I was introduced to the idea of a ‘labour aid’ drink during my second pregnancy and it turned out to be a real lifesaver – not just for me but also for my doula clients as I make up the recipe and bring it with me for them.
Labour is energy-intensive (you’ll feel like you’ve just run a marathon the next day!) so you need to regularly replace both water and sugars to stay energised and hydrated.
Labour aid contains electrolytes, vitamins, and minerals.
Electrolytes are required for muscle contractions. Without them muscles become weak and contractions can be less effective.
Electrolytes also regulate your nerve functions, hydration, ph levels and blood pressure. Drinking labour-aid not only allows the body to work more efficiently during labour, but also helps with recovery after birth because electrolytes assist in rebuilding damaged tissue as well.
Making and using the drink
You can make up the drink in advance and freeze it into ice cubes, or just have everything ready to go and make it up during the early stages of labour.
Top tip! Put it in a bottle with an in-built straw, or have a bendy straw handy. It’s much easier to drink through a straw during labour.
Ask your birth support partner to offer you regular sips every so often eg. every 15 minutes, or in between contractions, so you stay hydrated and energised.
How and why does this labour aid drink work?
Water: Staying hydrated during labour is crucial. Dehydration can lead to fatigue, reduced uterine contractions, and other complications. Drinking water helps maintain proper bodily functions and can keep you from becoming too weak during labour.
Apple Juice: Apple juice is a source of natural sugars, which can provide a quick energy boost. It can also help maintain blood sugar levels during labour, preventing a drop in energy.
Salt: A little salt in your drink can help replace some of the electrolytes lost through sweat and bodily fluids during labour. This might help maintain the body’s electrolyte balance, especially if you’re sweating a lot.
Honey: Honey is a natural sweetener that can provide a quick source of energy due to its simple sugars. It may also help boost your energy levels during labour.
Calcium Tablets: Calcium is an important mineral for muscle function, including uterine contractions. During labour, adequate calcium levels are essential for muscle contractions.
Lemons: Lemons are a good source of vitamin C, which can boost your immune system and provide antioxidants. Vitamin C is essential for tissue repair, and it may help with recovery after labour.
And here’s the recipe!
- 2 Cups Water
- 2 Cups Apple Juice
- Salt to taste
- Honey to taste
- 2 crushed Calcium Tablets
- 1-2 Fresh Squeezed Lemons