You can find endless articles online about what to pack in your hospital bag. But, one crucial item — “snacks” — is often left out. You know that during birth, your body is about to go through a marathon of sorts. It’s important to plan ahead for your nutrition needs both before and after delivery. A runner doesn’t show up to a race without knowing how they’ll fuel themselves, and you want to be prepared for your big day, too!
Labor is much like running an endurance race. It’s not a sprint, but rather steady and sustained effort. Most first-time moms can expect to be in labor for 24 hours (or more) so you’ll need proper nutrition and hydration to keep feeling powerful and strong. Giving birth is no small thing. You are a superhuman woman in these moments — and for every day after!
3 Essential Foods That Every Mom Should Bring To The Delivery Room
1. What to Drink During Labor
Hydration is absolutely essential for labor as drinking enough will keep you feeling strong and energized — so long as your hydrating with the right liquids. Water on its own is great, but you’ll also need a source of electrolytes to replace what you lose through exertion while giving birth (exactly as if you were doing a really hard workout).
Quick and Tasty Labor-aid Recipe For Moms-To-Be
The Best Hydration Options For Labor:
- Water with your favorite electrolyte powder
- Coconut water aka nature’s Gatorade
- “Labor-aid” is a lemonade of sorts, that provides natural energy and electrolytes
The Drinks to Avoid Around Labor:
- Soda and sugary drinks
- Juice should be used wisely as it won’t provide any added benefit except a quick sugar hit
- Anything with artificial flavors or sweeteners
2. Good Proteins And Fats To Eat Before And After Delivery
Endurance athletes know that protein and fat are key for sustained performance. Carbs and sugars are important too, but their effects are short lasting.
The Best Protein and Fat Snack Options for Delivery:
- Beef jerky (ideally from an organic or grass-fed source)
- Chocolate No-Bake Majka Bites
- Trail mix with nuts and dried fruits
- Quick and Easy Majka Fat Bomb
- Your favorite protein bar or Majka Nourishing Lactation Bites
- Protein powder (like Our Majka Nourishing Lactation Powder made specifically for moms) to mix a shake
Keep in mind, drinking your food may be more desirable than having to chew on something at this time!
3. Healthy Carbohydrates To Eat During Labor
Carbohydrates are great for a quick hit of energy. Be mindful to mix carbohydrate-rich foods with an assortment of other nutrients to avoid an energy crash that can come from a carb overload.
The Best Carb-y Snack Options:
- Fresh fruit (cut up into bite size pieces)
- A simple sandwich or bagel with cream cheese
- Whole grain or gluten-free crackers
- Majka Nourishing Overnight Oats
At the very beginning of labor eat a significant, protein-packed meal. This is your “pre-race” dinner, so enjoy it! You'll thank yourself later.
As labor progresses, be sure to consistently drink hydrating liquids. Before the big day, ask your group of supporters to offer you water and your other beverages throughout labor. You don’t always have to take what they offer, but you don’t want to be worrying about drinks during this time, either! A water bottle with a spout or a straw makes it much easier to drink.
As labor intensifies, try to have small bites of food to keep your energy up. Every bite of food you take is fuel for your incredible body — which means you’ll be meeting your baby soon!
Note: Some hospitals have guidelines around eating and drinking during labor. Look into this before your big day, and listen to your body.
What Should I Eat After Delivery?
Just like an athlete, a recovery meal is intentional and important. You’ve just accomplished the most incredible feat a human can. That body of yours needs replenishing! Having a brand new baby means adrenaline is surging through your body — yet you’re likely exhausted.
Before you go into labor, have a plan for what you’ll eat after birth. This will help you to focus on your recovery and your baby even more. It’s important to be very gentle on the body after giving birth. You’ve just gone through the most complex physiological change possible and your digestive system is going to need something ultra nourishing and gentle. In many cultures, the postpartum period involves specific foods that are almost always cooked.
The Best Foods To Eat Postpartum
- Majka Nourishing Lactation Bites as a nutrient-dense snack, best breastfeeding snack to bring with you to the hospital.
- Bone broth, an easy and gentle source of protein and minerals
- In traditional Chinese Medicine, Congee, or rice porridge, is very often the first food given to mothers (you can easily have it in a thermos with you)
- Majka Nourishing Lactation Powder for fast a protein boost
- Oatmeal mixed with Majka Nourishing Lactation Powder as a warm, hearty meal
- Homemade chicken soup or other broth-based soup
What Foods To Avoid After Having a Baby
- Sugar and processed foods which leave your body more depleted than before
Now you’re ready to pack up the foods and drinks that will support your body during labor and help it recover immediately after giving birth!
Keep a list of foods that you’ll bring with you to the hospital posted on your fridge. When your due date approaches, keep a small cooler by the door to make it easier to pack up and go when baby comes.
Food may be the last thing on your mind in labor and immediately after, but with some simple preparation and healing foods on hand, you’ll give your body the energy it needs to bring your baby into the world while feeling like the strong woman you are.
Complete Breastfeeding Diet Guide for New Moms
Now your baby is in your arms (or will be very soon) — can you believe it?! You’re likely filled with emotions. Overjoyed with your baby, overwhelmed with new responsibilities, and curious about what foods are best to eat to nourish your milk supply, your body, and your baby.
We’ve made it easy for you by creating a complete Breastfeeding Diet Guide to nourish your milk supply and restore your body postpartum. And remember mama — you were made for this!
Have you tried Majka’s Vanilla Chai Nourishing Lactation Booster? It has a unique flavor that can heighten any recipe’s taste and nutritional content! Our Nourishing Lactation Booster gives new moms an all-natural source of galactagogues, antioxidants, and good fats to support you and your milk supply postpartum.