Some mums will tell you they chowed down on anything and everything during labour, only to bring it all up again. While others say they weren’t hungry at all but found themselves needing a drip because they were so depleted. Either way, it pays to be prepared and stash some special snacks in your hospital bag – things that give you quick energy, and others that will help sustain a longer labour.
Here are the best hospital snacks for early labour at home, established labour at the hospital and beyond.
Best snacks for early labour
Strike a balance between slow-release energy snacks and quick pick-me-ups to get you through the early labour contractions at home.
Slow release energy foods
Foods rich in carbohydrates will get you through the contractions, thanks to a slow release of energy.
- toast, naan, chapati
- boiled eggs
- dry crackers, or with a smear of vegemite or peanut butter
- muesli bars (try one specially made for mums-to-be like BetterBump)
Best drinks for labour
Try and sip of some sort of fluid every 15 to 30 minutes. You probably won’t remember to do this, so ask your labour support person to remind you to drink. A great tip is to pop a staw in the drink so it’s easier to sip.
- herbal tea
- natural apple juice
- coconut water
- aquamamma® (specially formulated drink with electrolytes needed during pregnancy and labour)
Quick release energy foods for established labour
These snacks will give you a quick burst of energy but don’t go too hard on the sweet stuff, too many and you might start to feel sick.
- hard-boiled lollies
- gummy lollies
- sweet biscuits
Other snacks for established labour
- spoonfuls of peanut or almond butter
- dried fruit
- icy poles
- plain biscuits
Best after-labour snacks
While you’re on cloud nine cuddling your fresh little bub, you’ll soon realise you’re absolutely starving! Despite snacking throughout labour, you’ve probably gone several hours without a real meal.
This is the time to replenish what your body has lost during labour and help build up your milk supply if you’re breastfeeding – hello lactation cookies! It’s also time to carefully choose foods that will nourish your mind and body.
Try this warm Postpartum Power Smoothie for an all-over boost.
Mum’s Grapevine birth education expert Stacey Astley-Clarke recommends eating warm and wet foods to nurture and heal your postpartum body.
While you’re in the packing mood, here’s our list of what else to include in your hospital bag.