A good drink choice helps replace fluids and nutrients used in labor. You can make your own “laborade” (also known as “laboraide” and “labor-aid”). These help you because during your labor and birth it's possible to find your energy waning.
Eating or drinking something can help – and a drink is an especially good choice because it's easy for you to sip it through a straw! It's also easy to swallow, and easier on you if you stomach gets upset during the transition phase of your labor.
Here are a few recipes for homemade Laborade:
Mix together and drink!
Again, mix together and drink!
Mix and enjoy for the minerals and energy!
You may also want to have some herbal teas on hand; Red Raspberry, a Nettles infusion, Chamomile, or Peppermint are good ideas. You can sweeten these with honey or molasses.
All these recipes and the teas can be frozen into ice cube trays or popsicle molds if you desire. Some women prefer fresh to frozen. Others like the cool of the ice cubes/popsicles.
Drinking during your labor is important for keeping you hydrated. Dehydration can cause complications for your baby and can possibly stall your labor.
IV fluids have their own side effects, so it's best to get your fluids by drinking. A sip between contractions is good. Drink to your thirst. Ask your husband or birth coach to offer you sips after each contraction. A straw is really useful to have on hand because it makes drinking so much easier.
Have your coach ask you if you need to go to the bathroom every hour or so – you want to keep drinking and emptying your bladder (it's harder to push baby out on a full bladder, and an empty bladder makes it easier for your baby's placenta to be born and your uterus to shrink down).
Photo by Keith Williamson