If you always imagined yourself giving birth while calmly eating a burrito in between contractions, your dream may soon be realized, Slate reports.
According to a new study from a Canadian research team, via the American Society of Anesthesiologists' annual conference, the commonly held belief used to be that if women ate during labor, they might aspirate their food (aka breathe it into their airways), but researchers only found one case of this between the years of 2005 and 2013, and that patient was also dealing with complications from a pregnancy disorder.
They also looked at data from 385 studies from the past 25 years and found that women in labor are using energy and burning calories in a similar way that marathon runners do, and since the risk of aspirating seems to be almost zero, anesthesiologists are now giving the OK for people with healthy pregnancies to eat a light meal while in labor.
Granted, this might not be the time when you're exactly famished, but the study says that if you don't have enough food in your system, your body could be using fat as your energy source, which would make the baby's and your blood more acidic, which would reduce uterine contractions. Plus, there's also the argument that it's harder to keep up the intense exertion of labor when you don't have enough fuel in your body.
So eat that burrito (or per their direct advice, "fruit, light soups, toast, light sandwiches (no large slices of meat), juice and water") during labor and live out those dreams, hypothetical person I made up who probably exists.