7+ Snacks For Labor That You Can Pack in Your Hospital Bag

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If you’re pregnant or have given birth before, you already know that labor can be a lot of work, to say the least. You’ll need a lot of energy to keep going, and the thing is, you have no clue how long it is going to last. 

Keeping your body hydrated and your energy levels up is key to helping you glide through the exhausting process.

If you’re wondering if there are any snacks for labor that can give you that little boost of energy that you can pack in your hospital bag, we’ve got you covered with just that and more. 

Scroll down and read on to check out some of the best snacks that you can munch on while you’re in labor. 

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Can Foods Really Help Speed Up Labor?

You bet! Anecdotal evidence and tons of scientific research have, time and time again, proved that certain foods, when consumed, can initiate labor, or help progress it. 

Check out this list of foods that induce labor.

If you are in the final weeks of pregnancy, or past due, and looking to jump start labor, try some of these labor inducing recipes!

What Should I Eat When in Labor?

For years, pregnant women were advised against consuming anything once labor began. Eating during labor was believed to increase the risk of aspiration, and in some cases, even lead to death. 

With the changes in medical approaches and anesthesia use, eating during labor is no longer considered a risk. Many hospitals and birth centers are now allowing women in labor to have some snacks to keep themselves energetic. 

What are some good snacks to eat during labor?

Well, the general rule is to stick to foods that you enjoy, and those that keep you either hydrated or energized or both.

Snacks that are light and those that are easy to digest are ideal.

Choose snacks that have complex carbohydrates along with a good balance of protein and healthy fats to keep your blood sugar levels stable and give you a consistent source of energy. 

If you’re in early labor, any of these snacks can be a good option. 

  • Grass fed yogurt 
  • Granola bar (this one can actually help your milk come in easier after birth!)
  • Dried fruits 
  • Dried nuts 
  • Dried berries 
  • Date smoothie for labor
  • Toast with a nut butter 
  • Apple with nut butter
  • Banana with nut butter 
  • Quinoa salad 
  • Multigrain crackers 

As labor progresses, your need for energy may go up, but you might not necessarily be hungry. In this stage, choose snacks that are easily digestible and help you maintain your strength for the pushing stage labor. 

  • Frozen fruits like bananas, grapes and berries
  • Applesauce 
  • Dried fruit bars
  • Dates 
  • Coconut water
  • Popsicles 
  • Honey sticks

Remember that regardless of what kind of snack you choose, stick to minimally processed and clean foods, ideally ones that are low in fat and added sugar.

If you’re choosing fluids, opt for natural fruit juices, water, coconut water, or laboraide, rather than fizzy drinks and caffeine. This list of healthy drinks for pregnancy has some good options.

Best Healthy Snacks For Labor

So now that you have a general idea about what you should be consuming while things seem to be progressing, here’s a more in-detail rundown of some good snacks for labor that you can consider packing along, or having handy for labor and delivery.

1 – Popsicles

Refreshing and juicy, there’s nothing quite like some popsicles to cool you down and get you a little satiated. By far my favorite pregnancy snacks.

Of course, this one can be a good snack only if you’re opting for a home birth, but if you’re in a hospital setting, just enjoy them during early labor, while you’re still at home.

If you make your own, whip up some raspberry leaf tea popsicles with this red raspberry iced tea as you approach your due date.

2 – Date Fruit

Pitted dates are easy to pack and carry along with you, which makes them a great choice if you’re looking for snacks to eat during labor.

They are not just an excellent source of energy, but also taste great!

What’s more, some preliminary studies have found a link between the consumption of dates and the shortening of labor. Some experts also believe that dates can induce labor, which can cut down the need for induction and augmentation of labor. 

This could possibly be due to the fact that dates contain certain compounds that help soften the cervix and prepare the uterus for childbirth. 

Check out these date recipes for pregnancy for some tasty ideas of how to eat them.

3 – Protein balls

Protein balls and bars are the perfect snack to munch on when you’re hit by a hunger pang, or, of course, for early labor. You can make these pregnancy protein balls yourself and freeze or store for later, or pick up some from the supermarket- whatever works best for you. These are some great protein bites you can buy.

Pregnancy Energy Balls

3 – Applesauce

Applesauce is another good snack to eat during labor. You’ll find a ton of options available commercially- try to stick to organic versions as far as you can, and you should be good. 

Of course, homemade applesauce is always great, but stocking up on those little to-go pouches can really be a lifesaver. 

4 – Seaweed Snacks

Rich in fiber, vitamin C, omega 3 fatty acids and a lot of other important nutrients, seaweed is an excellent food to consume during pregnancy, and of course, during labor. Seaweed snacks are available in plenty almost everywhere, which is another plus. 

5 – Bone Broth

As labor progresses, keeping yourself hydrated is more important than anything, and that’s when sipping on some bone broth can be great, as opposed to just plain water or sucking on ice chips. 

While you can always opt for store-bought versions, choosing a homemade low sodium version can work wonders. 

Another bonus of this is bone broth can help establish good milk supply if you plan to breastfeed.

6 – Dried Fruits and Nuts

Almost all kinds of dried fruits and nuts are calorie dense, and can be a great source of energy, especially during early labor. Make sure you choose the regular, unsalted variety to keep your sodium levels in check.  This trail mix is a good option.

Remember that choosing the right foods is just as important during labor as it was during the pregnancy period. Opt for nutritious, healthy, clean, energizing foods and minimally processed foods. 

More on Preparing for Baby

Red Raspberry Leaf Labor Stories and Benefits

18 Things to Do Before Your Baby Arrives

7 Tips for Having a Natural Childbirth

Affirmation for Labor

Preparing to Breastfeed for Beginners

Ultimate Postpartum Grocery List and Meal Ideas

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Free Birth Affirmations Printable

Download 4 free printable birth affirmations to help keep your mind focused during pregnancy and childbirth. Birth Affirmations are a great tool to help YOU achieve a natural childbirth.

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