Did you know that dehydration and hunger can cause exhaustion and slow down labour?
Labour is a marathon for which you’ll need energy and hydration. Don’t rely on the hospital canteen being open or the junk in the vending machine for sustenance. Be prepared and pack an esky with some easily digestible finger food or food you can drink.
FOOD TO PACK FOR LABOUR
- Cut up fruit such as watermelon, grapes, strawberries, oranges or apples. The high water content will keep you well hydrated.
- Cut up veggies such as cucumber and celery with some guacamole or hummus dip.
- Bliss Balls
- Frozen berries: some women like to suck on ice so frozen berries will hydrate and satisfy your hunger.
- Soup in a thermos
DRINKING IN LABOUR
During early labour, water will keep you well hydrated. As your labour progresses, you probably won’t have a desire to eat and may experience nausea and vomiting. Drinking coconut water, which is high in calories, will give you energy and replace your electrolytes. Pack coconut water poppers (juice boxes) in your esky.
ASSIGN YOUR BIRTH SUPPORT PERSON A JOB
Give your birth support person the job of offering you a sip of your drink after every surge. Using a bendy straw means your partner or doula can hold it to your lips so you can sip without effort.
Every hospital has a different policy on eating and drinking during labour so ask your midwife about their food and drink policies.
In the past you weren’t allowed to eat anything but ice chips during labour in case of an emergency cesarean in which you were given a general anaesthetic. However, now most cesareans are performed using an epidural or a spinal tap so you can be conscious when you meet your baby.
FOOD FOR YOUR PARTNER
Don’t forget to pack a meal and some snacks for your partner. He’s in for the long haul with you so keep his energy up so support you and also so he doesn’t need to leave your room for long periods to search for some food.
FOOD FOR AFTER BIRTH
Arrange for a friend or a family member to bring you a home-cooked meal after birth.
Choose a meal that is sweet, warm, oily, simple and moist. Food that is easy to digest such as soups and porridge are perfect. Avoid cold, dry foods that can make you constipated. But most importantly, choose a meal that you love. One that brings back childhood memories will help to boost oxytocin and help your body to heal.
Tell me in the COMMENTS below.….what meal are you craving after birth?