This is the protocol for a review and there is no abstract. The objectives are as follows:
To assess the impact of early or routine intravenous fluid administration on the duration and course of labour.
To determine the risks and benefits of early or routine intravenous fluid administration during labour.
To determine the risks and benefits of different fluid regimens (ie. different volumes or different types of fluids and or both) used in labour.
A subgroup analysis will also be performed on the following studies:
Compare the course of labour when intravenous fluids are compared to oral intake ( food or water or both);
Compare the course of labour when oral intake is supplemented by routine intravenous fluids versus oral intake only.