Also a whole foods sports drink!
Depending on the type of labour, some women may be able to eat light and nourishing foods to keep energy levels up during early stages of labour. As labour progresses though, eating food is often the last thing a labouring woman can think about.
Staying hydrated, however, is extremely important, just like it is with any intense physical activity or exertion. Similarly to endurance events, your fluids must contain electrolytes. Not only do they assist the hydration process, they are required for muscle contractions. Without them, muscles become weak and contractions of the uterus can be less effective.
To be honest, I did not think about food or drink once during my relatively short first labour, it was all systems go from the start! This drink was, however, an absolute god send afterwards. I was so thirsty and dehydrated but water just did not cut it. It was so delicious and thirst quenching, I wish I made a few more bottles!
This recipe contains only ‘real food’ ingredients, without all the colours, flavours, artificial sweeteners, refined salts or other nasties found in commercial sports or electrolyte drinks. And it’s not over the top in sugar like most electrolyte replacement drinks are. It is therefore a great alternative to sports drinks – this isn’t just for labour!
Given you never know when you will go into labour, make a couple of batches three weeks before your due date and freeze it in glass bottles. As soon as you feel labour might be close, pop them in the sink to defrost. You could also freeze them into ice cube trays if you think you will prefer to suck on cubes instead.
Have some straws ready to go too as you never know what positions you might find yourself in through labour.
Have your birth partner give you small sips during your labour.
You can double of triple the quantities below to make sure you have enough ready to go.
Juice from 2 lemons
2 cups coconut water
1 cup water
¼ tsp sea salt
2 Tbsp of honey
Trace mineral/electrolyte drops OR 1 Tbsp of liquid calcium/magnesium
A few drops of rescue remedy
Mix all ingredients together and stir until honey and salt is dissolved (and magnesium is dispersed throughout if using)
Pour into glass jars for freezing.
If freezing in glass jars be sure to leave a couple cm empty at the top of the jar to allow for the contents to expand on freezing. You can also leave the lid a bit loose until it is all frozen to prevent cracking glass.
Be sure to grab them out of the freezer to defrost when you think labour might be approaching!