Healthy, Natural Pregnancy: “Labor-Aid” Recipe

For all the other pregnant mamas out there, here is a recipe that was passed on to me from my midwife. It’s known as “labor-aid” and the purpose is to have something that is both refreshing and revitalizing for mom to drink in the midst of labor. Sipping on it helps to maintain good hydration, and also gives a bit of an energy boost.

By using sea salt and a good quality calcium/magnesium tablet, you are adding minerals and electrolytes. When doing hard physical work and sweating, it’s important to maintain your electrolyte level for proper cell function and for energy, so this yummy drink helps to ensure that you can keep up with the work of labor!

Labor-Aid Drink1/3 cup fresh lemon juice

1/3 cup honey (or to taste)


1/4 tsp
sea salt

2 calcium/magnesium tablets, crushed


water to make 4 cups

I like to make sure that I have the ingredients for this drink on hand from 37 weeks onwards. Particularly for a spring/summer birth (and I even enjoyed this during my winter birth), it’s really nice to turn this drink into popsicles! Very cool and refreshing! :)

If you tend to have very short labors, I would probably keep a jug of it pre-made in the fridge. If you think you’ll have at least a bit of time with lighter contractions to start out with, simply have the ingredients available and then quickly make a jug before things get intense (or ask someone else to make it for you). It’s nice to keep straws on hand so that you can slowly sip at it throughout your labor (and straws with bendy tops make it easier to drink from depending on what position you are laboring in).

Another drink that would work well if you’d prefer to just have something store-bought and ready to go is Emergen-C. These drinks are very high in Vitamin C, and are loaded with minerals plus a bit of fructose (for energy) and yummy flavors. They’re much, much better for you than most energy drinks out there. We actually use them for boosting Vitamin C when we’re fighting a cold, for an afternoon pick-me-up when we’re tired, and they made excellent electrolyte drinks when we were on vacation in the Arizona summer heat last year. They come in multiple fruit flavors (I love lemon-lime and raspberry), and each packet makes an 8 oz. glass. I’m glad I just reminded myself of these- I might have to get a case in preparation for labor!

Wow, am I talking about labor already? Hard to believe I’ve only got just over 6 weeks, and potentially even less( or more, I need to keep it realistic here)!

Perhaps we should talk more about preparing for labor in this pregnancy series. Yes? What questions do you have about preparing your body for labor and particularly for natural childbirth?

Disclosure: This post includes affiliate links.

About Stephanie Langford

Stephanie Langford has a passion for sharing ideas and information for homemakers who want to make healthy changes in their homes, and carefully steward all that they've been given. She has written three books geared to helping families live more naturally and eat real, whole foods, without being overwhelmed, without going broke and with simple meal planning. She is the creator of Keeper of the Home.

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Comments

  1. any suggestions for what to substitute if you’re allergic to all forms of citrus?

  2. I just made this and put it in my freezer for when labor comes. It tastes really good! Thanks for posting.

  3. Be sure the magnesium/calcium ratio is at least 1:1. Since we tend to be deficient in magnesium, it might be better to get more magnesium. I’ve been researching magnesium since I’m using it to treat my daughter’s epilepsy- fascinating stuff! I’ve birthed 8 babies- all natural births- and feel blessed that God led me to that in a time when we didn’t have the internet resources that are available now. Still so many things I wish I knew then that I’m learning now on the internet!

  4. This sounds kinda like the homemade gatorade I make for my hubby – only I just add a lot of high mineral salt. I avoid buying most brands of calcium just because they can cause problems, and EmergenC has some fake sugars in it, though I may grab that in a pinch. Cal-Mag is good for helping muscles relax though, so I’ll have to find a source I feel comfortable with.
    Thanks for the post!

  5. Thanks for posting this recipe; I will be trying it in August when this baby comes! I’m planning another waterbirth at home, so I can just get all the ingredients ahead of time. I sucked down some Gatorade last time – which worked ok, but this seems much better.

    I’d also like to recommend red raspberry leaf tea from week 37-during labor. It works your uterus muscles to get them in shape for the real deal contractions. I’ve read to brew an extra-strength jug to drink during labor, and that baby will pop right out :)

  6. how far in advance do you think you could make this and have it keep in the fridge? i’m due with my first baby tomorrow, so i don’t know how long my labor tends to be. i want to be prepared but not waste ingredients! thanks so much for the info!

  7. I’m due in June (in FL) so I LOVE the popsicle idea! I also agree with the previous comments on coconut water! I have a hard time with sugary drinks, and it’s probably a good idea to have different options stocked in the fridge in case I have an aversion to something.

    Reading ‘Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth’ completely changed my perspective on pregnancy and birth even though I was already naturally minded. I had a lot of anxiety and fear with my first pregnancy and after I read that book I felt so empowered. I have inspiring/positive quotes from it and other sources all around to flood out all the negative images, stories, etc that brainwashed me growing up into thinking I couldn’t birth my own baby!

    I also used Hypnobabies. I didn’t have a class around me, so I just ordered the self study kit. It’s amazing! Also great to help you relax during pregnancy especially if you have a diva toddler keeping you crazy all day! I was skeptical at first because I had a skewed view of hypnosis, but it’s basically teaching yourself deep relaxation and visualizing a positive birth like mentioned above.

    Thanks for the recipe!

  8. Hmmm, my midwife just gave me my list of things to have and a gatorade drink was on the list. Yuck. I may have to give this one a try and see how I like it. I’m due in 8 weeks with my 4th so gonna browse around your site some more and see what I can find!

  9. Can I post this article on my blog: Bellyitch http://www.bellyitchblog.com ?
    I think my readers may find it helpful. Thanks in advance for the consideration.

