Mother and Baby

Preparing for labour: 9 snacks to pack in your hospital bag

Section: Labour & Birth

Most midwives will say when packing your hospital bag, popping in some healthy and energising snacks can help you prepare for labour.

It's important to keep your energy levels up, as labour can be unpredictable and uses up an enormous amount of energy.

Having some small snacks and sipping on water or energy drinks can help you feel more comfortable during labour. Here's a list of supplies to stock up on in your bag (or in a separate bag) for yourself and your birth partner to nibble on should you feel peckish prior to meeting your baby...


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Flapjacks/breakfast bars

A great energy boosting food, the oats in the flapjack or most breakfast bars will replenish those essential calories. It’s also a good one to pack for your birth partner, as they'll need to keep their energy up too.
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Isotonic drinks

An energy drink can you give that burst of energy if eating isn’t an option.
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Fresh fruit

Gas and air can dry out your mouth and your lips, so snacking on something fresh fruit can help you feel refreshed and rehydrated. Perhaps stick to fruit that will last out of the fridge, like satsumas, bananas and apples.
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Dried fruit

Dried fruits like apricots, raisins, prunes and figs are all high in vitamin E, iron, magnesium and calcium. What’s more, you’ll get all these nutrients in a relatively small portion, as most of the water will have been extracted.
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Sandwiches or pastries

Adding your favourite sandwich or pain au chocolat can be a really useful snack during labour. A carb-filled option will be just what you need to help release energy slowly while you're in labour.
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Don't underestimate packing some water bottles with you. You could also grab an on-the-go, compact cordial bottle to add flavour.
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Sweet treats

Pop a couple of choccies or breakfast bars with chocolate in them to satisfy any cravings you may have. Jaffa cakes could be a good option here, too. 
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One to banish that gas and air taste, don’t forget to chuck a pack of polos into your hospital bag.
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If all of the other snacks mentioned above make you feel nauseous, digestives or rich tea biscuits are a safe alternative to try. They're good to dunk into a cup of tea for that quick, yet satisfying fix. Or maybe some Hobnobs or chocolate covered digestives? Just biscuits, in general, are a winner during labour.

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  • Author: Maria Martin Maria Martin
  • Job Title: Digital Group Editor - Mother&Baby and Yours

Maria is the Online Editor for Mother&Baby. She is a biker, mama-of-two who enjoys baking and taking her little one to messy play. Maria's focus is around breastfeeding, post-partum depression and weaning. She aspires to help fellow mums through pregnancy, motherhood and beyond by discussing issues such as mental health and self-care. You can find Maria on Instagram and LinkedIn. Maria has won Bauer Media Awards for 2018 Digital Editor Of The Year and 2017 Digital Talent Of The Year. 

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