When you’re in labour, the last thing you need to worry about is what snacks to pack in your hospital bag. You just need a foolproof plan with hospital bag snack ideas to pack way in advance of giving birth.
With my first, I didn’t consider what to pack at all and as a result, I ended up with some last-minute snacks from the hospital’s vending machine – less than ideal!
With my second, I was prepared. I went to all the supermarkets in the weeks leading up to my labour trying to find the best snacks for my hospital bag. I wasn’t going to get stuck with some warm Ribena this time!
Now I’ll be honest, I may have eaten all of my hospital bag snacks before I gave birth to my second child, and as a result, I had to go out and buy them all again, but that’s all part of the joys of the third trimester!
I’m going to take a wild guess about you here.
You’re sat looking up “snacks for hospital bag” and wondering whether you should go for mega healthy, energy pumping snacks, and if that’s what you’re looking for them I’ve got some great snacks for you.
But if you’re looking for an easy snack in the form of sweet treats, well, I’ve got you covered there too!
In this blog post, I’ll share some favourite snacks for labour and for after giving birth, tried and tested by me and my mum friends! So whether you’re looking for something healthy or something a little more indulgent, we’ve got you covered.
Do you need snacks during labour?
Yes, you do need snacks during labour so it would pay you well to pack snacks well in advance of your due date, just in case baby decides to make an appearance earlier than you’re expecting!
You’ll use snacks for the duration of your hospital stay, but particularly if you have a long labour, as they help to keep your energy levels up and are the easiest thing to grab between contractions.
Do hospitals allow snacks during labour?
Yes, hospitals do allow snacks during labour. In fact, they’d be crazy not to! While you may struggle to find snacks when you are in labour, the hospital and midwives will likely encourage you to bring snacks from home to keep your energy levels up.
What snacks to take to induction?
If you’re going in for an induction, snacks are even more important as you may be there for a while! If you can, try to pack snacks that will last a long time and won’t need to be refrigerated.
I would also recommend packing snacks that can be eaten with one hand so that you can still eat them if you’re hooked up to a drip or other medical equipment.
Some of my favourite snacks for an induction are:
– energy bars
– dried fruit and nuts
– cereal bars
– chocolate! (for when you need a little pick me up)
Can you eat when in labour?
Yes, you can eat when in labour. Whether or not you’ll feel like eating is a totally different thing (!) but you won’t find anyone stopping you if you want to eat during your labour, especially if it’s a long labour, induction or you’re getting tired.
Snacks are a great way to keep your energy levels up during labour. However, if you’re finding it difficult to eat, don’t force yourself – the most important thing is that you stay hydrated.
What week is best to pack your hospital bag?
There is no definitive answer as to when you should pack your hospital bag, as every pregnancy and birth is different. However, I would recommend packing your bag from around 35 weeks onwards, just in case baby decides to make an early appearance!
Packing snacks for your hospital bag is a great way to be prepared for labour and you should have your hospital bag snacks ready for the same time you pack your hospital bag.
Psst… don’t panic if you eat them all before you go into labour! You can replace them!
How to pack your hospital bag snacks
Packing snacks for your hospital bag is easy! Simply pop them into a sandwich bag or container and make sure they’re within easy reach so you can grab them when you need them.
You could even put together a little snacks box or hamper so that all of your snacks are in one place and you don’t have to go rummaging through your bag to find them.
I recommend packing them towards the top of your bag, or in a separate bag entirely, and letting your birth partner know where they are so they can easily get them for you as and when you need them.
What snacks to take for after giving birth?
After you’ve given birth, you’ll likely be ravenous! So it’s important to have snacks on hand that will give you the energy you need to recover.
If you have friends or family who have given birth, you’ll have likely heard the stories about the amazing toast they had after giving birth, and to be honest you’re happy to eat anything, but here are a few of my favourite ideas.
Some of my favourite snacks for after giving birth are:
– toast with honey
What snacks to pack in your hospital bag
There are several different types of snacks you should pack in your hospital bag. Before I share my favourite snacks with you below, here’s a rough guide of what you’ll need:
– energy boosting snacks
– easy to eat snacks
– snacks for long labour (aka non-perishables)
– snacks for after giving birth
You could argue that snacks for after giving birth are similar to easy to eat snacks, but keep in mind you’ll most likely be eating one-handed after you’ve given birth, and over a small baby’s head, so think small, sugar hits and food that doesn’t break up easily when you take a bite!
