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How To Make A Labor-Aid Electrolyte Drink

on November 6 | in Motherhood | by | with 46 Comments

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Life’s a sport. Drink it up.

That’s what they say, right? Maybe for you that looks like this . . .

Track athlete

Or this . . .

labor-aid-recipe-5

Or even this . . .

Beautiful athlete woman doing splits.

(But seriously, if you can do the splits while lifting weights please don’t tell me. I just don’t have a grid for that.)

For Me, It’s About To Look Like THIS

Labor Aid Recipe

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Notice the “Breathe Right” strip? Just like NFL players, y’all!

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Okay, maybe sport isn’t the most accurate term, but there is no physical test I have ever endured that comes close to giving birth. Dehydration has been a very real concern during both of my previous births (you can read about them here and here), which is why I’m keeping a batch of Labor Aid close by for the arrival of babypotamus #3.

These formulas can help maintain good hydration better than water by replacing vital minerals and electrolytes. Plus, they’re stocked with easily absorbed simple carbs which help mamas maintain their energy. Oh, and they’re yummy, too!

About The Ingredients

Coconut water is often referred to as “Nature’s Gatorade.” It contains 13 times more potassium – an electrolyte needed for proper cell function – than Gatorade, plus twice the amount of another electrolyte (sodium). (source) (This brand doesn’t have any additives/preservatives)

Raw honey is rich in minerals and easily digestible sugars, which can be used for energy.  Sugar “signals the body to down-regulate the production of stress hormones like cortisol. Cortisol levels spike during exercise and particularly during anaerobic (when you get breathless) exercise.” (source) Too much cortisol can disrupt the flow of labor, making this super ingredient useful on many levels.

Sea salt is full of electrolytes and minerals. Plus it “plays an important role of balancing the stress hormones during exercise. Salt reduces adrenaline levels and supports overall metabolic health.” (source)

Trace mineral drops add to the electrolyte content of the drink. Due to soil depletion many of us do not get enough trace minerals in our diet, so I supplement with this regularly.

Rescue Remedy is a bach flower essence that many mamas find help them feel more calm and centered during labor.

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Lemon Labor Aide

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Coconut & Lime Labor Aide

Instructions

Mix all ingredients together and store in fridge until needed. Wishing you a beautiful, butter birth!

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46 Responses to How To Make A Labor-Aid Electrolyte Drink

  1. Lindsay says:

    Thanks for posting this. Perfect timing for me, that’s about to be me two in 5 weeks too!
    Because I’m kind of sugar sensitive and they always make me drink so much during labor I’m wondering what you think about either watering it down or putting less honey and adding stevia?
    Hope all goes well with your labor and delivery :)

  2. Melodie says:

    This sounds amazing as I am entering my last 6 weeks of pregnancy. I’m wondering though if I can substitute the lime (in the coconut lime drink) with pineapple?

  3. Andrea Shaw says:

    Thanks for this! Baby three for me is due in December. First time to have a home birth. Excited! Btw, your labor photos are great. Teared up a little bit to be honest. :-)

  4. Erin says:

    This sounds great! I had gestational diabetes with my first kid, and was super worried about my sugar being too high during labor and sending my baby into a sugar crash once her umbilical cord was cut. It was unwarranted worry, at least for me. Labor is so energy intensive that your body uses up sugar pretty quickly, even if it isn’t normally so great at it. Instead of processing the sugar with insulin, your muscles, etc just use it! At least that’s what my midwife told me, and eating a banana, having honey herbal tea, plus other things like nut butters, etc, really helped and I never had a problem with my sugar. Keeping the food down the whole time was another issue ;-), so these recipes would have been helpful! I’ll pin this for the future, in 9-10 months!

  5. Laura says:

    “Wishing you a beautiful, butter birth!”
    *giggle* What’s a butter birth?

  6. Shanna says:

    Thanks for this! I’ll be making and putting it to the test in about 6 weeks! This is my ‘first rodeo’ and I’m having twins, so I anticipate needing ALL the energy I can get! :) Lord Bless you as you get ready to deliver #3, Heather!

  7. Leah says:

    These looks scrumptious! How long do you think these will keep in the fridge? I want to have them ready and made for baby labor time, but not worry about spoilage issues. (:

  8. Emily says:

    Thank you for this post, and the many other pregnancy related posts on your site. I’m 6 months pregnant with my first baby and am planning on a birth center delivery. Your blog has educated me in so many ways as I embark on this new adventure!

