels/drinks help in labour?


18 replies to this topic

#1 Cyaira

Posted 30 April 2012 - 03:23 PM

So I've often heard that labour is much like running a marathon*. Except often much longer, and harder, particularly as pregnancy has already taken a large toll on a woman's body.

As a runner, I'm always interested in getting more out of my runs. I was reading that a study in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research showed that energy and electrolyte drinks and gels can increase endurance by up to 13%, as they provide easily accessible glucose to working muscles.

I know some women can eat and drink in labour quite easily but for those who might find it difficult, these drinks/gels can be very easy to consume and digest, particularly when your body is under stress. And maybe after the birth, choosing foods high in carbs and protein could help post-labour recovery.

Would this sort of thing help in labour by reducing muscle fatigue and maybe pain? Has anyone tried it? Would you choose different foods (not even necessarily sports ones) in labour to fuel you if you started thinking about labour being like a marathon?

Has anyone seen any research on this topic?

Food for thought.




*I haven't experienced labour first hand, if that makes a difference. But I'd like to try for a natural birth if possible and well fueled muscles could only help with that, right?

#2 Bel Rowley

Posted 30 April 2012 - 03:29 PM

I remember having similar thoughts prior to having my first baby. I also do a bit of running and ran my first half marathon the year before I became pregnant, so I was interested to see how the experience of labour compared to distance running. To be honest I found labour and birth easier than the half marathon! I do think being fit and preparing your body to give birth can help. I know there is a lot of luck involved too, but I believe that going into labour with my body well prepped was beneficial and I recovered well from both my birth experiences. As far as food/drink goes, I wasn't able to eat a thing while in labour. As soon as active labour started I vomited up anything I tried to eat. I did find myself craving Powerade, and drank a bit of it while in labour with my first. So yeah, I think you could be on to something.

#3 Boombox

Posted 30 April 2012 - 03:31 PM

I made a "labour-aide" from a recipe on the internet, and I swear it made my contractions more effective.

From memory it had lemon juice, honey, salt and a calcium + magnesium tablet crushed up. I made it up and froze it in advance, then when I left home for the hospital I got it out and sipped it as it defrosted. I had water as well, and would sip on the labour-aide when I felt I needed it. It would make sense that it helps with stamina- it has the sugar for energy, and apparently the magnesium helps in muscle function.



#4 Eirinn

Posted 30 April 2012 - 03:35 PM

Yup, look up labourade recipes  original.gif

#5 Bunsen the feral

Posted 30 April 2012 - 03:37 PM

I drank powerade during labour - not sure if it was that or the 9 months of carb loading beforehand that got me through  tongue.gif

No idea if it's good for muscles etc but it is easy to drink without being sickly sweet and sits better in your stomach when your feeling a bit queasy so it worked for me.

#6 loubee

Posted 30 April 2012 - 03:47 PM

Sports drinks, yes Gels, no. I have enough trouble eating gels while running let alone in labour. They make me gag, blerk. Given you aren't moving (running)  you dont need something that is transportable, there are many other foods that would provide the same benefit. In an ultra marathon last year I ate a seed, nut & dark choc mix. It was fantastic.



#7 spersephone

Posted 30 April 2012 - 03:50 PM

When I've been in labour, I haven't wanted to eat anything.  I'm prone to throwing up while in labour, so anything I attempt comes back up again.

I do remember they said I was low in ketones, most likely because I hadn't eaten or drunk for about 12 hours by that time, but I went on to have my baby a couple of hours later, and my appetite came back afterwards.

#8 chocolatecrackle

Posted 30 April 2012 - 03:50 PM

There was a report last year of a woman who ran a marathon at 38 weeks and then gave birth the next day... I wonder if she got the 'birth is like running a marathon' message slightly confused wink.gif

I seem to remember that with gels you have to have water with them? I don't think it would be a good idea to have something that requires you to drink - just in case you can't manage it. Of course if you're induced, they'll be pumping you full of fluid anyway...

