Wait, what? You can eat and drink during labor? Yes, you can! In case you missed it last week, we published a new infographic created by Lamaze that shows the evidence on eating and drinking in labor -- not only is it safe for most labors, but it is beneficial for moms to maintain energy and strength throughout labor. Watch this short video that breaks down the evidence in plain language:
Now that you know, time to plan for your labor! Below are our top 10 most popular and helpful items to eat and drink during labor.
1. Water. Hands down, the number one must-have. Sip it often throughout your labor to stay hydrated!
2. Coconut water. More flavor than water, plus it offers natural electrolytes to promote energy and prevent dehydration.
3. Fruit juice or smoothies. A burst of natural sugar and the bulk of fiber will give you energy and keep you full longer.
4. Honey sticks. Honey is easy to digest, provides a boost of energy, and can help regulate blood sugar quickly if you are feeling weak.
5. Broth. Chicken, beef, vegetable -- no matter what form, this aide is a well-known trick for endurance athletes to help with hydration and to replace salt lost from sweat. It's also easy to digest while making you feel full.
6. Simple carbs. Bread, muffins, crackers, and plain pasta will give you much needed energy. Add a smear of nut butter for added protein.
7. Popsicles. Cold, refreshing, thirst quenching, sugary, yummy. So many good things about popsicles. A must-have for labor, and bonus that most hospitals keep them on hand!
8. Fruit. Whether whole fruit or puree (like applesauce), this is an easy, nutritious go-to during labor.
9. Hard candy. Not very nutritious, but sucking on hard candy can cure a dry mouth and curb nausea.
10. Energy gels. A frequent go-to for endurance athletes, gels come in small packets or even gummy form and deliver a nice dose of sugar, electrolytes, and sometimes, caffeine. Athletes often consume gels when they've "hit a wall" during a long race. Within a few minutes, renewed energy helps them feel like they can keep going and finish the race! Labor and birth is just like an endurance event -- many of the tips and tricks that athletes use can easily translate for laboring women.