Popular pantry staple helps women avoid Caesarean-sections, research reveals.
When dissolved in water, bicarbonate of soda, enables between 17 and 20 per cent of women having slow or difficult labours to give birth naturally, without harming their babies, a study found.
Speaking on the BBC’s Today show, study author Professor Susan Wray from the University of Liverpool explained bicarb neutralises acids in the uterus, which increases women’s likelihood of giving birth vaginally.
The bicarbonate used is the standard type available in supermarkets.
The researchers, which included scientists from the Karolinska Institute in Sweden, analysed 200 women who had difficult or slow labours.
Some of the women then drank water containing bicarbonate of soda.
One hour later, they were given the hormone oxytocin, which is the standard-of-care during slow deliveries and causes the uterus to contract.
Those not given bicarb were administered oxytocin immediately.
The researchers believe consuming bicarb is a simple, cost-effective way to improve the wellbeing of mothers during labour all over the world.
Professor Wray told the Today show: ‘You can buy bicarb as an antacid.
‘It’s really low rent. You can buy it if you feel a little bit hungover, heaven forbid, or if you feel you’ve got indigestion.’
The findings were published in The Journal of Maternal-Fetal & Neonatal Medicine.
Well you learn something new everyday!
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