Coconut water & tea with lemon/lime. During active labor, you'll probably only want sips of water & ice chips though.
My doctor said to bring whatever food or drink I wanted during labor, but that I'd have to like the food going down & back up. Unfortunately he was right. Blah, ruined raisins for me.
I'm guessing the crackers & chocolate bars are for afterward. I was starving for the next few days, and ate all the hospital food (minus bread) plus my own snacks.
Have fun, though childbirth is amazing. :)
I just had my third, and labored for 24 hrs, and wasn't interested in food. If you think you may NEED to eat, I would bring something juicy and refreshing....cubed watermelon, strawberries, frozen grapes, maybe some greek yogurt.
^^ Although, after the birth...bring it! Hungry time!
Just went through the miracle of birthing. I brought a larabar with me. I got through 1/4 of it before I wanted to puke it back up, despite being super hungry for it. I recommend sticking to clear fluids, and maybe not so much on the eating front...
After birth I had an awesome honey pecan chicken breast with steamed carrots and other noms. The first meal after birth is always the best!
I would pack some bone broth for sips during early labor or for afterwards. I agree with others that in active labor you probably won't want more than ice chips.
I did not get the 'rebound' hunger until the next morning. I mainly wanted fluids, and would have loved a huge flask of bone broth or nutritious soup. If you have access to a microwave, then maybe a sweet potato and some butter ready to go so a family member could nuke it and serve. I needed to stick with bland foods for a bit because I had nausea with the hormone shift immediately after birth.
Having witnessed quite a few live births (never done it myself), my advice is not to eat. It'll just come back up. I've literally never seen a woman not barf at some point during labor. It's usually in the 1-2 hours before active labor starts.
I think the coconut water is an excellent suggestion. Just little sips, though.
PP are right, once labor really gets going you won't want to eat. But, in the early stages of labor (hopefully you can hang at home for this as it can be a long time) think about easily digestable quick energy, that is easy on the stomach. I sucked juice pops. If you are worried about being primal, you could puree fruit and freeze in popsicle makers. Or maybe grapes or berries. Your taste buds can be wacky at this time, so think about plain water.
I'd personally stay away from anything heavy (like animal protein) b/c you may not have time to digest it before labor really gets going and then it'll come right back up.
I totally respect that you want to eat right during this time, but know that labor and delivery is a raw, primal (for lack of a better word!) intense time. If you need a few crackers, don't sweat it.
And congrats in advance- will without a doubt be one of the best days of your life!!
Thank you SO much everyone! This has been really, really helpful. I knew this was the right place to come to ask for advice! :)
I recommend having a variety of foods around that you like a lot. Even if it's sweets and stuff. Also, do a recipe for "labor aid" (do an online search -- it's easy), or make roobois tea with honey (it has the electrolytes that you need).
I couldn't eat at all during my labor. I tried to, but it didn't work out. I wanted eggs. DH made eggs. The eggs made me gag. I tried toast. Gag. I ate pineapple -- i puked it back up. I drank water and meditated the whole day. Then after giving birth, I had yogurt and peaches, then went to sleep.
So, you may not be able to eat during labor, but it's a good idea to have food around.
Eating 'early' in labour could mean 36 hours BEFORE you give birth. Your body will do a natural 'flush' of everything once labour gets under way (your body will know what to do, even if your mind is a few steps behind). Bodies are wonderfully clever. Your appetite leading up to the initiation of labour will slow down substantially, and your bowels will clear themselves. The body is so clever and it will begin the 'process of cleansing' so that it only has to focus on one thing: Birthing that baby. Try not to over think this and go with the flow. I had four (all with a midwife), and my last two were twins. It's a wonderful experience and I wish you the best of luck. Trust in your body :-)