It’s no secret that labour is an extremely physically and mentally demanding time. Food may be the last thing on your mind, but if you do feel up to snacking and are medically allowed to do so, the best option is to have something that is energy and nutrient-dense.
Enforced fasting is considered old school these days and while there is no harm in not eating if you can’t stomach anything, having the freedom to eat or drink what you want during labour is likely to improve maternal satisfaction and reduce stress.
10 energy-boosting labour snacks
Types of foods that make great snacks and easily meet these criteria are nuts, seeds and certain fruits. There are a number of ways you can combine these to keep your energy up and hunger satisfied throughout labour.
A few ideas that you can pack in your hospital bag, include:
- Medjool dates filled with peanut butter
- Wholegrain bread with peanut butter and banana
- Berries with yoghurt and muesli
- Smoothie with coconut water, dates, banana, cinnamon and oats
- Trail mix: almonds, cashews, brazil nuts, walnuts, dark chocolate
- Banana dipped into almond butter
- Hard-boiled eggs
If you’re able to do some preparation prior to going into labour, you can also make a few homemade snacks like the following:
- Choc Tahini Bites: Combine 1 cup sunflower seeds, 1 cup desiccated coconut, 1/3 cup cocoa powder, 1/3 cup tahini, 1/4 cup maple syrup and 2 tbsp coconut oil in a food processor. Blitz and roll into balls.
- Lemon Protein Balls
- Homemade Granola Bar
When something plain is a better way to go based on how you’re feeling, some sourdough toast with your choice of topping is always a good option. Avocado is energy-dense and the healthy fat content can help you feel full and satisfied while making a fantastic toast topper.
Most importantly, listen to your body and the advice of the medical professionals there with you.
Shahna Sarpi is a qualified nutritionist that is passionate about helping people live a nourished life through healthy eating and lifestyle practices. Utilising a whole foods approach to nutrition, Shahna aims to educate and inspire people to become their healthiest selves. For more information, visit 28 by Sam Wood