Home Birth Prep: Nourishment

Imagine undertaking an enormous physical feat, such as a hike of many miles, or a marathon. Would you enter into this activity without having considered the need for fuel for your body? That would be absurd – and so is the idea that one can undertake the feat of laboring and bringing forth a new life into the world without sustenance.

During your home birth, we would wish for you to enjoy all of the comforts that being in your home should bring, including foods to nourish your working body. We invite you to eat and drink according to your individual needs without restriction, but we want to share with you a few ideas:

Keep it Light in Labor

Going back to the analogy of an intense physical activity – in most cases, eating large or heavy meals might not be the best choice, as this may cause stomach upset. For the same reason, it may be best to avoid highly acidic foods, such as orange juice, or very greasy foods. Instead, we recommend that you stock your fridge and pantry with light fare that you can access for small, frequent snacks throughout your labor, such as:

  • Cheese and crackers
  • Peanut butter and toast
  • Hard-boiled eggs
  • Fruits and berries
  • Granola and granola bars
  • Yogurt (Whole milk, Greek)
  • Smoothies
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Fluids, such as water, coconut water, electrolyte drinks, etc.
  • Dense energy foods, such as Cliff Bloks

Refuel After the Birth

After baby is born, we would love for you to enjoy a more substantial meal, to help begin to replenish the energy you have given to the effort of birthing your baby. We, or one of your other support people, will prepare a nourishing postpartum meal for you. Some of the same foods as above may be good for this meal, but may we also suggest:

  • Prepare a favorite soup ahead of time that we can heat up for you
  • Scrambled eggs and toast
  • Your favorite sandwich
  • Put something in the crockpot early in labor to have ready for after
  • A charcuterie board (meats, cheeses, fruits, nuts, etc.)
  • Prepare ahead something that we can put in the oven for you at the right time, such as a lasagna or a quiche

Lastly, please make sure your birth team is aware of all of your dietary preferences and restrictions. Happy birthing!