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



  


1 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users

 

Tell us what you think

to WIN 1 of 2 $500 Coles/Myer gift cards

Dealing with a toddler's morning tantrums

Your schedule is not important to your two-year-old, and you cannot convince her otherwise. So what can you do?

Child in suitcase 'could have died eight years ago'

A child whose remains were dumped in a suitcase in the South Australian bush is believed to have been a girl aged between two-and-a-half to four.

MP breastfeeds baby during parliamentary session

An Argentinian mum and politician has caused a stir on social media after being filmed breastfeeding her baby.

My baby's first seizure

It was 1am on a cold winter's night when I woke suddenly to the screams of my 12-month-old son. Our lives were about to change forever.

Portable pools 'more dangerous than permanent ones'

Inflatable and portable children's pools may be required to be sold with compulsory fencing to prevent backyard drownings, with some experts even floating the idea of a ban.

Heartbreaking moment mum kisses her one-week-old goodbye

At 11.07am on April 2 this year, Sarah Marriott welcomed baby Sebastian into the world.

The amazing Tee Pee bed and kid-friendly Frankie Bunk bed

These kids' beds definitely fit the brief of providing personality and personal space for little people who are moving up in the world.

The funny things kids say when you're pregnant

Since becoming noticeably pregnant, my son has taken more of an interest in the sibling he'll soon have.

The real problem with having one child

In this age of political correctness, it seems the one subject still subject to discrimination is that of the Only Child.

Six-week-old baby found dead, believed stabbed

A neighbour heard a child screaming before a baby was found dead, believed to have been stabbed, in a house in Newcastle.

The fire hazard in more than 70,000 Australian homes

So far, 206 Samsung washing machines have caught fire and some have exploded. But many remain in people's homes.

How having a baby can bring on OCD

We all know that having a baby can turn your life upside down - and it can also bring a raft of new anxieties and worries.

IVF gender selection being considered for Australian parents

Couples using IVF may be able to choose the gender of their babies and women could be financially compensated for donating their eggs.

The best age to get married (according to the latest study)

Not too young, and not too old. That's reportedly the best age to get married. Not everyone agrees.

Yes, you can get pregnant before your period returns post-baby

After giving birth, the last thing you want to think about is contraception. But you can get pregnant before your period comes back.

Fellow diner rewards mum after toddler's tantrum

Parents of toddlers everywhere know the feeling. After working up the courage to take your child out for lunch or dinner in public you are rewarded with a mid-meal meltdown. 

IKEA begins massive safety campaign after two toddler deaths

Two children were killed when pieces from their Malm furniture line tipped over.

Beaneasy: sweet nursery furniture with a twist

If you're looking to introduce an organic element into your baby's nursery but want to step away from natural timber, we have the perfect alternative.

A dad's guide to hyperemesis

I am in no way qualified to advise women on how to cope with hyperemesis, but I've learnt some lessons that might be worth sharing with other partners.

Woman adopts best friend's four daughters after cancer tragedy

Best friends share everything - and for these two life-long friends, that includes family.

Baby Leo's mum excluded from $500K trust 'for her own protection'

Samuel Forrest didn't want his wife as a trustee of their baby Leo's half million dollar trust for her own "protection", it has emerged.

Confirmed: men gain weight when they become dads

Men who become fathers experience weight gain and an increase in body mass index, a measurement of body fat based on height and weight, according to a new, large-scale study

Carer investigated over washing machine photo posted 'for a laugh'

She said the photo of a boy with Down syndrome in a washing machine was taken just for fun, but no one else was laughing.

Mum's premature labour nightmare after high tea salmonella outbreak

An opulent high tea at a luxury Melbourne hotel has left 44 people with salmonella poisoning - including a pregnant woman, who went into early labour.

The day my son started a fire

Would you know what to do in a fire emergency? How safe is your home and family?

Prince George celebrates second birthday

Prince George's second birthday has been marked by the release of an official picture showing the toddler smiling as he is held by his proud beaming father.

