Preparing for Birth Part 1: Staying Hydrated — A Natural Alternative to Electrolyte Drinks

This post is part of a mini-series on preparing for birth. You can see the other posts, or my home birth house tour video here.IMG_1625

During my first birth, I made a fruit and veggie smoothie with a milk kefir base, and it kept me full and satiated my thirst for the 9 hours I was in labor at the hospital. (I was one of the lucky ones who didn’t get sick, and the hospital didn’t seem to mind that my husband rolled in a cooler of drinks and snacks!)

In the past four years, however, I’ve moved away from dairy kefir and onto water kefir and coconut water, so I’m trying something different for this birth. Staying hydrated and fueled during labor is SO important! We use up tons of energy getting that baby out, and women who are not well hydrated tend to have longer labors and greater need for Pitocin. That’s reason enough for me to find ways to keep my fluid intake high. I’m not interested in your run-of-the-mill electrolyte drink which tends to have some yucky ingredients in it, so I set out to make my own. In my Homebirth House Tour video, you can see the ingredients for the drink I’m making, but here is a list and rough recipe if you’d like to create your own. I’ve taken inspiration from so many different books and blogs to find the right recipe that suits me, and I encourage you to do the same!

Instead of just plain water, or even water kefir (which I tend to enjoy in smaller amounts) I’m opting for coconut water for the base, as it’s a great source of potassium and electrolytes. I have all the ingredients, as well as written instructions ready for my husband to prep when I go into labor. It’s pretty easy, but it will give him something to do!

Labor Drink

1 quart coconut water (feel free to make your own…I’m not that ambitious.)

2 or more heaping tablespoons of honey (Raw honey is best – it’s an easily assimilated sugar/energy boost. I’m in love with Crystal’s, which is available in MA Whole Foods)

1/4 t sea salt

1/4 t Concentrace Minerals (I’ve been taking these throughout my pregnancy – they add to the electrolyte content)

1/2 c juice – I chose lemon because I like the flavor but any fresh pressed juice would work fine here

6 or more ice cubes made from water kefir, juice, or red raspberry leaf infusion (red raspberry leaves steeped for 4-8 hours, strained, and frozen)

Add all ingredients to a pitcher. Stir. Enjoy!

Labor Snacks

I’m planning to have some homemade bone broth on hand if I’m in the mood. It’s so easily digestible and super nourishing.

I also have made dozens of coconut flour muffins, fruit and nut bars, and oat energy bars in a bunch of different flavors, which my husband can easily take out of the freezer for me.

I also have fruit, cheese, nuts, and amazingly delicious grass-fed beef sticks from US Wellness Meats.

What about you? Were you hungry or thirsty during labor? What did you drink or eat?

Check out the rest of the series here!

Part 1: Staying Hydrated–Labor Drink and Snack Recipe

Part 2: Making a Personalized Birth Kit 

Part 3: A Homemade Sitz Bath Recipe

Part 4: Creating a Nursing Basket

Megan McGrory Massaro is a mother, freelance writer, and author. She wrote The Other Baby Book: A Natural Approach to Baby’s First Year  to empower women to make the best choices for their families.


7 thoughts on “Preparing for Birth Part 1: Staying Hydrated — A Natural Alternative to Electrolyte Drinks

  1. LOVE this article..and your blog! I have not gotten your book yet but with baby #2 well on it’s way I need to pick it up soon!! Suggestion: I would have loved to PIN this on my pregnancy board on Pintrest!!

    1. Thanks, Laura! You can manually pin it by copying the link. I use a little “pin it” button on my browser for sites that don’t have the buttons embedded. That said, we will work on getting a pinterest button ASAP! ~Megan

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