When packing your hospital bag for labor and delivery, you should remember to include snacks alongside other personal essentials. Labor and childbirth can be stressful, and your body needs adequate nutrients to heal, regain energy and stimulate milk production for nursing your newborn.
Therefore, the snacks you carry to munch on after delivery is crucial for your health and recovery. What’s more, your hospital food may not be appealing, and you will need to eat for energy. To help you make wise dietary choices after delivery, here are some snacks you should pack in your hospital bag to ease post-delivery hunger pangs.
Best Snacks for Hospital Bag
Salted crackers are suitable for when you are feeling nauseous. They are full of carbohydrates and will give you the energy you need after delivery. Any cracker is a good option, be it Graham crackers or saltine. You can eat the crackers alone or with cheese.
2) Carrot and Cucumber Sticks
Carrot and cucumber sticks are vegetables that make healthy snacks for your hospital bag. They are long-lasting and won’t spoil quickly. You can pack them in a reusable container with a towel at the bottom to absorb any moisture. You can store them in your lunch box.
Nuts like peanuts, cashews and almonds are excellent sources of healthy fats and proteins. They are ideal as your hospital snacks for labor and after delivery. Breastfeeding moms benefit from nuts as they provide the calories they need when nursing and boost their milk supply.
Are you wondering what snacks to pack for pregnancy hospital bag? Applesauce comes in small cups and pouches you can use on the go. They contain healthy carbs and sugars and are easy to digest. You can find applesauce in various flavors, allowing you to select depending on your preferences.
Yogurt is easy to digest and gives you a protein boost. It also contains probiotics that promote gut health. Pack yogurt as part of your snacks to bring to the hospital for labor so you can take it after delivery.
6) Protein Bars
Nursing takes up a lot of calories. Protein bars help you remain full and energetic while breastfeeding. Since there are many flavors to choose from, choose healthy options such as vanilla almond and chocolate hazelnut crunch.
7) Granola Bars
Granola bars can give you the energy you need after going through childbirth. Additionally, they come in a wide variety, so you can easily tailor them to fit your taste. Besides being light snacks for your hospital bag, they are also long-lasting.
Sucking on candy can keep your mouth fresh and give you a quick energy boost. Add lollies, gummy bears, or jellybeans in your hospital back for after-delivery cravings. You can also include sour candy, which can help settle your stomach if you feel nauseous.
Like salted crackers, pretzels are good snacks for your hospital bag as they are long-lasting. Since they are bland, they don’t give you an upset stomach. They are also salty to ease nausea. Pack them in different flavors for when your taste buds change.
10) Cheese Sticks
Cheese sticks and cubes have high fat and protein content to keep you energetic and full. They are easy to grab and eat, and you can easily stuff them in your hospital bag to consume after your delivery. You may have to carry a small cooler for the cheese or ask the hospital staff to keep it in the fridge.
11) Electrolyte Drinks
Drinks like Gatorade and vitamin waters are great for hydrating and maintaining your electrolyte balance post-delivery. You can also pack coconut water in your hospital bag as it serves the same purpose. Some mothers also claim that electrolyte drinks increase their breast milk supply.
12) Honey Sticks
Honey sticks contain about 15 calories, making them the perfect snacks to pack in a hospital bag for labor. They provide a quick source of energy, have antimicrobial properties, and promote healing. They are also naturally sweet without processed sugars.
Whether you like eating your cereal dry or with milk, they are a suitable option to pack in your hospital bag. Most hospitals have milk for patients, which you can use for your cereal. Cereals contain vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Mixing it with milk gives you protein and fat for long-lasting energy after delivery.
Fruits are among the healthiest snacks for your hospital bag as they are rich in vitamins. They also have carbs and healthy sugars that boost energy and contain fiber. Fruits like apples, pears, oranges, and mangoes have hard skins and won’t’ bruise. Alternatively, you can pack dried fruits so they can last you longer.
