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Did you know that eating dates during pregnancy may help you have an easier childbirth? It’s true!
Once again, we see the healing, medicinal power of real food! And there are several recent studies to support this claim! (source)
What are the Benefits of Eating Dates During Pregnancy?
1. Dates are a Nutritional Super-food!
Packed with nutrients to support a healthy pregnancy, dates are a nutritional powerhouse!
They are a rich source of energy, fiber, vitamins, antioxidants and minerals. Some of the most beneficial nutrients for a healthy pregnancy can be found in dates. These include fiber, vitamin K, folate, potassium, magnesium and iron.
In addition, the natural sugar in dates gives pregnant and laboring moms a much needed energy boost that won’t cause a sugar crash! Make sure that you include plenty of this nutrient-dense food in your pregnancy diet!
For more ways to get real nutrient-dense food into your pregnancy diet, read this post.
2. Eating Dates During Pregnancy Improves Labor Outcomes!
According to this study, women who ate 6 dates a day for the four weeks prior to their due date had SIGNIFICANTLY easier labors compared to the group that did not eat dates! Here are some of the positive effects that were noted in the study of the date-eating women:
- Went into labor spontaneously
- Faster, easier dilation
- Intact membranes upon admission to the hospital
- Avoided the use of pitocin
- Had shorter first stage labor
Faster Cervical Ripening!
In 2014, The Journal of Midwifery and Reproductive Health published another study on dates. This study showed that women who consumed dates in late pregnancy experienced faster cervical ripening and dilating.
The women in the study also showed more favorable outcomes during inductions.
It is also believed that the oxytocin-like effect of dates helps increase uterine sensitivity, stimulating contractions and reduces the chance of postpartum hemorrhaging.
In addition, eating dates during pregnancy has also been shown to reduce the length of labor and prevent the need for oxytocin for labor acceleration (source)
Less Medical Interventions!
Finally, this 2017 study supported all the initial findings of the previous studies. (!!!!!) It concluded that date fruit consumption “is a safe supplement to be considered as it reduced the need for labor intervention without any adverse effect on the mother and child.”
When Should I Start Eating Dates During Pregnancy?
Since dates are such a healthy super-food, you can start eating them anytime during your pregnancy.
They provide an amazing source of energy during your entire pregnancy!
Because dates are high in sugar, make sure that you use caution if you have gestational diabetes, blood sugar issues or concerns about Group B Strep. Talk to your doctor about these concerns.
The studies mentioned recommend 6 pieces of date fruit per day. Aim to be eating 6 dates per day by week 36, but it would probably be helpful to begin even sooner! Start slowly and don’t overdo the dates, however, since they do have a laxative effect on the body!
How to Eat Dates During Pregnancy?
There are several ways of getting these healthy gems into your diet. My favorite way is to just nibble on them straight away! But if you are not fond of dates, try these other awesome ideas!
- Chopping or grinding them and mixing them into your oatmeal instead of sugar. For convenience, you can also buy pre-ground dates or date sugar.
- Try making date energy balls. See this recipe for ideas!
- Buy these tasty natural food bars.
- Add ground dates or date sugar to your favorite smoothie.
- Try substituting date sugar for other sugar in your favorite baked goods recipes!
What Kind of Dates Should I Eat?
There are several varieties of dates. I definitely recommend eating organic dates to reduce pesticide exposure to your baby. I would also avoid dates with added sugar. There are lots of great organic date brands. Try these!
Does anyone have any experience with eating dates during pregnancy? I’d love to hear your stories!! Please share in the comments below 🙂
This post is intended for educational purposes only. It is not intended to take the place of professional medical advice. If you are pregnant, please consult a health care practitioner before making dietary changes. Please always talk to your doctor if you have gestational diabetes or other concerns or questions about eating dates during your pregnancy.
Other Pregnancy Tips and Resources!
If you are not taking a natural, food-based prenatal vitamin, learn more here.
If you are looking for other natural remedies for pregnancy, try coconut oil! There are many uses for coconut oil during pregnancy.
FREE Pregnancy Planning Resources for Your New Baby!
If you are pregnant, this is the time to begin planning for your new baby’s arrival!
What do you include on your baby registry checklist? How do you write a birth plan? How do you hire a doula? Who will be helping you during your recovery time? What should you include in your postpartum plan? How about a newborn care plan? How do you set up a meal train? What are some easy freezer meals to make ahead? What should you pack in your hospital bag? These are just a sampling of the kind of planning you will need to do!
But don’t get overwhelmed! The work of planning isn’t really so bad because I have compiled some great FREE resources for you here.
Download these free worksheets and email courses to get you started with all your planning needs!
Download this free printable worksheet for planning the perfect postpartum recovery time. This worksheet is a great springboard for discussion for you and your partner. It provides helpful tips and suggestions for how to organize and plan for your recovery!
Many new parents don’t know about the importance of a newborn care plan. If you are planning a hospital birth, this plan walks you through all the important decisions you will need to make regarding the care of your new baby.
Wow! This is such a great resource for pregnant mamas! Subscribe to Alli’s and Trina’s amazing FREE new mom planning course and get weekly email updates and reminders so you can stay on course and plan for your new baby. Type in your due date and email address and you’re all set! Their weekly emails will both inspire and motivate you as you get ready for the big day!
Although not free, this affordable planner is one that I want to bring to your attention. As a postpartum doula, I am VERY excited to recommend this great planning resource! Why? Because I have witnessed so many new moms who are not prepared for their postpartum recovery and consequently have a much more difficult time recovering and adjusting to motherhood.
The Nesting Planner is a complete planner for pregnancy, childbirth, postpartum, breastfeeding and newborn care. It is loaded with printable checklists, worksheets and other planning tools. It will help you get organized and stay on track throughout your entire pregnancy. You will never miss a step with monthly checklists and reminders that easily itemize what must be done before the big day! Check out the Nesting Planner here.