Labor is like a marathon, not a sprint. Or so I’m told. Since I’ve got a Y chromosome, I won’t have to personally go through this amazing event. I will soon see all of the action as a support person and spectator. All of the women that have gone through this rite of passage understand that it has been given the name “labor” for a reason.
Labor is work. Hard work. There’s sweat, blood, and tears. And more sweat, blood, and tears. Labor can go on for hours, and for some unlucky few it can go on for days. The act of labor is strenuous and a woman’s body needs to be nourished and hydrated continuously for the strength and endurance to complete the task.
For hydration, some hospitals will start an IV drip of saline. If you’ve decided that you want to skip the IV and take fluids through your stomach, some Labor and Delivery Rooms will allow this. For an off-the-shelf drink, there’s always the Powerade, Gatorade, Vitamin Water, Recharge, etc. Although the above prepackaged drinks are great in providing electrolytes and sugar to your body, sometimes they can cause stomach upset and increase an already unhappy digestive system. Other people have found the branded electrolyte drinks to have too much sugar, or too many artificial colors/sweeteners to be palatable.
Well, if you’re looking for a drink that can be helpful as well as customizable to your tastes, look no further! Below is the labor drink that can be prepared for your work at the hospital and/or ingested throughout the labor marathon you are about to embark upon. These drinks are full of electrolytes and will help you get the nutrients to support your body through labor and beyond!
- 1/3 cup lemon juice
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1/4-1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1-2 calcium tablets, crushed
- 1 qt water
Don’t forget about the benefits of COCONUT WATER. This wonderful drink has potassium, magnesium and other electrolytes. It’s also naturally isotonic, containing the same level of electrolytic balance as our own bodies. The low amounts of sugar make it less irritating to the stomach as well.
A nice easy rule of thumb to follow would be to drink about 1 cup of fluid for every hour of labor. Let the laboring begin!