  10. I’ve head never hear about labor-aid at all but very interesting of what is made. I definitely will try it the next time we get pregnant. Thanks Stephanie for the post :)
    .-= Fertility Monitor Sticks´s last blog ..ART 1: Egg Retrieval (Infertility Treatment) =-.

  11. I have to voice another vote for coconut water. I can’t tolerate sweet stuff during labor but in my fourth labor, it went down (and stayed down!) easily.

  12. Michelle says:

    I have been reading your posts over the past few months & have enjoyed following your pregnancy progress & preparation. I am pregnant with my 4th child due Aug. 22nd. I am so glad you posted this drink on your website. I have been looking at the health food store for something to drink for replenishment during and after my labor; but, was not finding what I wanted. Thanks for sharing.

  13. Christy, Emergen-C is safe (in my opinion) because the only things that are in a particularly high dosage are the Vit C and the B vitamins, both of which are water-soluble and will quickly be flushed from your body if they are not used. As well, the package states that only 1 should be consumed by an adult in a day, and I think it’s wise to stick to that and not start drinking them in excess of that.

    -M, because I prefer liquid cal/mag, I don’t have a brand that I recommend. The only reason I ever buy them is to make Labor-Aid, so I just pick up something reasonably priced from the local health food store and consider it good enough for the very small amount that I am going to use it. Does anyone else have a recommendation of one that they like?

    Thanks also to those who gave their thoughts on prep for labor! We’ll definitely tackle this subject more, soon! :)

  14. Which calcium/mag tablets do you recommend? Maybe you could link to them in your post?

  15. Thanks for this recipe! I had never heard of labor aide, but with my last labor I had to lay down and take an IV for a good 30 minutes because I showed up at the hospital dehydrated. I will definitely be using this when my next baby comes in October!

  16. Oooo, I wish I had this for my SIL who delivered last month. This sounds good.

  17. I’ve wondered if EmergenC is safe to take when pregnant. I guess you do?

  18. Thanks! I’ll definitely need to make up a batch!

    Blessings,
    Michele

  19. Great recipe! I’ve seen it with baking soda in it too, but not sure why.

    I learned during my second labor not to fight the contractions. Within an hour of figuring that out, baby boy was born.

  20. I’m also not pregnant, as you know I had my baby- but I agree with the other comment about talking about relaxation and learning how during pregnancy as important to prep for natural childbirth. I learned a ton from Dr. Sears’ “the birth book” this time around. I felt so in control this past time and less pain (even with a more difficult labour overall due to baby’s position) because the relaxation helped me so much. I used breathing (slow, normal breaths, in the nose, out the mouth, throughout the contractions, while counting in my head during each breath (each breath equalled one number) and then a super slow breath at the end of the contraction, and that really helped me relax.

  21. Thanks for the recipe! My sister is due in October. I’ll let her know about your great blog. :)

  22. I’ve not been blessed with children yet, but I like to drink natural coconut water (not milk) to rehydrate.

    I’ll keep this recipe in mind for when we do have children. It sounds like delicious lemonade. I might have to make it sooner rather later :)

  23. I’ve head about labor-aid several times, but didn’t know how it was made. Thanks for sharing and blessings on you and the child!

  24. Great post! I did one, too, on my site. We love “Laborade” and my husband now drinks it regularly on hot Florida days. Also great is EmergenC – another recommend from my midwife 10 years ago – our house is never without it. It’s a wonderful way to get vitamin C into children easily, too.

  25. I don’t have a “question” per se, but maybe a suggestion? I just had my second baby 4 months ago and my two were quite different (#1 induced pitocin, nonstop hard contractions lead to big tear and long recovery, not to mention hard emotional drop, #2 amazing labor (SO much easier than pitocin!) at home and 2 hours of ‘hard labor’ followed by 30 min. pushing w/ midwife and had awesome natural waterbirth and SUPER quick recovery). What I did differently this time was taught myself to relax during contractions. To completely “feel” the hardness of the contraction and visualize it as my muscle hardening rather than just “feeling pain, ouch!”
    I didn’t go to any classes, just read a book about visualing the muscle instead of just tensing up.
    I also got rid of my “this is goign to hurt!” mentality and instead thought about how women are designed (and have been doing so) to do this naturally for a LONG time! :) It actually did help in the heat of the moment!
    I love your pregnancy/labor/birth topics!
    Sarah M
    and thanks for the Labor-Aid, I will forward this to my two friends who are preg.!

Trackbacks

  1. [...] Homemade Gatorade or Labor Ade (here’s a great recipe) [...]

  2. [...] it’s really nice to turn this drink into popsicles! Very cool and refreshing! Continue Reading Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:LikeBe the first to like [...]

  3. [...] Employ relaxation techniques and back massage with your partner, and in between contractions give fluids and snacks to eat to keep her energy levels up. Also, cycle through the phrases “That’s [...]

  4. [...] also found this great recipe for Labor Aid drink. I’m supposed to keep some electrolyte juice on hand for the birth, and remembered reading [...]

  5. [...] also found this great recipe for Labor Aid drink. I’m supposed to keep some electrolyte juice on hand for the birth, and remembered reading [...]

  6. [...] Homemade Gatorade or Labor Ade (here’s a great recipe) [...]

  7. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Tara Bloom and Brio Birth, Jo Garrett. Jo Garrett said: This sounds yummy. :) http://fb.me/UY4MJ38w [...]

  8. [...] drinks to boost your body:  Homemade Egg Nog (very simple, I make a similar recipe often) and this electrolyte drink (intended to drink while in labor, but it works for any old time). Water with some lemon juice (a [...]

  9. [...] Eat at home while you still have the desire to do so.  Once you’re at the hospital eating is not an option, clear liquids are okay(unless you’re having an epidural, then it’s ice chips ONLY).  My favorite drink is this fantastic labor-aide found here. [...]