Foods to Prepare for Labor & Delivery
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Foods to Prepare for Labor & Delivery

How many times have you thought that what you’re eating during pregnancy affects the quality of your labor and delivery?  Preparing for your baby’s “birth day” by eating right can make a huge difference in your endurance and the way you feel.

Most women eat well & take prenatal vitamins during pregnancy as they know how important proper nutrition is for growing their little one’s brain & body.  Eating healthy to prepare for labor is compared to training for a marathon; you’re in the home stretch and you want to make sure you’re in optimal shape to welcome your new bundle of joy!

Here are a few eating tips to help you prepare starting at around week 36……

Eat good, healthy fats such as avocados, walnuts, flaxseeds (ground or oil).  These fats help your tissues to be strong and pliable, making them less likely to tear and possibly helping to avoid an episiotomy.  A handful of walnuts or half of an avocado with a bit of vinaigrette makes a delicious snack!

Eat as many vegetables as possible.  Your plate should consist of half vegetables, one quarter protein and one quarter whole grain starch.  This ensures that you eat the calories you need while consuming the essential amino acids, vitamins and minerals necessary for strength and endurance.  Protein in the form of eggs, chicken or meats should be pasture raised, organic, hormone and antibiotic free for optimal nutrition and to keep your body from working hard to process unwanted pesticides and hormones.  Whole grains such as brown rice, steel cut oats, barley & millet are more nutritionally dense, keep you satisfied longer and contain important vitamins and minerals not found in white rice or rolled oats.

Avoid dairy products.  Substitute with organic almond milk, hemp milk or rice milk.  Dairy contains hormones used to artificially stimulate excess milk production in cows.  These hormones interfere with our own hormone production and can interrupt important signals to your body to properly progress labor along.

Drink water and tons of it!  You need to stay hydrated and may not want to drink enough in labor. If you need flavor, add a couple of slices of melon, strawberries or a few mint sprigs. Avoid all coffee and coffee blended drinks, black tea and soda.  Caffeine interrupts your sleep/wake cycles and stresses your adrenal glands leading to undue stress and fatigue.

Avoid sugar of any kind (except 1-2 small pieces of fruit per day).  Sugar contains empty calories, leads to unnecessary weight gain, wreck havoc on your overall blood sugar, and does little to satisfy your hunger.

The day of……… as labor begins, eat small snacks or a light meal before going to the hospital as many doctors do not allow eating once you arrive.  Soups & broths, whole grain toast, eggs, brown rice and veggies are all great options but remember to keep it light and don’t overeat!  Stay hydrated with lots of water!

Happy Birthing Day……it’s the most amazing and unforgettable time of your life!