Eating and Drinking During Labor
Congratulations! You've decided to birth outside of the system and now comes the fun part. Putting together a snack cabinet that is easily accessible while you're in labor! Did you know that by feeding your body nutritious goodies during labor can help keep you energized and your head in the game?
Labor is one of the hardest workouts you'll ever do so avoiding any food during it can cause undesirable reactions such as nausea, stress headaches, exhaustion, and vomiting. Being too exhausted during labor can lead to dehydration, fewer contractions, and a slower labor altogether. And that's the exact opposite of what we want to do!
However, if you're looking for your "eat whatever you want" card, this isn't it. Eating foods that are too high in sugar, too acidic, and too high in fats and proteins, can also negatively impact your labor.
Let's explore some labor snacks and the best times to eat them.
IDEAS OF WHAT TO EAT DURING EARLY LABOR:
Bananas and apples. You can even top them with the nut butter of your choice.
Grapes. Some women have even reported that eating them while partially frozen also helps to cool them down if they are feeling warm.
Dried fruits. Mangos, apricots, and apples are all great ideas.
I'll even drop my go-to smoothie recipe here:
1 cup coconut water
1 frozen banana
Honey and dates (to taste)
1 tbsp. nut butter of your choice
2 tbsp. coconut cream
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
Add ice and blend together!
This smoothie is a combination of nutrients and healthy sugar to give you a much-needed boost of energy.
IDEAS OF WHAT TO EAT DURING ACTIVE LABOR:
Toast with whole-grain bread
Yogurt if you tolerate dairy
A spoonful of raw honey. This will give you a quick energy boost and is great during the pushing phase!
IDEAS OF WHAT TO DRINK DURING LABOR:
Anything with electrolytes
These are all suggestions and you should trust your body, as you know what is best for you. These ideas are not a 'one size fits all' and can be easily customizable. Maybe you don't like just plain vanilla yogurt so you decide to top yours with a spoonful of blueberries and sprinkle some dark chocolate granola on top and turn it into a parfait. You do you, boo. I'm just here to help you gather ideas to see what works best for you!
I hope this has given you some good ideas on what to have on hand during your labor. If there's something you would add to this list I'd love to hear from you! Keeping your body fed during labor is an important part of remembering to care for yourself while also caring for your baby. As always, remember that nothing outside of you has control over you, mama.