According to this study on ‘the effect of late pregnancy consumption of date fruit on labour and delivery’:
“We set out to investigate the effect of date fruit (phoenix dactylifera) consumption on labour parameters and delivery outcomes… 69 women consumed six date fruits per day for 4 weeks prior to their estimated date of delivery, compared with 45 women who consumed none… The women who consumed date fruit:
- Had significantly higher mean cervical dilatation upon admission compared with the non-date fruit consumers (3.52 cm vs 2.02 cm, p < 0.0005)
- Had a significantly higher proportion of intact membranes (83% vs 60%, p = 0.007).
- Spontaneous labour occurred in 96% of those who consumed dates, compared with 79% women in the non-date fruit consumers (p = 0.024).
- Use of pitocin/oxytocin (for inducing/augmenting labour) was significantly lower in women who consumed dates (28%), compared with the non-date fruit consumers (47%) (p = 0.036).
- The mean latent phase of the first stage of labour was shorter in women who consumed date fruit compared with the non-date fruit consumers (510 min vs 906 min, p = 0.044).
“It is concluded that the consumption of date fruit in the last 4 weeks before labour significantly reduced the need for induction and augmentation of labour, and produced a more favourable, but non-significant, delivery outcome. The results warrant a randomised controlled trial.”