Oatmeal is a great addition to your hospital bag for labor as it is a bland fiber-rich food. It is also easy to digest. After delivery, you may suffer constipation due to pregnancy hormones. Oatmeal is rich in fiber that helps move things along in your digestive system, thus preventing constipation. It also has iron and is known to boost breast milk.
16) Ginger Ale
If you feel nauseous due to labor, ginger ale can ease the feeling by settling your stomach. You can also consider ginger tea with honey for some sugar if you don’t like the fizz that comes with ginger ale.
17) Rice Cakes
Rice cakes are crunchy dry snacks you can eat after delivery without needing utensils. Besides being a source of carbs for energy, they also contain fiber. As such, they’ll keep you full for longer. You can add nut butter to your rice cakes for protein, although you can also eat them dry to avoid nausea.
Popcorns are rich in fiber and carbohydrates, making them excellent energy boosters after delivery. If you are craving something salty after delivery, you can reach for popcorn in your hospital bag for labor.
Soups or broth are nutritious comfort food for after delivery. Besides being packed with nutrients, they also help you hydrate as your fluid requirements increase as a lactating mother. You can pack homemade soup in a leak-proof container or buy them in cans. Whether you like chicken or vegetable soup, they are a great snack if you breastfeed, as they boost your milk supply.
Popsicles are delicious and easy to digest. Pack them in your hospital bag to snack on them when you experience post-delivery hunger pangs. Consider popsicles made of real fruits if you only want healthy snacks in your hospital bag.
Whether homemade or store-bought, pickles help you maintain your electrolyte levels. They also contain probiotics as they are fermented foods, making them ideal for improving your gut health and aiding digestion.
Any kind of muffin is a valuable addition to your list of snacks for the labor hospital bag. If you love baking, you can make them before your hospital visit. Alternatively, you can get the muffins from the store for an energy boost after delivery.
23) Beef Jerky
Blood loss is a normal after-effect of delivery. Pack beef jerky in your hospital bag for labor to help replenish your protein levels and fight anemia and iron deficiency. The iron in the beef jerky helps with breast milk supply, while the sodium content restores your electrolyte balance.
24) Juice Box
Once your milk starts coming, you will feel thirsty more often. A juice box means settling your hunger pangs while hydrating and meeting your fluid requirements. Pack your favorite juice box in your hospital bag to help you re-energize after childbirth.
25) Trail Mix
Trail mix usually contains a combination of nuts, dried fruits, and cereal. They are among excellent snacks to bring to the hospital for labor because they are rich in protein. They will also keep you full during your labor duration.
Dates are like natural candy. You can easily pack them in your hospital bag or purse. Some studies show that consuming dates immediately after delivery can minimize post-partum blood loss. Dates also contain simple sugars to boost your energy after delivery.
27) Boiled Eggs
Boiled eggs are a source of protein for your post-partum hunger pangs as they soothe your muscles after contracting during childbirth. It is better to find fortified eggs as they contain omega-3 fats. Studies have shown that omega-3 fats can reduce your risk of post-partum depression.
Peanut butter and jam or Nutella sandwiches are excellent snacks that will keep you full post-delivery while nourishing you with protein and carbs. Pack your sandwiches in a hard container to avoid squashing.
You can make cookies before going to the hospital or buy your favorites at the store. Cookies are simple sources of carbohydrates that you can eat after delivery to give you energy. You can opt for cookies made from whole grain, as they will keep you feeling full.
30) Veggies and Hummus
Veggies and hummus are the best snacks for labor and after birth. They contain plant protein and will keep you full. What’s more, they are easy to pack and carry around.
Most of the above snacks are readily available. You can even make some at home or buy them on your way to the hospital. If you can, check with your hospital to find out what kind of food or snacks they offer so you know which snacks to bring to the hospital for labor.
Sources: PubMed, Effect of Dates in Late Pregnancy on the Duration of Labor in Nulliparous Women, Oct 2017 and PubMed, N-3 (Omega-3) Fatty Acids in Postpartum Depression: Implications for Prevention and Treatment, Oct 2010.