Benefits Of Dates During Pregnancy: Do They Really Ease Labor?
When it comes to childbirth we all want to have an easy, short, and healthy labor and delivery. Luckily, there are a number of things we can do to help us achieve that, such as:
- Taking an out-of-hospital childbirth education class
- Working with a birth doula
- Knowing the truth about epidurals
- Taking the best prenatal vitamin
- Looking into a birth center
- Doing pregnancy exercises to get baby in optimal position
- And now you can add one more thing to your list: Eating dates.
Eat dates during pregnancy for the best labor and birth:
According to this study, women who ate 6 dates a day for the four weeks leading up to their due date were significantly more dilated and more likely to:
- Have intact membranes upon admission to the hospital
- Go into labor spontaneously
- Avoid pitocin
- And have a shorter first phase of labor
Pretty awesome for just eating some dates, huh?
Of course this study was limited by it’s size but there’s no harm in eating dates during pregnancy, so why not give it a try?
So why does eating dates during pregnancy help mamas-to-be?
Researchers have found that date fruit has an oxytocin-like effect on the body, leading to increased sensitivity of the uterus. It also helps stimulate uterine contractions, and reduces postpartum hemorrhage the way oxytocin does. They also found that it contains many nutritional benefits for pregnant mamas.
Dates also contain:
Natural sugars (fructose) that easily break down in the body and won’t spike blood sugar levels but will offer high energy, which makes dates during pregnancy or labor an excellent choice.
Fiber – Helps you stay full, relieves constipation, and lowers your risk for gestational diabetes and preeclampsia.
Potassium – One of the best electrolytes. It helps maintain water/salt balance which helps regulate blood pressure.
Magnesium – Support muscular health and helps to alleviate muscle spasms and cramps in pregnancy.
Folate – Getting enough folate will ensure that your baby’s spinal cord matures properly, avoiding neural tube defects.
Vitamin K – maintains proper blood clotting and healthy bones.
When should I start eating dates during pregnancy?
In the study referenced above, pregnant women began eating dates four weeks before their estimated due date. In other words, at 36 weeks pregnant they began eating six date fruits per day.
Of course, you can begin eating dates earlier in your pregnancy if you like. Keep in mind that dates are high in sugar, so if you have blood sugar issues or if you’re worried about group b strep, go easy on them early in pregnancy. But, by all means, start eating 6 dates a day from 36 weeks on!
How to eat dates during pregnancy?
Dates are a healthy and delicious snack, so how can you add them to your diet? Actually, it’s pretty easy since they are sweet like candy.
- Add dates during pregnancy in this awesome oatmeal recipe.
- Add dates to replace sugar in your favorite recipe or to sweeten your homemade almond milk.
- Use dates and nuts to make an easy pie crust in the food processor.
- Add soaked dates to homemade nut butter for a sweet treat.
- Add dates to sweeten homemade salad dressing.
- Add dates during pregnancy easily with these yummy (paleo friendly) bars made from dates.
Where can I buy good organic dried dates?
Bergin Nut Company Organic Medjool Dates, 14 Ounce Bag
Sincerely Nuts Jumbo Medjool Dates (1 Pound Bag)
Bergin Nut Company Organic Medjool Dates, 14-Ounce Bags