Eating Well in Labor

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Eating Well in Labor

This family was prepared! Healthy Whole Grain Muffins straight from the oven, cooling on the counter!

But what is this about not be allowed to eat in labor? Robin Elise Weiss, at does a lovely job of explaining the history of why hospitals restrict eating during childbirth.
It is clear that the approach of restricted food and drink is based on the assumption that all laboring women might end up in the operating room giving birth by cesarean section,
under general anesthesia.
Robin’s article also points out very well that women often experience the benefits of being allowed to eat and drink as desired…(slightly shorter labors, less stress to mother).
Midwives understand the importance of eating and drinking in labor and encourage women (and their partners) to stay well-hydrated and nourished through the labor.

So what to eat during your labor and birth? What are some other great options for what to eat during labor besides healthy muffins and fruit? Easily digestible, nutritious foods such as yogurt, cheese, eggs, toast, and even warm soups are often recommended.

Once in active labor, keeping your energy up by eating a bite or two every 30-45 minutes or so is essential. Eating during childbirth can be hard for some women…I have found that laboring women will eat until their body tells them it is too busy focusing on labor, but it is so important to keep the calories/energy for the labor going in
even if she has some trouble keeping it down.
When that happens, there are other options like 100% fruit juice popsicles (if you find you simply cannot keep those other things down).

Hydration is also essential in childbirth.

St. Luke’s and St. Alphonsus make drinking water easy in these HUGE water bottles you will take home with you.

If water doesn’t appeal (over a longer birth perhaps), trying re-hydrating drinks like Recharge by Knutsen available at Fred Meyer.

Coconut Waters are making an appearance now in labor and delivery but not all are created equal. Consumer labs did a comparison and only Zico lived up to its claims.


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