Packing up a hospital bag can be daunting! But while you’re adding your deodorant and toothbrush, make sure to grab healthy snacks for labor and immediately after delivery. Good nutrition during labor is vital! Packing your hospital snack bag doesn’t have to be daunting or overly complicated. Picking high quality snacks can make you feel more in control and help you feel better fueled for labor. Also, having some great snacks on hand prevents you from depending on hospital food. So make sure you have a small travel bag or ziplock baggie set aside for your snacks. Need some inspiration? Here are some of my favorite and healthy nutrition picks:
- Nuts and nut butter. I love the individual nut butter packets by Wild Friends Foods.
- Fresh fruit like bananas and apples or dried fruit. Try to opt for dried fruits that don’t have a lot of added sugar. If you have a mini fridge in your hotel room, other fresh fruit may be an option.
- Larabars and RX bars make great, easy snacks. If you have a mini fridge you can also bring perfect bars.
- Olive packs
- Grassfed beef jerky
- Fruit and veggie queeze pouches or Fuel For Fire
- Protein or energy bites
- Collagen or or whey protein.
- Coconut water
I love anything in individual bags; think of things you can grab quickly. Include a bit of whatever sounds delicious: popcorn, chocolate, etc. Your body will happily use the fuel you give it for labor. And don’t forget, food choices will also help you recover and support milk production. Opt for high quality, nutrient-dense foods, but this can also be a time of balance. Have a snack while laboring if allowed to help with depletion of energy stores. And don’t stress too much if you need to opt for simple carbs. Crackers help if feeling sick or needing something bland.
Take note of snacks you love during pregnancy or in the hospital. Due to an increase in your basal metabolic rate while breastfeeding we need to eat MORE, not less. In other words, while breastfeeding, your body will need more calories to for tasks such as breathing and heart beat. You are also now exclusively feeding another person through breastmilk. So, this isn’t the time to diet. While body image issues can emerge, try not to focus on getting your “body back”. Your body never left you. In fact, it’s shown up for you daily. Let’s fuel it with quality foods that serve you and baby. Give yourself the chance to fall in love with a new version of your body and appreciate the incredible feat it accomplished.