Labor is one of those activities that really makes you work. If you’ve been through labor before, whether with an epidural or without, you know what I’m talking about! It’s exhausting, and the longer it lasts, the faster your energy is drained with each contraction. That’s why it is SO important to have some sort of energy boost readily available for those critical hours.
If you’re planning on a hospital birth, chances are you won’t be able to eat anything solid, and even if you’re allowed to eat at a birthing center or at home, a quick bite might be the furthest thing from your mind. (Or if you’re anything like me, you’ll just throw it up later, in which case eating is not the most pleasant task.) But staying hydrated throughout the process is an absolute must. Your body NEEDS water to recharge your cells and help you cope with such a strenuous task. If you’re anything like me, plain old water gets old pretty quickly, and while it does the trick for a bit, I often find that I can drink a lot more if it has a little bit of flavor to it. Something with added electrolytes and a little bit of sugar can go a long way, too.
Sugary, high-sodium drinks like Gatorade aren’t the worst choice in the world, but all that extra salt and processed sugar can sometimes do more harm than good, dehydrating you instead of providing a more lasting hydration.
My midwife gave me a recipe for some homemade Gatorade, “Labor-Aid” if you will, and while the ingredient list had me skeptical at first, I made a glass to test it out and was thoroughly impressed with how GOOD it tasted! Delightfully refreshing with just the right amount of sweet and salty mix. I loved it so much that when I got a stomach bug and threw up all night last week, I had my husband make me a whole gallon of it to keep in the fridge and sip on periodically. Thankfully my little bug only lasted 24 hours or so and then I was on the way to recovery, but my Labor-Aid really gave me the tiny bit of energy boost I needed to take care of my 2 year old when all I really wanted to do was sleep all day. (It really sucks having to take care of a rambunctious toddler when you feel like crap. Can I get an Amen?!)
So let’s check out what it’s made of and why its just so great
- Water- Of course water is going to be the main ingredient in a rehydrating drink ? You can use plain, filtered water, Smart Water which has it’s own set of electrolytes, or if you’re a fan of coconut (I’m not…yuck), you can use coconut water.
- Lemon Juice- Freshly squeezed would be best, but if you’re short on time, energy, or both, you can use store bought lemon juice. I added a bit of lime to mine as well, and it was equally as delicious. This is mainly for flavor, but lemons have amazing natural antiseptic and antibacterial properties so if you’re using it because you’re sick, this is an added bonus! If you’re not a huge lemon-lime fan, try other tropical flavors like pineapple or orange!
- Sea Salt- Salt AKA sodium is a major electrolyte that your body needs to function properly. Natural sea salt (Pink Himalayan Salt is my favorite, but you can also use Celtic Salt or any other kind of natural salt (not the Iodized table salt)) also contains a healthy dose of minerals. If you’re on a salt restriction for some reason, you can always reduce the amount in this recipe or leave it out all together.
- Honey- Pure, raw, unfiltered honey, preferably from a local bee-keeper is a fantastic choice for a touch of sweetness, but it also gives that oh-so-needed energy boost. Just one tablespoon of honey, with its unique blend of glucose, fructose, and organic sugars, can provide just enough of a carbohydrate boost to give you a quick burst of energy. (Notice I said quick…this is a short acting energy burst, so keep sipping!) ?
- Concentrace Mineral Drops- This ingredient is optional, but it is a blend of concentrated minerals pulled from Utah’s Inland Sea (The Great Salt Lake). Just an extra boost of minerals for those thirsty cells.
- Rescue Remedy Drops– This is another optional ingredient, a blend of 5 different flower and herbs made into a tincture that is said to reduce anxiety and calm nerves. Dr. Bach’s blend contains Cherry Plum to prevent the fear of your mind giving way or the verge of a breakdown, Clematis to prevent the tendency to pass out, Impatiens to prevent irritability, tension and fidgetiness, Rock Rose for “frozen terror” and panic, and Star of Bethlehem for trauma and shock. Having never used it separately, I can’t speak to its effectiveness; however, the reviews on Amazon seem to testify that it truly works wonders so I’m giving it a shot!
To Make One Glass
- 2 Cups filtered water (Use coconut water or Smart Water for extra electrolytes)
- 1/4 Cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (or store bought lemon juice if you’re in a pinch…I also added some lime juice to mine. Delicioso!)
- 1/8 tsp Himalayan Sea Salt (or Celtic Salt or Natural Sea Salt)
- 1/4 Cup raw, unfiltered honey (more or less to taste)
- a few drops Concentrace Mineral Drops (optional)
- a few drops Rescue Remedy (optional)
Mix all ingredients in a tall glass, and drink! How easy is that? I found that heating the water first and letting the honey and salt dissolve THEN adding ice cubes to cool it down worked really well.
Make a One Gallon Pitcher
- 6 Cups filtered water
- 3/4 Cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp Himalayan Sea Salt 3/4 Cup raw, unfiltered honey
- 15-20 drops Concentrace Mineral Drops
- 15-20 drops Rescue Remedy
You can keep this pitcher in your fridge for about a week, but you’ll likely need to stir it up before pouring a glass.
What About You?
Have you tried Labor-Aid before? What are your favorite variations? What are your favorite pick-me-ups in labor?