But yes, it does seem a reasonable idea. I thought about it, but the little I did drink came straight back up so it probably wouldn't have worked out for me.  The birth suite of the hospital I was at did supply lots of fruit juices and sugary soft drink, so there were some options, even if not the same as gels.

Actually, thinking back, I didn't actually feel that worn out from labour - just tired from no sleep in 48 hours. I don't think that any kind of sports supplement could help with that.

#9 liveworkplay

Posted 30 April 2012 - 03:53 PM

There is no way I could eat or drink anything but ice water during my labours. But I didn't particularly feel worn out, just tired from being a wake for so long. After my 26 hour labouor I had a cup of tea and a biscuit and my 5 hour one I was more hungry after and had sandwiches as well. During both I had all the supplies but ended up crunching ice chips.

#10 QueenElsa

Posted 30 April 2012 - 03:58 PM

I tried during my first labour but vomited. Didn't bother trying with second labour but vomited up the previous meal anyway.

Worth a try definitely, but you may not be able to keep it down.

#11 Etcetera

Posted 02 May 2012 - 06:50 AM

I didn't eat during labour, just never had the urge, and they weren't very long labours.
I did have powerade which made a nice change from water!

#12 new~mum~reenie

Posted 02 May 2012 - 10:23 AM

I vomited up my dinner as soon as hard labour hit. I don't think my body liked the idea of digesting AND working my interns at the same time!! biggrin.gif

From (hazy, in the zone, memory) I just had sips of water when prompted. I think I should have had a juice box or something too, in hindsight. I was quite shakeu/woozy after labouring all night with no food to sustain me. After birth the student midwife made me a sweet Ovaltine and some honey toast while the me tucked me up on the couch with bub original.gif layer DH made me a staminade (i keep powder in the pantry - but that's the benefit of homebirth) and I perked up amd felt 'normal' by about 3 hours later. I, though, an nowhere as fit as you! original.gif

Good luck OP.

#13 Bluenomi

Posted 02 May 2012 - 11:21 AM

I'm a big fan of my food but did not want to eat or drink during labour. I made myself eat some breakfast in the early stages which all came back up again later and the midwife had to force me to drink water (which again came back up)

It's a great theory but a lot of woman can't handle anything in their stomach while labouring.

#14 lakurumau

Posted 02 May 2012 - 11:28 AM

I had powerade/gatorade (can't remember which) during my first labour and will be packing it in my hospital bag this time around too. I felt it definitely helped. Easily digestible, kept me hydrated, and we packed enough so that my husband could have a few sips too!

I remember having loads of energy after labour, despite not eating.

#15 sophiasmum

Posted 02 May 2012 - 01:29 PM

Really, the last thing I felt like doing was eating & drinking during labour, I was too focussed on what my body was doing.

#16 Shellby

Posted 02 May 2012 - 06:47 PM

I couldn't eat or drink during labour - with my first I brought dinner up and with my second I just didn't even feel like it, just wanted to labour and remembered how I threw up with my first and didn't want to do that again.

Really I didn't get physically exhausted, yes labour is hard on your stomach muscles but the rest of your muscles are fine so I think that helps you not get tried from that.

My second I wasn't that tried, exhausted or anything but I was induced in the morning, went into labour that afternoon and had Ben at 7, so I only had a normal day to deal with whereas my first I was sleepy, but my waters had broken 2-3 days beforehand so I had not been sleeping as I was excited and waiting for labour, didn't get induced until the late afternoon, no labour until 6pm and he was born at 2am - so it was more lack of sleepy tried than exhausted.

I say sure take it with you, my DH would have loved it and if you find like me you can't and don't want to drink during labour then at least your Dh can have something to keep him going.

#17 White-Lily

Posted 03 May 2012 - 09:56 AM

I made DH stop and get me powerade on the way to hospital. I drank half and threw it up not long after, along with everything else I had eaten that arvo/night. Not fun.

By all means, take it but it might not stay down.

I was tired after from being awake all night but not exhausted like I had run a marathon or anything. I was awake all day after being in labour all night and was felt fine after a shower and some lunch really.

