Many clinicians can list the reasons why use of the intravenous (IV) line for hydration became common in the laboring woman. The harmful effects of IVs are less well-known, particularly to the neonate and the cardiovascular system of the laboring woman. This paper examines the routine use of IVs, particularly when it is initiated secondary to mild ketonuria, without any other sign of dehydration. Also suggested is that the laboring woman's needs for nutrients more closely resemble that of an athlete rather than a passive surgical patient. Implications for practice and suggestions for further research complete this paper.