    About the recipe, do you use fresh coconut water or one of the packaged varieties available today? I love fresh coconut water and find the taste far better than the packaged versions, but I don’t always have access to fresh coconuts. If you do use a packaged version, would you mind sharing what brand? Thank you so much!

  9. Kirsten V says:

    Mmmmm, sounds yummy! I think I’d better make some up and keep it in the fridge…Labor Day is coming up! :) and I’ll definitely take a “butter birth”. ;)

  10. Heather says:

    Are there any other flavors you could suggest? I’m not a huge lemon or lime type of person :/

  11. Oh yay, Heather! I just hopped on here to look up something (love your site, though I haven’t been here in a while – been busy with our own new addition on top of normal life and work) and noticed that you’re expecting another little one. Congrats! Can’t wait to hear the happy news! I used a similar homemade labor-aide recipe for our home birth with baby #5 this past June. Good stuff. Love the “butter birth” and definite pray you have one of those. :)

  12. Camilla says:

    This is brilliant! I looked into this for my last pregnancy, and ended up having; teaspoons of honey, sips of coconut water and sips of water with rescue remedy, can’t believe I didn’t think to mix them… I know you probably have your plate full but if you get the chance, what do think of these electrolyte drops, http://www.viridian-nutrition.com/shop/Sports-Electrolyte-Fix-Liquid-P698.aspx the Concentrace brand isn’t available in the UK, I would have to pay postage from US, which seems silly. Will definately make this when labour comes around this time! Best of luck!!

  13. My sister-in-law gave birth last night and I made this for her. Unfortunately the hospital wouldn’t let her drink it during her labor, only water, but her husband managed to sneak it in directly afterwards. So glad for this recipe! I didn’t have the supplement drops to add, but I used 1 cup of coconut water. I tried to drink regular gatorade during my pregnancy (I had no idea there was a natural alternative), but I couldn’t stomach the artificial colors and flavors. I plan on using this recipe the next time I’m blessed with another one!

  14. Sailor says:

    It says to add a half cup of honey… but the honey I get is very solid and raw, so will it go to liquid when I add it in or will it stay completely solid and lay on the bottom? I am actually due tomorrow :)

    • Heather says:

      You may need to warm it a smidge before mixing it it. Wishing you a beautiful birth! ;)

      • Sailor says:

        I made a mistake, I thought it said 1/2 cup honey (it says 1/4) It was quite sweet.
        I used this for my labor a week ago, despite being my 3rd baby I had a longer labor and I really think this helped me make it to the end, I recovered better this time also :)
        I did not have either of the drops, and for some reason I didn’t add water, it was a strong flavor but I really liked it anyway. I am very happy to find this, I’m even mixing it up for recovery on days I feel sluggish.
        I’m lucky to have been able to get all raw ingredients, I used harmless harvest raw coconut water along with raw honey and lemons.
        I recommend doubling this recipe, for a labor that lasted all day, I used this up pretty quickly.
        Thank you!

  15. Hi Heather,
    I love this recipe! I have heard great things about rescue remedy, after reading this, I’ll have to give it a try. :)

  16. Brittany says:

    Thank you so much for sharing! I am pregnant with baby #5 and this is our first home birth. I know that even with IV fluids I’ve always felt dehydrated and exhausted after just a couple of hours of labor in the hospital. It is hospital protocol to only be allowed ice chips and they don’t help at all! I am excited to try this recipe. Due date isn’t until Feb. but I am going to try it out now!

  17. Sara G says:

    Hi Heather,
    Do you have any good information about why raw honey is safe to consume when pregnant and nursing?
    TIA, Sara

    • FantasticL says:

      I agree – Raw honey is quite dangerous for pregnant Mommas and infants alike due to the risk of botulism… Perhaps using agave nectar instead?

      • Heather says:

        According to this study, ” The consumption of honey, which might be contaminated with clostridia spores, has been identified as a risk factor for infant botulism,26 a form of botulism that occurs when bacterial spores germinate and colonize the lumen of the large intestine of the neonate.27 Compared with that of the neonate, the adult gut is less conducive to the growth of the clostridia bacteria owing to increased colonization with protective microflora.28 Therefore, colonization botulism, which describes the analogous disease in adults, is extremely rare and occurs almost exclusively among individuals with underlying gastrointestinal abnormality or recent antibiotic treatment.29,30

        The molecular weight of the botulinum toxin is approximately 150 kDa; therefore, it is unlikely to cross the placenta via passive diffusion.31 A case report in which a woman acquired botulism during pregnancy suggested that there is no increased risk to the fetus.28 Together with the low risk of colonization botulism among healthy adults, women without gastrointestinal pathology do not need to avoid honey during pregnancy.” http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2860824/

        Midwives often recommend it during labor to help mamas sustain their energy.

