Have you heard about the benefits of eating date fruit during pregnancy? We all dream of having a super easy pain-free labor right? I know I do! Around 35 weeks pregnant I started doing some research on how to both ease and induce labor (don’t worry though, I am not actively trying to induce labor this early. She still has some cooking to do. 🙂 ) Have you read 11 Ways to Induce Labor, Naturally! for more great tips on how to induce labor?
Anyway, during my literature research I came across a ton of articles about the magic and power of eating dates during late pregnancy. According to a study published in The Journal of Midwifery and Reproductive Health consuming date fruit in the last 6-8 weeks of pregnancy can significantly help with cervical ripening, which is when the cervix softens and dilates in preparation for labor. In this particular study, women who consumed date fruit during late pregnancy had much more cervical dilation and effacement (softening) during the onset of labor compared to women who did not consume date fruit.
Dates were also shown to decrease the rate of induction and increase the chance of spontaneous labor. In fact, 96% of women who consumed date fruit in the final weeks of pregnancy went into spontaneous labor as opposed to only 79% of women who consumed no dates. This means less medical intervention which is always a plus, especially for all the natural mamas out there. 😉
Another study found that the latent phase in the first stage of labor was significantly shorter for women who consumed dates compared to those who didn’t. In fact, that first stage of labor was a whopping seven hours shorter for women who ate dates than for those who didn’t (8 hours compared to 15)!!! I don’t know about you ladies, but that alone is enough to get me eating my dates on the daily!
Dates were also found to have a positive impact on your recovery after labor. They are found to decrease postpartum hemorrhaging because of all the yummy nutrients and vitamins that they contain.
Date fruit has even been mentioned in the Islamic Qur’an. Allah provides Mother Maryam with Date Fruit to ease her discomfort and pain during the final stages of her pregnancy.
So what does this all mean for us pregnant mamas?
Eating date fruit during pregnancy has been shown to have the following benefits:
Not to mention, date fruit also contains fiber which can help with pregnancy constipation. On the other hand, dates contain a lot of sugar, so if you are suffering from gestational diabetes or pre-eclampsia you may want to avoid eating dates. Sorry Ladies!
Craving something sweet? Try this recipe for Healthy Third Trimester Pregnancy Muffins with Dates, Bananas, and Oats!
So are you as convinced as I am of the MAGIC OF DATE FRUIT? I sure am. I have even added about 6 dates a day to My Pregnancy Diet in order to prepare my body for the big day. Although, I haven’t experienced labor yet and cannot prove nor disprove the effects of Dates on delivery, I find them super yummy and very helpful when it comes to fighting my pregnancy constipation!Did you know that eating Date Fruit can shorten your labor? Check out this great Pregnancy Muffin Recipe for a great way to eat those dates! Click To Tweet
Feel free to eat fresh or dried dates! (Personally I think fresh dates taste AMAZING but its more economical for me to buy Organic Dried Dates.) They should be available at your local super market. If not I recommend these Organic Dates by Made in Nature! If you want something a little bit sweeter, try these chocolate covered dates (yummy!) Made in Nature also sells these AMAZING Organic Dried Apricots .=) Apricots are also great for you during pregnancy because they are a great source of fiber, and they also have a ton of essential vitamins and nutrients and are part of the Pregnancy Daily Dozen! Also, eating Organic food during pregnancy has its own set of benefits for you and your chid!
For more information of the benefits of date fruit during pregnancy check out these two studies:
Also, don’t be afraid to turn to our beloved friend Google where you will find tons and tons of articles about these magical little fruits. =)
If you read Fé’s Birth Story you are probably aware that my labor & delivery lasted about 5.5 hours in total. I also only pushed for 11 minutes! I think much of this had to do with consuming date fruit in my final weeks of pregnancy! I am so happy I did this research and decided to start eating dates during my pregnancy. Of course, I don’t know that dates were completely responsible for my relatively easy labor (I don’t know what it would have been like if I hadn’t eaten them) but I can sure tell you that it certainly didn’t hurt. =)
- Kordi M, Aghaei Meybodi F, Tara F, Nemati M, Shakeri MT. The Effect of Late-Pregnancy Consumption of Date Fruit on Cervical Ripening in Nulliparous Women. Journal of Midwifery and Reproductive Health. 2014;2(3): 150-156.
- O. Al-Kuran, L. Al-Mehaisen, H. Bawadi, S. Beitawi, and Z. Amarin. The effect of late pregnancy consumption of date fruit on labour and delivery. Journal Of Obstetrics And Gynaecology Vol. 31 , Iss. 1,2011.