With my son (a natural, low-intervention hospital birth) I tried to eat and drink throughout labor as I didn't have an IV. The water was no problem, but the foods I picked were way off! I started out by eating fried scallops before going into the hospital. My water had broken but labor hadn't started yet so I was trying to go about business as usual. Um, yeah. Bad call! I was throwing that up later. I also tried hard candy and a piece of fruit. couldn't keep those down either.
I don't know if this is just "me" or if I tried to eat something lighter I would have done better. I am thinking a light "LaborAid" drink might help me out next time. I was so exhausted and fatigued by the time we reached the final stages of labor!
I summarized all the responses so far. General advice says carbs for energy and easy to digest, non-greasy foods.
* toast with honey
* honey sticks or just honey on a spoon
* sweetened herbal tea
* packets of an Emergen-C type drink
* smoothies (various ingredients suggested)
* coconut water (from young coconut)
* plain cooked chicken breast
* plain oatmeal
* grape juice
* dried fruit
* "Recharge” (electrolyte replacement drink)
* frozen Juice/water in ice cube trays
and one gal even liked chili!