Food for Labor

Nourishing the mother is very important throughout labor. Ensuring her body has sufficient calories to burn even as her appetite wanes with the intensity of labor is the trick. Many of these foods are fats, proteins, and complex carbohydrates mixed with simple carbs to offer a boost of energy right away followed by a slow release of energy. Many of these items just need hot water to become a satisfying meal even in the wee hours of the morning, so I've included a small travel kettle on the list to take to your birth location, if you choose. Remember, you also need to feed the support person, so some of these items are intended to appeal to someone with more appetite than someone in active labor will have. Supplement the items on this list with fresh foods like fruit and vegetables (cut into ready to eat pieces), cheese, and yogurt. Scrambled eggs on buttery toast are one of my favorite 3am snacks because it can entice a waning appetite with the aroma and pick the energy of the room up. You will also want to pay attention to hydration because muscles need water but they also need electrolytes. Alternating between an electrolyte beverage and water or diluting an electrolyte beverage 50/50 is a good approach. I've included a water bottle recommendation on this list that solves for offering a woman water if she's in a funny position.