Home > Ways to Stay Nourished During Labor
Posted by Shannon M. on Wednesday, March 21st, 2012
Staying nourished during the labor process is absolutely essential and will supply your body with the energy it needs to give birth. In fact, simply following a few guidelines can help protect you against nausea, speed along labor, relieve added discomfort, and delay inevitable exhaustion.
In the final days of your pregnancy, you’ll want to load up on carbohydrates. By doing such, you will increase your glycogen levels which will prevent your body from converting fat cells into ketones. A nasty possible side-effect of ketones is slowed labor and increased fetal stress. Luckily you can bypass ketosis by eating foods that help build stores of glycogen in the liver. Breads, cereal, crackers, corn, pasta, potatoes, rice, and fresh fruit are glycogen’s dream team. During your labor, you’ll want to switch to simple carbohydrates that will give you bursts of energy and digest more easily (think juices, honey, and fruit).
A lot of women forget to drink water during their labor, which can disrupts your body’s physiology, makes you more fatigued, and slows the birthing process. I’d suggest bringing a 32 oz. Nalgene bottle filled with water and consuming at least 8 ounces per hour in the early stages of labor. Ask your partner to keep track of your water intake and to make sure that you’re drinking enough. Staying hydrated will also increase trips to the bathroom, the walking and squatting of which promotes and simulates natural birthing positions.
Early, small and with frequency
Eating early in your labor process is important, as some women experience nausea or an aversion to food in latter stages. You’ll want to avoid greasy, heavy processed food at all costs and instead choose light high-energy snacks. Some good ideas for “labor food,” beyond those listed above, include apple sauce, all-fruit popsicles, toast, bananas, graham crackers, yogurt, and Jello, among many others.
Before labor, think about gifts for the expectant dad. Stop by the Daddy Scrubs gift shop for some great ideas!
Content by Shannon M.