Snack Attack! "What Snacks Should I Pack for Labor?"
"Labor is a marathon, not a sprint!"
Have you heard this phrase before? It's accurate! "Labor" is very aptly named: it is a physical task that requires both strength and stamina. Eating nourishing foods and drinking liquids with electrolytes during labor will not only ensure you are supplied with plenty of sustainable energy, it will maximize the effectiveness of your contractions. How?
It's simple. Restricting your food intake during labor can cause stress, nausea, vomiting and headaches, which all lead to exhaustion. Exhaustion can prolong labor because of the effect tiredness can have on your uterus: when your uterus is tired and dehydrated, it will not contract strongly enough to make change to your cervix.
Exhausted and dehydrated you + exhausted and dehydrated uterus = longer labor
So what can you do? Eat! Drink! But what? Here is a helpful list of foods and drinks to consume in different stages of labor. If birthing at a hospital or birth center, it’s best to discuss policies on eating and drinking with your care provider well in advance. If you are giving birth via Cesarean, your care provider should provide you with guidelines on food and beverage intake specific to that procedure.
Early Labor | Aim for medium-sized meals with carbohydrates and protein for Sustainable Energy (Avoid Greasy, Fatty Foods that could upset your stomach)
Water + juice + tea
Bone broth or miso soup (or chicken or beef broth)
Whole grains (toast, bagels, brown rice, cereal, noodles, oatmeal)
Lean meat (chicken or turkey)
Smoothies with fresh fruit and veggies
Active Labor | Aim for bite-sized, easily digested snacks with carbs, natural sugar, and water for Hydration and Quick Energy (Avoid things that are Hard to Chew, Spicy, or Strong Tasting)
Water + juice + ice chips + popsicles + coconut water +Gatorade
Fruit (grapes, watermelon, bite-sized apple pieces)
Peanut butter packets
Crackers or pretzels
Cheese sticks or cubes
Immediate Postpartum | Aim for a medium to large meal to refuel your body after birth
Turkey sandwich and a side salad
or go for that sushi you've been craving for nine months! :)
How do you plan to fuel your body before, during or after labor?