#18 cloudstreet

Posted 03 May 2012 - 10:06 AM

I had a similar discussion with my DH recently. He's training for a marathon and I wondered whether the gels would help a labouring woman. Next time I think I will try! I didn't throw up during labour (but I had an induction/epidural so that probably changes things). Afterwards I found Gatorade really helpful.

#19 Cyaira

Posted 03 May 2012 - 06:53 PM

Thanks for all your replies! I'm so glad other people have thought similar thoughts.

It looks like sports drinks are definitely worth trying so I will do that for sure. I may try a homemade smoothie/labour-aid as well (freezing beforehand is a great idea!). I love how so many of your DHs played such an active support role.

I guess nobody knows how they will handle eating/drinking in labour (even between pregnancies?) but from the replies it seems like a common thing to not want to eat anything. But it seems worth a try, if not just for afterwards.

Thanks again



Reply to this topic



  


2 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 2 guests, 0 anonymous users

 

Wet wipes linked to rise in allergic reactions

The government has issued a health warning after a rise in allergic skin reactions has been linked to a preservative found in some wet wipes.

Gay couple in their 80s first to wed in Dallas after Supreme Court ruling

Love may have won, but it came with quite the wait.

William Tyrrell's family marks birthday with cake and renewed appeal

The family of missing boy William Tyrrell will mark his fourth birthday on Friday making a cake to share with friends and family as NSW police renewed their public appeal for information on his disappearance.

What all parents should know about safe babywearing

A picture of Ryan Reynolds always gets the girls talking, and a recently shared photo has done exactly that - but this time, it's for all the wrong reasons.

Baby's head shape reveals potentially fatal condition

Thinking her baby just had an unusually shaped head, a mother was shocked to discover it was instead linked to a dangerous condition.

'Help - my toddler hits me!'

My toddler has started hitting when he gets frustrated, is feeling ignored, or just thinks it might be fun.

Why IVF success rates may not be what you think

Transparency, accountability and responsibilityare essential measures to protect IVF vulnerable patients.

On the 10th anniversary of my son's death

This day marks a significant day. Today marks 10 years since I lost my son Kai.

Owning a pair of nail scissors does not make me a hairdresser

It's been a whole year since sleeping in until 10am. A whole year since having a peaceful shower.

WIN A $500 VISA DEBIT CARD

Are you a parent, or are you planning to be? Tell us what you think and you'll go in the draw to win a $500 gift card!

Sexy time

Why you should get excited about scheduling sex

Unfortunately, the belief that sex should always be spontaneous is a myth. It just isn't.

Orphaned baby daughter Ayla wakes from coma

Former All Black Jerry Collins' critically injured orphaned daughter has awoken from her coma and is able to bottle-feed.

Dad takes miraculous catch while feeding baby

One American father has taken multitasking to a new level at a Cubs-Dodgers baseball game at Wrigley Field.

'Samuel is our firstborn, and he will never be forgotten'

Having lost their firstborn at one day old, the Carrolls were overjoyed to welcome their daughter Isobel into the world a year later.

The top 6 misleading parenting terms

From 'morning sickness' to 'the terrible twos', there are many parenting terms that are misleading.

When 'good' nannies go bad

While most nannies take pride in their work, there can be some who have a hidden side.

Woman hospitalised for skinny jeans injury

Beware: skinny jeans might be bad for your health.

Gauze seeding: the bacteria-breeding birth trend

A number of women having caesarean deliveries are now taking steps to give their baby a better 'microbiome' start in life.

Jimmy Fallon writes new children's book for dads

Jimmy Fallon, host of NBC's The Tonight Show, recently wrote a children's book about every father's secret wish for their baby's first word to be "dada" - not "mama".

28 names for babies born in winter

Looking for some baby name inspiration for a bub born during the colder months? Here are 28 options from around the world to consider.

 
Advertisement
 
Advertisement
 
 
 

What's hot on EB

27 funny ultrasound pictures

Ultrasounds give you a look at your growing baby ... and sometimes what appears to their womb-buddy, or your bub in an amusing position.

