Dates during Pregnancy
In addition to being a tasty and high in fibre which can be much needed in pregnancy) - Dates can also help your body prepare for labor. Mmm yes please!
A study was undertaken which included pregnant women eating 6 dates per day for 4 weeks before their estimated due date, compared to pregnant women who ate no dates. The results indicated that:
- 4% more dilated than non-date eaters at admission to birthplace
- 38% more likely to have intact membranes
- 21% more likely to spontaneously go into labor
- 28% less likely to use prostin/oxytocin to induce labor
Additionally, the date eaters had 77% shorter first stage of labor (ref)
This study concluded that date fruit consumption during late pregnancy has been shown to positively affect the outcome of labor and delivery without adverse effect on the mother and child. And that, "the consumption of date fruit in the last 4 weeks before labor significantly reduced the need for induction of labour and produced a more favourable, but non-significant, delivery outcome” (ref).
So what does this mean?
Dates cannot “induce labor” induction is a medical process. But eating dates in the lead up to your due date can help your body naturally prepare for labor, by assisting in the ripening of the cervix.
It’s is important to note that this study was on first time mothers and did not include any pregnant women with Gestational Diabetes. If you have Gestational diabetes, consult your doctor before adding dates into your diet (ref).
Also, as they have a high (but natural) sugar content, so if you are struggling with yeast, bacterial vaginosis, another infection, or maintaining your blood sugar it may be better to skip the dates (ref).
How many Dates to eat in Pregnancy?
The study had the women eating around 60-80 grams a day of fruit, which works out to be 3 pitted Medjool dates, or 6 Deglet noor dates.
When should you start eating Dates in pregnancy?
The study had women eating dates from 36 weeks, or approx. 4 weeks before their estimated Due date. Again, always check with your health care provider that this is suitable for you.
Ready to give it a try… check out our recipes with dates!