  18. Elina says:

    I’m not pregnant but your pictures touched me so much! Thank you for sharing!!! You are so amazing, and such a beautiful mom!

  19. Esther says:

    Hi Heather,
    thanks for this recipe! I saw it in my mailbox on Nov. 8 and my sister-in-law was in labor that day. :) So I made some on the 9th and took it to her when I went in to be a support to her. She had her boy that afternoon and she really liked the drink (I thought it was delicious too! I made the lime one.). Thanks!

  20. Annie says:

    I can’t wait to make this! We’re expecting our first at the end of the month and are planning a homebirth. How long do you think it will last in the fridge? I’d love to make it in advance; maybe I’ll just freeze it?

  21. jessica says:

    Would there be any harm in drinking these when not in labor?

    • Tarah says:

      It’s fine! My brother is a triathlete and uses this recipe during training/racing. I make it every once in a while just because it tastes good!

  22. jessica says:

    I’m not a triathlete or any type of athlete. Just a pregnant momma who thinks it sounds yummy lol

  23. Cait says:

    Thank you for this recipe! I’m gathering things for my upcoming homebirth and these ingredients are definitely on the list. Do you think it would lose anything by being frozen in ice cubes ahead of time? I thought it might be nice to have pre-made.

  24. Nicole S says:

    Thanks so much for sharing this! We’re also adding to our family (in a few weeks or so!) and I have a hard time getting anything in me in labor, so I’m definitely trying Labor Aid recipes this time. Love that yours start with coconut water!!

  25. […] beverage, and it’s yummy. Based it off the homemade Labor-Aid recipe from Mommypotamus (http://www.mommypotamus.com/how-to-make-a-labor-aid-electrolyte-drink/) but adjusted a few things to make it more complete. All you need on top of it (as far as […]

  26. […] There is a lot of advice out there, but here is what I am doing: • Balance ball – I try to sit on my large ball every day to stretch my muscles. It helps stretch out my back, legs and improves flexibility – all good things for preparing for labor. I do some bouncing on it in between stretches. • Evening Primrose Oil – This natural oil (I bought this one) helps improve skin elasticity. It also contains the all-magical prostaglandins, which can help induce labor. So yes, you put it on your opening to help promote the stretching needed to get the baby out. More information here – http://www.pregnanthealth.com/evening-primrose-oil/ • Cat-Cow Yoga Move – When the baby is breech, this move can help turn her around. It worked for me. It also helps stretch out the back muscles, which can become very sore by the end of pregnancy. Position yourself on all fours on the floor and gently raise your back into an arch, like a cat would when scared. Hold and then lower your back into a U-shape, like a cow’s back. Repeat. • Hospital bag. Of course, you are going to pack a hospital bag. I would have it ready to go by 37 weeks, just in case! I think I actually had mine packed around 36 weeks, but that’s just me. Make sure to include a coming-home outfit. I forgot this the first time around and came home in pajamas. No big deal, except all the pictures of our homecoming look like I am a homeless person. Also include an iPod or way to play some music and a book or Kindle. Often you spend a lot of time waiting in the hospital room and it might be relaxing to have music or something to read. I can tell you I am definitely bringing along Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth – my absolute favorite book about delivery. • Labor and Delivery Aid – I am also brining along beverages. I made a batch of Mommypotamus’s Labor and Delivery Aid and will be bringing that as well as my homemade Third Trimester Tea with Turmeric. I made the Coconut and Lime Labor-Aid found here. […]

  27. How long will this stay good for in the fridge? says:

    How long would this stay good for in the fridge?

  28. […] Stay hydrated with natural electrolytes, like in this yummy labor-aide drink. […]

  29. savannah says:

    thanks for the recipe – it’s delicious! i decided to make it since i was having pre-labor cramping, but i wonder how long it will keep in the fridge, since it could be two more weeks before active labor starts! i figure i would freeze it in a large ziploc if nothing else, but any sense how long the cocowater-lemon version will keep? (i also used pasteurized lemon juice, not from concentrate, so maybe that will help preserve it?)

  30. Rachel says:

    Just wanted to stop back to rave about this drink! I made it about 10 days before #5 showed up and kept it in the freezer. Didn’t actually get to use it for labor as the whole thing was done in an hour and 15 minutes. But it had thawed for the postpartum recovery and was great! It helped me get through the after pains and the first sleepless night. Thank you for the recipe!

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