The horrible act that sparked a brawl at child's birthday party

The uncle of the seven-year-old girl at the centre of the brawl at child's birthday party in Sydney's west has described the events leading up to the alarming show of violence.

Babies 'benefit from iPads at a young age': study

More often than not, you'll read that screen time for children should be kept to a minimum - but some scientists are now challenging this way of thinking.

Do mums really just obsessively talk about their children?

Natalie Reilly describes three main types of conversations mothers have. And, surprise, they're not all about kids.

Why some dogs might attack babies or young kids

A baby's smell, the noises it makes and even its gaze can contribute to the potential for a dog attack.

Mum demands refund for 'beargina' christening cake

It was meant to be a tasteful cake to help celebrate a three-year-old's christening.

5 things no one warns you about after giving birth

How many times have you been warned about all the sleepless nights you have to 'look forward to' when you become a parent?

Police officer sang nursery rhyme as heartbreaking photo was taken

A police officer arrived at a devastating scene on Thursday: a car crash resulting in all passengers being thrown from the vehicle.

Don't worry, working mums: Just leave Dad in charge at home

Want to open the boardroom doors for women? Encourage - heck, praise - dads who stay home with their children.

Hilaria Baldwin shares post-baby selfie

Just two days after giving birth, actor Alec Balwin's wife posted a post-baby picture on social media.

'Help - my child won't ever do what I ask!'

Compliance is part of the parent-child relationship, but so is resistance. It's all natural.

Postnatal depression support gets $23 million boost in NSW

The Baird government will include $22.8 million in Tuesday's NSW budget to expand a program designed to help parents at risk of postnatal depression (PND).

'I'm just as tired, scared and stressed as you': stay-at-home dad's plea

I'm really lucky to have two great kids, but I found it really tough with so much being aimed at the mothers and not the fathers.

6 tips for transitioning back to work after baby

Mums returning to work - and yes, dads too - aren't the same as when they left. But that doesn't mean they're not as good as they once were.

Couple reveals pregnancy with epic Britney Spears parody

How do you create an original pregnancy announcement and gender reveal? You turn to Britney Spears.

The truth about birthing a big baby

When told that they are having a 'big baby', many women have a lot of fears. But those fears are often unfounded.

Eight months pregnant and addicted to eating soap

This bizarre snack takes the cake (of soap) when it comes to weird pregnancy cravings.

Can you spot the drowning child?

Can you spot him in the video? The child who loses his rubber ring, panics, and then almost drowns? It isn't easy.

Noodles, peanuts, wee wees and lady bits

Yes, I know it's silly. I know all the advice from experts is to use the right terminology from the moment your child can talk. But I just can't.

Mum's brave battle for unborn triplets amid cancer diagnosis

Bree O'Malley has a cancer diagnosis, a rare blood condition, kidney and liver failure and other complications. And she is pregnant with triplets.

 

Win $500

WIN A $500 VISA DEBIT CARD

Are you are parent or planning to be? We want to know what you think - let us know and you'll be in the draw to win a $500 gift card.

 
Advertisement
 
 
Essential Baby and Essential Kids is the place to find parenting information and parenting support relating to conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids, maternity, family budgeting, family travel, nutrition and wellbeing, family entertainment, kids entertainment, tips for the family home, child-friendly recipes and parenting. Try our pregnancy due date calculator to determine your due date, or our ovulation calculator to predict ovulation and your fertile period. Our pregnancy week by week guide shows your baby's stages of development. Access our very active mum's discussion groups in the Essential Baby forums or the Essential Kids forums to talk to mums about conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids and parenting lifestyle. Essential Baby also offers a baby names database of more than 22,000 baby names, popular baby names, boys' names, girls' names and baby names advice in our baby names forum. Essential Kids features a range of free printable worksheets for kids from preschool years through to primary school years. For the latest baby clothes, maternity clothes, maternity accessories, toddler products, kids toys and kids clothing, breastfeeding and other parenting resources, check out Essential Baby and Essential Kids.