Eating During Labor: What to Choose and What to Avoid?


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eating during labor

A body undergoing a procedure as exhausting and excruciating as labor needs nutrition. Thanks to tireless researching by doctors, it is now deemed acceptable, and even essential, that a laboring mother consumes ample nutrients. In this article, we will categorically tap into the subject of eating during labor. Let’s get started.

Also Read: Postpartum Depression and Psychosis – Bad Mood After Childbirth

Foods You Can Eat During Labor

Unlike in the past, a great variety of foods have now been approved as energy providers for when you are pushing. Moreover, certain types of solid foods have also made the cut:

The following are the foods you may be permitted to eat

Fresh fruit

Nutrient-rich, but easy-to-swallow fruits like bananas, pineapples, etc. Juicy fruits can also provide refreshment and maybe are more preferable when you are too distressed to chew properly.

Also Read: Healthy Snacks During Pregnancy

Toast sandwiches with light fillings

Another great wholesome snack would be your regular whole-wheat toast over which you can apply lightweight condiments such as jam, mashed bananas, avocadoes et cetera.

Energy and granola bars

what can be better at meeting your energy needs while in labor than a readily available compressed granola bar? Nuts, rice, oats, and just the right amount of sugar make these bars your perfect go-to snack for eating during labor. They’re also relatively easier to grab when you are rushing to the maternity ward.

Also Read: When Do Pregnancy Cravings Start?

Dried fruit and nuts

As long as they are devoid of sulfur, nuts will do an excellent job of providing you with nutrition. Prepare and store a nut mix for your big day in advance, and it will surely come in handy should you have a longing for something wholesome.


Foods that slip down conveniently are suitable for labor as they do not augment your already sky-high level of pain. Therefore, jell-o is an apt choice. The diverse flavor line also enables you to choose whichever you prefer the most and would gobble up while performing those athletics.


Quinoa is renowned for its lightness. At the same time, it will provide you with the balance you are looking for. It should top your list when stocking on food for eating during labor.

Also Read: Why Am I Craving Pickles During Pregnancy?

Foods to avoid during labor

A demanding procedure such as labor naturally comes with its own set of restrictions. There are types of meals you should dodge for your health and safety while giving birth.

Here are the types of foods you should be careful of

Foods abundant in dairy

Milk, foods rich in milk, and other dairy products can cause problems due to their heaviness. A block of cheese might seem like the perfect quick snack, whether in early or active labor, but it can be tough to stomach. Especially if you are otherwise intolerant of dairy, too. Only take dairy products if you are generally immune to heavy food items.

Foods that are hard to digest

Anything that might require extra hustle on part of your body to process is a big no-no. Foods that take long periods to get digested, such as instant noodles or beef, will only fill you up in those moments and do little to actually provide energy.

Also Read: Can You Have Pregnancy Cravings at 4 Weeks Pregnant?

Foods with large amounts of sodium

Keenly restrict your salt intake. Select foods that are either low on salt if they are savory, or are sweet. Do not risk hiking your pulse rate as it can add to the anguish of that process

Foods that are low in essential nutrients

Labor is truly the time to eat things for their nutritional value. Snacks that fail to do that do not deserve to be in your bag of labor supplies. No, no cookie sandwiches or crisps or candy bars. Save the celebrations for when your baby has arrived safe and sound!

Foods that contain excessive fats:

A stomach loaded with fried food is not ideal for a hospital bed. Any food you opt for, make sure it is not fried and cooked using alternative methods. It is imperative that you take low-fat food which does not make your stomach grumble.

Do not get confused by all of these options. Take all the necessary measures to prepare a meal that would suit your hunger requirements without rendering your procedure an even more unbearable one.

Also Read: Can You Eat Chinese Food During Pregnancy? Is It Safe?

These are some tips to help you do so

Keep your practitioner in the loop

Keep checking in with your doctor about the specifics of the eating situation. Do not choose snacks without confirming their safety pertaining to your particular case. Furthermore, follow the guidelines your practitioner offers you.

Eat what resonates with your body

In addition to consultation with your gynecologist, generally choose a meal plan that would be appropriate for your body. If certain food types bug you in everyday life, they would continue to do so in this case. Choose wisely.

Also Read: When and Why Do You Need Antenatal Checkups?

Don’t sweat it!

No use spending time and energy brooding over the same thing, when you can save yourself all that trouble by taking a few simple steps. Keep yourself updated. Do the research if need be. Ask whatever questions pop into your mind from a professional. That’s it.

Also Read: Mushrooms While Pregnant – Are They Safe?

Can Fasting Be a Better Option Than Eating During Labor?

In some cases, yes. Fasting is generally preferred in cesarean sections. The reason for that is the anesthesia that is given relaxes your muscles, and may cause aspiration.

Aspiration is the condition when your stomach does not keep its contents from being sucked up into the esophagus, and they then get inhaled into the windpipe. This is extremely perilous and, in some cases, can prove to be fatal. Although the occurrence is rare, doctors prescribe fasting to this day just to be on the safe side.

Another reason doctors might prescribe fasting prior to and during labor is if you are a high-risk patient. Eating, in that case, can create unwanted issues.

Remember; the best course of action, if you have been advised against eating during labor, would be to follow it. Do not insist on eating if it can potentially put your and your baby’s well-being at stake. Happy pushing!

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