Archive for 24 July 2010

On more positive notes–rinse with carbs for extra energy in labor??

After Monday’s NYTimes article about the flawed home birth study, I leave you with more positive news: This article, about using a carbohydrate-based mouthwash as a rinse (not swallowed) to provide athletes with an added boost of energy seems potentially huge to me. The study looked at athletes “in intense bouts of exercise, lasting an hour or so,” which sounds a lot like the pushing phase of labor. Though many home birth midwives encourage women to eat and drink during labor, some feel nauseated and unable to keep anything down; furthermore, the article explains, “when blood is diverted from the stomach to working muscles during intense exercise, drinks or foods cause stomach cramps,” which is the last thing you want during hard labor.

“‘You can get an advantage from tricking your brain,’ said a discoverer of the effect, Matt Bridge, a senior lecturer in coaching and sports science at the University of Birmingham in England. ‘Your brain tells your body, “Carbohydrates are on the way.”  And with that message, muscles and nerves are prompted to work harder and longer.’

“It’s a relatively small effect, said George A. Brooks, an exercise researcher at the University of California, Berkeley, who was not involved with the research. But a small difference, he added, ‘can make a big difference. . . .'”

Wow!

–Christina

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24 July 2010 at 5:24 pm Leave a comment


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