A Summary of the Benefits of Eating Dates in Pregnancy for Labor
Dates are soo good! Personally, I could eat them raw as candy. There are many ways to prepare dates that they are delicious as well. But we are not here to talk about date recipes or how good they are, but how they are also good for labor. That's right! In case you were looking for another excuse to eat dates, they can actually benefit your labor. There have been studies done in the past years that have all shown benefits to date consumption and its effects on labor. Let's take a look.
According to the studies, consuming dates can have the following effects:
- Greater cervical dilation upon admittance to hospital
When women were admitted to the hospital for labor, those who had eaten dates were dilated more than those who hadn't. Who doesn't want to be more progressed in labor? 1, 2
- Lower chance of rupture of membranes
Again, when women were admitted in the hospital, there was a great chance that those who had eaten dates still had not had their water broken. There are benefits for keeping the bag of waters intact, which won't be discussed here. 1 - Shorter first stage labor
One study found the dilation stage of labor to be shorter in women who had consumed dates than in those who hadn't. 1
Who wouldn't take that?
- Less of a need of synthetic oxytocin (pitocin) for purpose of augmentation
Women who had consumed dates in the end of pregnancy had much lower percentages of needing synthetic oxytocin to help labor along than those who hadn't consumed dates. 1, 3
- Spontaneous labor
The results aren't conclusive on this yet, but one study found that women who had consumed dates had a much higher rate of going into labor on their own, than the control group. 1
Another study though, did not find a significant difference in these results. 3
It doesn't seem to hurt your chances though!
- Greater success with induction
For those women who did need induction for some reason, date consumption was found to increase the success rate of induction over those who hadn't. 2
As you can see, there can be many positive outcomes for consuming that yummy fruit towards the end of pregnancy. Based on the studies, it is suggested to eat 6 dates per day, and to start around 36 weeks gestation. But hey, it doesn't seem to hurt if you start earlier.
So here's you excuse and reason for eating. Enjoy those dates!
1. Al-Kuran, O., Al-Mehaisen, L., Bawadi, H., Beitawi, S., & Amarin, Z. (2011). The effect of late pregnancy consumption of date fruit on labour and delivery. Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, 31(1), 29-31. doi:10.3109/01443615.2010.522267
2. Kordi, M., Aghaei Meybodi, F., Tara, F., Nemati, M., & Taghi Shakeri, M. (2014). The Effect of Late Pregnancy Consumption of Date Fruit on Cervical Ripening in Nulliparous Women. Journal of Midwifery and Reproductive Health, 2(3), 150-156. doi:10.22038/JMRH.2014.2772
3. Razali, N., Nahwari, S. H., Sulaiman, S., & Hassan, J. (2017). Date fruit consumption at term: Effect on length of gestation, labour and delivery [Abstract]. Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, 37(5), 595-600. doi:10.1080/01443615.2017.1283304