Giving birth is a lot of hard work and moms (and partners!) need to eat and drink throughout labor in order to keep up their energy. A woman’s desire to eat may change throughout the course of her labor so it is important to have a variety of options to choose from. You’ll want to choose things that are nutrient and protein filled, easily digestible, and don’t require too much time to chew or eat.
In early labor, moms don’t always have a strong appetite but they are able to eat a good meal despite that. Having something with protein and substance such as eggs and peanut butter toast or leftover dinner can be a good thing to do in early labor. It’s important to stay well hydrated throughout pregnancy and especially early labor. Water, tea or any electrolyte or sports drink are great options.
As labor progresses the desire to eat typically decreases. However, it’s very important to keep taking small bites of food and sipping on fluids. Oatmeal with peanut butter and coconut oil stirred in, peanut butter toast, chopped fruit, Greek yogurt with honey, and chicken or bone broth are all great things to have on hand. Honey is an excellent food to have in the house during labor. Honey sticks can be great or simply a jar of honey that you can eat by spoon. It’s also important to have a variety of fluids available. Smart Water, Gatorade or another sports drink, Emergen-C packets and “labor aide” are all great things to rotate through.
After your baby arrives, your midwives will encourage you to eat a full meal & keep drinking. Many families have eggs, toast and fruit. Some people have leftovers from previous dinners, grilled cheese, yogurt, pretty much anything with a lot of calories and protein works!
Many families ask if they should have anything in particular in the house for the birth team. To that question we typically say “nope!”. Home birth midwives are great at taking care of themselves and also finding their way around kitchens. We’ll help ourselves to a snack if we need it and if your labor is longer we may order food or one
member of the team might go pick up food.
Remember labor snacks should be: easy to digest, easy to eat & you should have plenty of options! Happy labor prepping!