Restriction of Water for Laboring Mothers Feels Like Torture


Just kidding. At least for marathon runners.  For laboring women, well, that's a different story in the Mid-Ohio Valley and across many U.S. hospitals.

On average, it takes between 4-5 hours for a marathon runner to complete the Boston Marathon with multiple water stops along the way.  They're expending ample amounts of energy, it only makes sense, right?

Annually, Esali Birth hosts the Mother's Day 5k to help provide education and awareness for healthier and happier birth and breastfeeding experiences across the Mid-Ohio Valley and beyond.  As this race has grown, we've had to adapt to demands, one of the most important during the entire [approximately] 1 hour 5k walk and run race is having enough water prior to the race, on the course at water stops, and at the finish line immediately available.  Not only will participants not feel well without access to water, they can get agitated and eventually not attend our race again.

Imagine what these racers might feel like if they have to walk, jog, or run an entire 5k - 3.1 miles - without water.  Imagine if we allowed them limited ice chips, but no water.  Imagine if we didn't have a smorgasbord of snacks available to them, or they were forbidden to (and scolded if they) bring their own.

On average, Mayo Clinic tells us that active labor (after you've reached 4 cm dilation by clinical terms) lasts approximately 4-8 hours or more and total labor lasts "for hours or days."

Could you work an 8 hour shift at your job without anything but maybe a cup of ice chips or a popsicle?  What about a whole day?  What about two?  Even if we gave you an IV because you got dehydrated?  I mean, if your boss did that to you, they'd be arrested because that's illegal to restrict food and drink to another human being, right?  Heck, it's illegal to do that to an animal.

Why are U.S. hospitals, providers, and staff torturing women and babies like this?

According to Every Mother Counts, two mothers die every day from pregnancy or childbirth complications in the U.S. and 98% of those are preventable.  The U.S has 59 other countries across the world with better maternal health outcomes, including developed countries.  Do we have to wonder why that is?

If you think restricting water for racers is unacceptable, I implore you to consider what your community - your wife, sister, daughter, friend, co-worker - is accepting every single day.  Well over 1,000 births occur in the Mid-Ohio Valley annually and unless the consumers - YOU - speak up and accept nothing less than a happy healthy birth, women and babies will continue to rank 60th across the world for maternal health all the while paying more per capita than other countries.  We don't do this by sneaking food and drink into labor bags - we do it by:

#1 - Hiring care providers and birth locations that support biological birth OR at the very least,

#2 - Telling the care providers we hire to provide a service to us that we expect the very best of care for our loved ones.

Interested in learning more about eating and drinking during labor, how restriction of food affects you and your baby during pregnancy and beyond, or your human rights in childbirth?  Sign up for a mentoring session or birth class and let's chat!