Hospital Bag Snack Ideas: The Best Snacks for Your Hospital Bag
Protein bars are a good hospital snack generally because they keep you fuller for longer, so you’ll make your food stash last longer in general. If you’re finding other snacks aren’t touching the sides when you’re in labour, a protein bar should do the trick and help keep your energy levels up.
Fresh fruit is always a great snack, but particularly during labour, because fruits like bananas are great for keeping you full, slow-releasing energy and an essential sugar hit when you need it. It’s a great idea to eat bananas after you give birth too, as they’ll help with your digestion, so definitely pack a few to keep you going!
If you read my recommendations further up, you’ll know for the most part you should stick to non-perishables in your hospital bag. This is why dried fruit is a great alternative to fresh fruit for your hospital bag snacks. Any dried fruit will do here, so choose your favourites.
Nuts and seeds
On the subject of healthy snacks, nuts and seeds are about as healthy as you can get for little energy bites that’ll help speed up your digestive recovery after labour and provide essential healthy fats. If you crave a sugar hit then try a dried fruit & nut mix to give you the best of both worlds!
Hear me out on this one. Jaffa cakes are the PERFECT combination between biscuits/cakes, easy to eat in two bites and provide just the right sugar hit to keep your energy levels up. They keep well and they’re not stingy with how many you get in a box – meaning you should have some for after baby is born too!
You may not get long lasting energy from popcorn, but if you’re feeling hungry during your labour and don’t feel up to eating much, it’s a great way to make you feel full and hopefully distract you from the discomfort you’re feeling.
Similar to popcorn, crisps won’t necessarily give you any more energy but they’re a nice savoury hit when you need a bit of comfort food. Try to avoid large crisps as eating those over baby’s head once they’re born can get a little messy!
I don’t even think I need to explain biscuits. We all know why you’d want to pack biscuits. Great with tea, on their own, for sharing with the midwives – or maybe not 😉 – some easy to eat biscuits will do you wonders in your hospital bag, so make sure you pack them!
Rice cakes are an incredibly easy to eat and versatile snack. You can go for yoghurt or chocolate coated, go down the savoury route, or even plain if you’d prefer and they’ll last FOREVER in your hospital snacks bag.
Again, another one I’m not sure I need to explain but I do have some advice. Avoid going for chocolate bars and instead go for easy to eat, small chocolate hits like M&Ms, smarties, etc. it’ll be easier to eat during your labour and after, plus you can make them last longer for when you desperately need a sugar boost!
Cereal bars are good snacks for when you need to fill yourself up quickly, similar to protein bars, but without the healthy association that you may really not be into during your labour. Try to go for a cereal bar with some plain nuts or dried fruit added in to give you a little more energy!
Ok, so you’re going to have to go for small muffins here, maybe it would be more accurate to say cupcakes. And even still, you’ll want to eat them during labour rather than post-delivery when the crumbs will drop all over baby’s head! Don’t worry, many mums do this and we all laugh about it now.
Carrot or celery sticks work well here, although keep in mind you won’t be able to pack them until the last minute so depending on where/when you go into labour, they might not make it in your bag!
Hard boiled eggs
SUCH a versatile snack. If the idea of this makes you feel a bit “ew” then definitely don’t pack these. But if you’re like me and you love a hard-boiled egg then definitely pack some with your hospital bag to give yourself some much needed protein and energy for the later stages of labour.
Ok, so this last one isn’t technically a snack but I couldn’t make this list without including it. Particularly if you don’t feel like eating, having a pack of four Lucozades in your hospital room will make the world of different to your energy levels. You’ll get a much needed sugar hit when you need it, stay hydrated and it makes a nice change from water!
Your Hospital Bag Snacks: Things To Remember
Keep in mind that the most important snacks to pack in your hospital bag are ones that you actually like. Labour is not the time to force yourself to eat something you don’t want to and there’s no magic food that will help labour in any way. It’s all about keeping yourself going with whatever YOU need to get through your labour and meet your baby.
So if you want the chocolate, pack the chocolate 😉