I’ve been at a lot of births. And whew, birth is a lot of work.
The demands of labor require lots of hydration and lite meals as needed.
Why is Hydration Important?
Even the American Society of Anesthesiologists agree that we need to keep drinking.
“Without adequate nutrition, women’s bodies will begin to use fat as an energy source, increasing acidity of the blood in the mother and infant, potentially reducing uterine contractions and leading to longer labor and lower health scores in newborns. Additionally, the studies suggest that fasting can cause emotional stress, potentially moving blood away from the uterus and placenta, lengthening labor and contributing to distress of the fetus.”
So mamas, at minimum you need to be drinking, if not eating lite meals as well.
Dehydration is the enemy!
Long labors and sick babies are sad!
How much do I need to be drinking?
8 ounces per hour is a good rule of thumb to follow when you’re in labor.
After every contraction, take a sip.
Use a bendy straw to make your beverage easy to access.
DIY Electrolyte Cubes
Once upon a time I had a doula client that had an amazing idea. I loved it so much I’ve used it ever since. And today I will share it with you!
Pregnant women, especially those in labor, can be very sensitive to juices and electrolyte drinks like Gatorade… it gives them heartburn. It’s too sweet and acidic.
However, drinking these drinks are very helpful.
Gatorade provides electrolytes, potassium and a boost in sugar levels, among other things.
It keeps you going and helps you to stay strong.
A perfect solution for this is to put the beverage of choice in ice cube trays, freeze it, and then use it in a glass of water to make ice water with a splash of Gatorade. And to boot? It’s pretty to look at.
What to Freeze?
If it were me, I would simply freeze my favorite flavor of Gatorade. (I prefer that over power-aid because it doesn’t have high fructose corn syrup. I’m cool with the occasional food dye.)
For those who want a healthier option you could use coconut water, which sounds lovely.
If you want to take it a step further, you could make one of these fabulous recipes for a DIY electrolyte drink: