Having good (and healthy!) snacks for your hospital bag is important. In fact, if you asked me during my hospital stay, I would have told you that it was the most important thing that I packed. I was not necessarily hungry during labor. Though, I did eat during the earlier hours of labor. But I was starving after giving birth and breastfeeding for the first time.
Make sure to check out my Hospital Bag Checklist, if you haven’t already. You’ll want to be sure to pack good and healthy snacks for your hospital bag to keep up your energy and to stay nourished. Giving birth is hard work. Although, I’m sure you are already aware of that. Labor can be long and draining. And delivering that baby is traumatic for your body. Making sure you are caring for yourself, in one of the most basic ways, is important.
What to Expect
To be sure you are completely prepared, check with your hospital to see what your food and drink options are. Also, how far those options are from the labor and delivery ward. And what the hours of operation are for those. Your hospital also may not provide food right away if you give birth in the middle of the night. Some hospitals (especially during a global pandemic happening) might not feed your support partner. So, please keep them in mind when packing food!
Additionally, you’ll want to ask if the hospital has a fridge available for your use. That will drastically change the food options that you select. We didn’t have a fridge available for our use and made sure to back a cooler bag with icepacks. And it’s worth knowing what you’re provider’s policy is on eating while in labor. Some hospitals might only offer you ice chips (….yay…). If that is the case, these snacks will still come in handy after birth.
Unique Dietary Needs
If you have any food allergies or sensitivities, you’ll want to be extra careful to pack enough of your favorite foods. Hospitals will do their absolute best to accommodate your dietary needs. But, hospitals are not known for having very high quality (or delicious) foods. Packing a few extras of your favorite items can help you get by if you are brought a disappointing meal.
Support your Support Partner
As I mentioned before, don’t forget to pack snacks and drinks for your birth partner. They may take the backseat to labor and delivery, but that does not mean they are any less important. Supporting a loved one during labor and delivery is challenging. It’s exhausting. And it can demand long hours for them as well.
Help yourself by helping them stay hydrated and energized.
Good and Healthy Snacks for your Hospital Bag
- Electrolyte Drinks
Think of drinks like coconut water, Gatorade, and Pedialyte. There are many benefits to electrolytes. Staying hydrated during labor is crucial.
- Easy to Consume (Natural) Sources of Sugar
Honey pouches, honey sticks, applesauce pouches, or dried fruit. When you hear me suggest sugar, you might be put off at first. But these are naturally occurring sugar choices, not snacks with a lot of added sugar. Read more about natural vs. added sugar sources at the American Heart Association.
Another good and healthy snack option for your hospital bag is a source of protein. You can never go wrong with low-sodium almonds, a vegan protein shake, or a protein bar. The Luna Mashup Bars are my favorite protein bars!
Everyone has different perspectives on drinking caffeine during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Personally, I would not have made it through either without a little help from caffeine. You can monitor your caffeine levels and safely drink caffeine throughout your pregnancy and while breastfeeding. Some babies can be sensitive to caffeine while breastfeeding, so keep an eye out for any signs of that!
- Sugar-Free Hard Candies
Keeping something on hand to help keep my mouth moist was very beneficial. You are doing a lot of mouth breathing, probably some loud noises, and your mouth can end up very dry. That’s an uncomfortable feeling and should be the last thing you are worrying about.
- Ginger Chews
These are a staple in my house for nausea, pregnancy-related or not. They are also just delicious. But, most importantly, can help you work through nausea that often comes along with labor and delivery.
You can never go wrong with a classic deli sandwich. Although, it might be safer to stick with a PB&J if you won’t have access to a fridge.
- Other Miscellaneous Snack Items
There is no shame in packing a comfort food or two. Really, you’ve earned it. Moderation is key. Some other good (and somewhat healthy!) snack ideas for your hospital bag might be pretzels, hummus and veggies, trail mix, or jerky.
- Refillable Water Bottle
Hydration is everything.
The Postpartum Period is challenging enough as it is. Prepare yourself with these Postpartum Care Must-Have Items. By caring for your body, you are allowing more energy to be spent caring for your mind (and that baby, of course!). Give yourself a better shot at a healthy postpartum period by finding good and healthy snacks for your hospital bag.
Need More Love?
Check out these other helpful articles:
- Hospital Bag Checklist
- Newborn Essential Items
- Everything You Should Know About Breastfeeding
- Becoming a Mother | Pregnancy, Labor, and Delivery