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I recently received an email from fellow blogess Katie Moore asking to submit a guest post on my blog 🙂
I was thrilled that:
A. someone I don’t know wanted to contribute to my blog!
B. She shares so many of my interests and writes about similar topics!
So of course, I said YES!
I don’t often spend time talking about mommy topics related to pregnancy and delivery as it seems like ages ago that I was there, but her article is really important for those of you readers who may be in the prenatal stage of your mommyhood!
Thank you Katie for reaching out!!
Nutritional Preparation for Labor and Delivery
Good nutrition and exercise are the two most important factors for reaching full gestation and a healthy birth weight for your baby. In those last few weeks, you are unlikely to feel like exercising much, but the foods you choose can still make a difference in labor and recovery from the delivery. Take a look at why the labor diet is important, what it consists of, and how to time an athlete’s diet to coincide with labor.
Why Eat a Special Diet for Labor?
Even if you have scheduled an induced delivery, labor is not a predictable process. It can happen quickly or be drawn out over hours. Every woman knows at least one friend who tells the story of a 24-hour or longer labor. Regardless of the length of time, labor and delivery take a lot out of you, literally!
But seriously, the heart beat increases and muscles of the lower back, pelvis, and abdomen are stretched to their limits. If you forgo pain medication in favor of a concentration meditation, such as the style taught by Lamaze, you’ll also need plenty of brainpower. Even if you’re familiar with the staff and clinic, you’re likely to be a little stressed emotionally.
A labor diet can help with all of this by giving your body the fuel it needs for these challenges. Athletes have long understood this and used a special diet in preparation for events. How does the labor diet differ from the pregnancy diet?
Modified Athlete’s Diet for Labor
The pre-event diet for athletes emphasizes intake of complex and simple carbohydrates that rank low on the glycemic index (GI) scale. GI is a measure of how rapidly the blood glucose levels change in response to ingestion. Table sugar, for example has a high GI. Low-GI foods include whole fruit, unsweetened yogurt or sweetened with honey, whole grains, vegetables, legumes, and lean meats. Most sources suggest that athletes optimize this diet over three days.
Physician Peter J. D’Adamo suggests modifications to the athlete’s diet for labor. His plan includes:
* Extra protein;
* Complex carbohydrates from whole food sources; and
* Most importantly, foods rich in vitamins A, C and K. Vitamins A and C are specific to tissue repair in the genitals, and vitamin K is for clotting and circulation.
Knowing When to Start the Diet
If you knew labor would begin in three days exactly, you’d know when to start the labor diet. Even without exact knowledge, I made an accurate prediction on the start of my labor based on a couple of signs. The nesting spurt I experienced was my first clue. It came on gradually, as is sometimes the case, but it hit hardest the week before delivery. With my journal and close attention to my past behavior, it was clear that labor would begin very soon.
As you begin to exhibit these signs, be sure that your hospital bag is packed with all of your essentials for delivery day to make you comfortable, as well as your birth plan with your choices concerning birthing style, pain management, umbilical cord blood banking, and immunizations outlined. Then you will soon experience birth and find that delivery is a psychological hurdle more than anything. The feeling of being prepared is just as important as any actual preparations.
Katie Moore has written and submitted this article. Katie is an active blogger who discusses the topics of, motherhood, children, fitness, health and all other things Mommy. She enjoys writing, blogging, and meeting new people! To connect with Katie contact her via her blog, Moore From Katie or her twitter, @moorekm26.
- Choosing The Best Pre-Natal Nutrition by Katie Moore (laniebugzlikes.wordpress.com)
- Tips for Maintaining a Healthy Pregnancy Through the Holidays (grayhairedmom.com)
- Stages of Labor and Delivery (enfamil.com)