Making Labourade before you go into labour is quick and easy. You can freeze it to keep it until the Big Day, and the recipe is simple.
Training to be a doula, we were always told that one of the things that could negatively affect a woman’s labour was dehydration – it may slow your labour down, or you may needs IV fluids, which come with their own issues.
It is important to stay hydrated, to keep your uterus contracting efficiently, so having a good drink of water between every contraction is a great start. However, when you are working as hard as you do when you are in labour, sometimes you need a bit more oomph.
Often referred to as labouraide or labour-aid, labourade is simply a drink that will help provide you with the electrolytes, hydration and energy you need to get through the marathon of labour. It may contain a mix of the following ingredients:
- sea salt – full of electrolytes (for proper cell function) and minerals, helps with muscle contraction and expansion, avoiding muscle cramping from loss of sodium, and re-hydration
- calcium and magnesium – assist with muscle and nerve activity, helping the muscles to relax or contract. Calcium also helps with blood clotting, to protect you from losing too much blood. Best taken in the ratio of 2:1
- arnica – helps repair and heal bruised and sprained tissues and muscles. Taken at the start of labour, it can also help to make labour faster and less painful as it helps muscle relaxation. You should take no more than 6 doses of the 30c potency remedy or 10 doses of the 6c potency.
- honey or real maple syrup – natural energy source, with readily accessible carbs, and tastes yummo!
- lemon juice – useful for digestion, can help with the upset tummy some women feel during labour, and of course it helps the drink to taste good. Adding some ginger could also help to settle your tummy.
- Rescue Remedy – a Bach Flower essence that can help you to feel calm and focused
- coconut water – praised for its hydrating qualities, coconut water is full of electrolytes and minerals, and is an easily-absorbed simple sugar source. contains 13 times more potassium (needed for cell function) than Gatorade, plus twice the amount of sodium. (as a side note – don’t be tempted to use Gatorade or similar energy drinks, as they are often high in caffeine, which will send both your heartbeats and blood pressure up).
Having a bendy straw (or several) packed in your birth bag can really help. When you are in the depths of labour, you want everything to be as easy as possible so you can focus on birthing your baby.
You may want to consider freezing some of your mix in ice cube trays to just pop out when you want one – many women love to crunch on ice during their labour.
And of course, ensure that someone reminds you every hour to go to the toilet to release the waste fluids. This is a great job for your birth partner. If you have a full bladder, it makes it harder for bub to move down and out, and if you are like me, you want to see that gorgeous face as soon as you can.
1/4 cup honey or maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/3 cup lemon juice
crushed calcium and magnesium – from tablets, or liquid, in the ratio 2:1
few drops of Rescue Remedy
1 litre water or coconut juice
Add your name to our mailing list to receive information, articles, and specials, all related to pregnancy, birth and baby.