Which beauty treatments are safe in pregnancy?

Is it safe to use fake tan, hair dye and nail varnish during pregnancy?

The five ways I know my 'baby' is no longer a baby

The truth is, I can no longer deny that my walking, babbling, somewhat-independent little miss is no longer a bona fide 'baby'.

Review: Cybex Platinum PRIAM pram

I'm not usually one who believes in love at first sight but that's exactly what happened when I first saw the Cybex PRIAM.

Get your FREE Baby & Toddler Show ticket!

Get your free ticket to the Sydney Essential Baby & Toddler Show for September 25-27 - register online now.

 
Advertisement
 
Advertisement
 
 
 

What's hot on EB

Tell us what you think

to WIN 1 of 2 $500 Coles/Myer gift cards

Why I'm choosing to be a single mother right from the start

I believe that you get out of families what you put into them, and I will give mine my all.

Mother and baby units are a necessity for mental health, not a luxury

I have had two postnatal psychotic episodes. The first when my eldest child was six weeks old, and another after my second child was born.

30 French baby names

French names are always in fashion, but a few have risen in popularity in recent years.

New mum's Spanish maternity nightmare

A British woman who gave birth in Spain has told of her ordeal after spending weeks trying to convince medics the baby girl was hers.

Preparing Rover to be a good dog with baby

Some friends of ours say that it's dangerous to have a dog around a newborn and that we should start looking for a new home for him. Is it?

Company offers to ship working mums' breast milk home

First Apple and Facebook announced they would pay $20,000 towards the cost of their female employees freezing their eggs, now IBM in the US has come up with an innovative new policy aimed at retaining female employees.

Prince William speaks of his pride at wife Kate and 'little joy of heaven' Charlotte

The Duke of Cambridge opened up about family life and his plans for the future in an interview to mark his first day as an air ambulance pilot.

'Glowing' eye saves baby Mason's life

A simple photo taken in front of an evening fire gave new mother Sarah Bowers the power to save her baby's life. 

Parenting and decision overload

Of all the advice people told me before having a baby, no one warned me about the amount of decisions involved.

Proof that toddlers can't be left unsupervised - ever

Parents of toddlers all know the moment when realise your child is being suspiciously quiet. It can only mean one thing - trouble!

Meet Jeremy Ryan, The Voice contestant with seven kids

If you have trouble recalling the ages of Jeremy Ryan's seven children on The Voice, you're not alone. So does he.

Baby's adorable reaction to wearing glasses for the first time

Getting glasses can be a formative moment in a person's life.

Police officer buys supplies for family after mum of six caught shoplifting

When a mum of six was caught shoplifting nappies, clothes and shoes for her kids, the last thing she expected was for a stranger to pay for her haul.

Why pregnant women on antidepressants shouldn’t panic about birth defect claims

The risk of having uncontrolled depression is far greater than the small increased risk of birth defects that may be associated with specific antidepressants.

Arrests made over children's birthday party brawl

Police have raided properties and arrested a number of people over a brawl at a child's birthday party at a play centre in Sydney's west.

Family shares awesome drone baby announcement

Looking for a creative way to share some big news? Look to the skies, like this family did.

Young warrior Owen defies doctors' predictions

Little Owen DiCandilo's name means "young warrior", and it's a description that perfectly fits the inspiring 18-month-old

Advice for dads: when to approach your wife for sex

The exhaustion that comes with caring for young children often means romance between parents becomes a thing of the past.

I might be fat, but I don't need saving

I've been fat for pretty much most of life, besides a few crazy moments of being less-fat, but for the most part I've existed on this earth with a little more meat on my bones than desirable.

The rookie mistakes we make as parents

Since the dawn of civilisation, generation after generation of new parents have had to rely on instinct, trial and error - and sometimes get it wrong.

 

FREE TICKET

See Pinky McKay live in Sydney

Get your free ticket to The Essential Baby & Toddler Show and save $20 - register online now!

 
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.