Eating During Labour

What should I eat during labour?

Every labour is different so it’s hard to know how you will feel about eating during the process, however it’s good to have some pre-prepared snacks with you in your hospital bag to save you relying on vending machines or the hospital cafe/shop. Some women will find that their body will “clear” their digestive tract during labour, either through vomiting or diarrhoea which can lead to dehydration so staying hydrated is key. Some women may have a slow labour, especially at the start of being induced so can eat a little. Below are my top tips for foods to keep you going through the process:

Hydration is Key

💧 Sip little and often to keep hydrated.
💧 Electrolytes are key, especially if you have been sick. Avoid refined sugar energy drinks like Lucozade (they are full of nasties) instead opting for raw coconut water or homemade electrolyte drink
💧 Diluted orange or apple juice will hydrate and provide a natural source of energy
💧 Use straws and ask your birth partner to put the straw to your lips regularly to encourage you to drink as you won’t remember when you are fully immersed in labour.

Food During Labour

If you can manage to eat, eat light snacks little and often so you are not overwhelming your body with food which may make it “clear”

Go for nutrient dense foods rather than wasted calories in highly processed store-bought snacks. If you do want to buy some snack type bars to have in your bag ready then opt for ones that are as natural as possible, containing a good energy source like dates (naked bars or the deliciously ella energy balls, the ones with nut butter in are good).

Bananas and dried fruits are easy to have on hand and a good source of energy

Nibble on homemade energy bites (recipe on my Instagram grid)

If you are struggling with solid foods then try a banana smoothie with a bit of nut butter

Try to eat in the early stages of labour at home where you have access to more options. If you are given opioid drugs in hospital you won’t be allowed to eat

Take separate food for your birth partner so they don’t end up eating your labour snacks!

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