Study suggests bicarbonate can aid labour

By Julie Griffiths on 18 January 2018 Research Labour

New research has found that ingesting bicarbonate could help women when their natural labour is slowing.

The study published in the journal Maternal-Fetal and Neonatal Medicine involved women with a clinical diagnosis of labour dystocia.

Half of the women were given oxytocin as soon as dystocia was confirmed. While the other half were given bicarbonate first and then Oxytocin one hour after the intake.

The results revealed that adding bicarbonate increased the number of women having a vaginal birth by 17%.

It is believed that the bicarbonate decreases the amniotic fluid lactate levels around the womb, which when high can affect contractions and stop the progress of labour.

The study by Professor Susan Wray from the University of Liverpool and researchers at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden conclude that the simple baking staple has 'the potential to improve maternal morbidity and satisfaction worldwide'.

Access the study here.