When thinking about what to pack in your birth bag, don’t forget about food and snacks! Everyone’s labor process is different, but having energizing foods on hand will prepare for a potentially early or long labor.
If you’re having a home birth, stock the fridge with your normal routine foods. Simply make extra servings and store them in the freezer. If birthing at the hospital, bring some previously frozen foods to the hospital room if there’s a small refrigerator. Some women experience heartburn during pregnancy as a natural side effect of hormonal and physical changes. For this reason, avoid acidic foods, or any other food you know that causes digestive distress (such as citrus, spicy foods, heavily seasoned foods or fatty/fried foods).
Here are some simple snacks to easily store in your to-go bag ahead of time:
nuts/trail mix - energizing early labor snacks
soup and/or bone broth - nutrient-dense, easy to consume
peppermint and ginger tea - nausea
honey sticks - sugar spike
80% dark chocolate - energy
coconut water and other electrolyte filled drinks - a very long labor can be compared to running a marathon!
Foods/Drinks to avoid:
Orange juice or lemonade - while in active labor it is common for the mother-to-be to vomit, therefore it is best to avoid drinks and food that are very acidic
Coffee - caffeine could be useful after a very long labor (dark chocolate, iced black tea) but coffee could affect the mother’s blood pressure, and is also dehydrating, so best to avoid it