a trainers thoughts on labor and delivery (pre-labor)


it’s a good monday morning. which, i know, is a complete oxymoron for some; so i’m feeling pretty blessed.

i’m cranking my most eclectic itunes mix

(really, everything from the soweto gospel choir to the civil wars, rick astley to ziggy marley, it’s quite the jam)

i just had the most fantastic scrambled eggs i’ve experienced in a while. eggs. cumin. chili powder. avocado. and just a touch of brianna’s chipotle cheddar dressing. seriously, just do it.

i have pumpkin roasting in the oven and chicken bones boiling down into broth on the stove, because squashes and soup broths are essentials in my life this time of the year.

and i’m researching what to prepare in terms of food to take to the birth center in just 10 short weeks when we welcome our little cadence grace.

i already have her bag mostly packed, clothes, onesies, itty bitty socks, a couple of adorable little bumGenius diapers with newborn sized inserts (and a couple of little disposable diapers too, just in case!), and her ultra-baby-fashionista coming home outfit (no, seriously, i’m so excited). i still have to tuck in some receiving blankets and such, but it’s mostly together. any suggestions on other baby essentials to take to the birth?

i’m starting to turn my attention now to what i’ll need/want while we’re at the birthing center, starting with what will be the best things for me to fuel my body with during and after labor.

side note: can i just mention how completely, totally and irrevocably happy i am that i will get to go through this whole process without having to eat hospital food. it’s the ultimate. really.

i read early in pregnancy that normally labor is the metabolic equivalent of swimming 9(NINE!) miles! Holy smokes!

for those of you who don’t speak in trainer terms, let me put this in perspective. pre-pregnancy, i could swim a mile in about 45 minutes, which in turn burned about 400 calories (give or take a little) or one McDonald’s Angus Snack Wrap (please note, I’m not trying to endorse McDonald’s in any way).

if labor is the equivalent of swimming nine miles (which for one, is crazy), which would take me approximately 405 minutes, that means that i will be burning somewhere in the ballpark of 3,700 calories JUST WHILE LABORING.

this equates to burning off somewhere around 6.5 Big Mac’s.

yeah, it’s serious stuff.

so since there’s no way in heck i’m going to sit and chow down on a bag of Big Mac’s post-labor, i think it’s good to have a plan.

marathoners burn around 2,800 calories during a race and many of them have pre and post race meals figured out to a science. laboring mom’s exceed this by about 1,000 calories, and the solutions society offers are ice chips and hospital “food”?! yeah, okay.

certainly, i understand that labor is somewhat unpredictable and so to eat a definitive “pre-race” meal would be almost impossible. but i’m thinking carbing up around my due date couldn’t hurt.

for during labor, this is what i plan to take in my snack bag:
– raisins and other dried fruits. good carbs for quick energy access.
– homemade unsweetened apple sauce. again, fructose (the sugar found in fruit) is a sugar that the body can break down fast for instant energy.
– homemade popsicles made from real fruit juices. instead of just ice chips, which pack no caloric punch, juices can provide some of the calories i’ll need. i’m thinking juice blends with pomegranates, blueberries and other high-antioxidant foods may help reduce inflammation post-labor too. (maybe that’s wishful thinking).
– flat breads and plain whole-grain pastas. bland, yes, but easy to digest as well.

i’ll also probably pack an assortment of teas, large nalgene/camelback type bottles to help track water consumption and a gatorade or two (yes, i realize gatorade is not organic. some habits die hard) to help keep myself hydrated.

i haven’t found too much on what’s suggested for an immediate post-labor meal. but i’m thinking something high in complex carbs, lean proteins, iron and calcium is probably going to be my best bet. research is still in progress though.

what foods helped you bounce back after labor?

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