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!

Any suggestions?


ETA:
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
* fruit
* packets of an Emergen-C type drink
* smoothies (various ingredients suggested)
* coconut water (from young coconut)
* toast
* crackers
* yogurt
* 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!

Views: 3

Replies to This Discussion

For my clients in labor, I usually suggested light foods such as toast with honey, sweetened herbal tea. You want something with carbs for the energy. I ate homemade veggie soup when I was in labor..except for the little bit of a sub sandwich that my mom was making for everyone..
While you're in labor, your digestion slows down so you don't want heavy or greasy foods sitting on your stomach, especially since most women experience a little nausea anyway during transition.
After birth I usually had moms drink a big glass of orange or apple juice to get their blood sugar back up and reduce the shakiness that follows birth.
Hope this helps.
I have some packets of an Emergen-C type drink (different brand though). My naturopath friend recommended that to help keep hydrated and energized.

I am planning on having some chicken, not fried, but pan seared so it's not greasy etc. Just to snack on for protein. I have herbal teas, yogurt, and some frozen fruit for smoothies. It all depends on what I am in the mood for.

From what I have heard, lightly snacking is good: toast, crackers, etc. :) So we have those on hand too!
All I wanted was oatmeal with a little maple syrup. I ate little bits throughout my labor and then I did throw up, but it was really no big deal. My support team swooped in and cleaned everything up and I kept doing what I was doing. I drank lots of water during my 33 hour labor also.
my midwife told me to have grape juice on hand- it was the best advice ever! I chugged it and I didn't have the shakes after at all!
So my husband just remended me that I didn't even have maple syrup in my oatmeal. I was so sensitive to smells and flavors during labor it had to be plain. Good thing he was there to help me recall what happened. :)

Karen said:
All I wanted was oatmeal with a little maple syrup. I ate little bits throughout my labor and then I did throw up, but it was really no big deal. My support team swooped in and cleaned everything up and I kept doing what I was doing. I drank lots of water during my 33 hour labor also.
When I worked in a private birth centre here in the Uk a few years back - the chef used to make a wonderful 'milk shake' for the labouring women. But, you could stand a spoon in it. It was a bit of a 'secret recipe' but involved not just milk and fruit, but ice cream, double cream, sugar and various supplements like spirulena (?) and of course, honey. It always gave women a fabulous boost, sucked through a wide straw, they all seemed to love it.
These days as a midwife, I'm not keen on suggesting anything in advance in particular, except to say to get a range of foods in. My preference is for a woman to be able to have whatever she fancies, rather than what is suggested - this is sometimes mars bars but more often its dried fruit or yoghurt.
Lynn
An electrolyte-replacement drink is really great for labor. "Recharge" is the best brand, IMO, because it is not made with High Fructose Corn Syrup.

Recharge is so great towards the end of labor for that energy boost and hydration - when you're too busy laboring to eat anything.

For food, I suggest easy-to-digest foods, but whatever the mom is hungry for is great.

Erin, doula mama
I had a few grapes but then I threw up about 4 times over the next hours... I got quite shaky in the pool (my waters had ruptured 3 days before adn I had been having very mild contractions every 30mins or so since then plus been awake with stronger ones for about 4 hours by this point)... my DH gave me watered down cranberry juice and I had a bit of banana and some dry toast but I really didn't fancy anything... my friend's Mum gave her a spoonful of honey just as she was starting to push and that gave her a big boost....
Oh and cake... my midwife and I were discussing the best kind of cake and we decided on pineapple(to help labour along), banana (energy), HOney (energy) and ginger(against nausea)... I will experiement and post a recipe if I have time in the next week or so!
During my natural childbirth class at the Seattle Holistic Center, coconut water was mentioned as useful during labor... "It has five electrolytes, more potassium than a banana, no fat, no added sugar and no preservatives. The potassium helps regulate blood pressure and heart function, effectively rehydrates and keeps the body cool. It is especially helpful in reducing fever related to dehydration and gives the laboring woman a boost of energy." Here is a link to the article:
http://seattleholisticcenter.com/articles/green_coconut_water.shtml
I will definitely be trying it =)
Thanks! Fresh coconut water is one of my favorite treats anyway. So I'll be sure to have some on hand. I'll just have to pre-open them 'cause I don't trust my hubby can do it without injury. :)

Joanna Dyckhoff said:
During my natural childbirth class at the Seattle Holistic Center, coconut water was mentioned as useful during labor... "It has five electrolytes, more potassium than a banana, no fat, no added sugar and no preservatives. The potassium helps regulate blood pressure and heart function, effectively rehydrates and keeps the body cool. It is especially helpful in reducing fever related to dehydration and gives the laboring woman a boost of energy." Here is a link to the article:
http://seattleholisticcenter.com/articles/green_coconut_water.shtml
I will definitely be trying it =)
I had Chili about 4 hours before I went into transition... It helped keep my strength up... just don't eat too much! also..i think the spices in it helped my labour progress.. lol
I froze watered down juice in ice cube trays...i had a few during labour and afterwards...very refreshing! I didn't really eat...wasn't in the mood.

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