Labor is one of the most physically demanding events you’ll experience, and the body should be fueled accordingly. Some clients often think there isn’t much they can do to better support their energy levels or help prevent nausea. However there are choices you can consider when you’re fueling for labor. Barring labor coming on unexpectedly these are tactics that may help:
? Fill glycogen stores by adding in some additional carbohydrates in the days leading up to labor.
? Stabilize blood sugars by adding in protein and fat sources to all meals, especially those that are carbohydrate heavy.
? Steer clear of foods that trigger nausea/reflux.
? Talk to your doctor about a calcium-magnesium supplement. This recommendation is based on theories that it may reduce the intensity of contractions.
?Stay hydrated. If you’re feeling thirsty, you’re already dehydrated.
What about old wives’ tales of certain foods that bring on labor? The jury is still out, research-wise. It seems some foods, like dates, can help with cervical ripening or reducing the use of medications such as Pitocin. However, these foods need to be ingested in very large quantities for an extended period. So the 1 date you’re eating at night for a week or two? It’s probably not the magic bullet you’re hoping it is.
Do certain foods, like dates, put you into labor? Doesn’t seem so. Do they hurt? No. If you enjoy them and don’t have concerns about glucose levels, enjoy! But know your body too! Do fiber-rich foods cause you to poop? Maybe you don’t want to be doubling down on dates right before pushing.
For some, the idea that a food will bring on labor or ease pain is more about gaining control or dealing with fear of the unknown. If it helps mindset, eat the dates! But don’t forget to add a protein and/or fat, and know that baby will come when ready.