8 Things You Need To Know About Maternity Hospital Food
If you thought pregnancy was hungry work you can pretty much quadruple that when it comes to labour and delivery. I firmly believe that food never tasted as good as it did after I gave birth.
Maybe it’s because my (marginally) smaller tummy meant that I could actually reach the food with a little more ease or maybe I was just exhausted after the marathon that is giving birth.
The hunger was off the charts and even more intense when my milk came in and I was breastfeeding. I was eating one meal thinking about the next.
There is something so unique about the experience of hospital food at a maternity hospital.
We have so many funny memories and anecdotes from the birth of our son and quite a few of them involve maternity food or meal times in some way.
It’s all a bit special really. It’s no Michelin starred restaurant but for me maternity hospital food has something.
Here are 10 things you need to know about maternity hospital food:
1. The tea and toast you receive after giving birth is hands down the most beautiful morsel of food that will ever touch your lips. That is a life fact right there.
2. It is very likely that a member of staff will ask you for your lunch and dinner order as early as 6am. It’s all a bit surreal but time really does lose meaning when you’ve had a baby.
3. The food is for you and not for you and your birthing partner. Pack snacks for them to prevent having to share your well-earned grub.
4. There is always dessert. This can baffle a few people as dessert tends to be packed with sugar and arguably this is when a woman needs a healthy diet to help her recovery and energy levels. I say bring on the jelly and ice-cream – lovely!
5. You might only get one meal. I remember a funny story where my aunt was “looking forward to her lunch” before being discharged but it all happened sooner than she expected because they needed the bed. She was a little bit disgusted.
6. The cafes are not always subsidised. If you’ve got visitors waiting (or you’re waiting for your own appointment) prepare to pay regular coffee shop prices. In fact, sometimes it is more expensive than your regular haunt.
7. If you have had a dietary condition such as gestational diabetes you are likely to remain on that diet until your levels have returned to normal. So maybe ask about that tea and toast before you get your hopes up...
8. Officially, visitors they are not meant to bring food into the maternity hospital for you. Fruit and light snacks won’t cause an issue but if someone takes in a hot dinner or a take away they may be pulled up on it. I distinctly remember smelling chipper chips the day I gave birth and I was beyond jealous!
Tracey is mammy to five-year-old Billy and newborn Willow. She is a breastfeeder, gentle parent and has recently lost five stone so healthy family eating is her passion! You can follow her on Instagram.