Childbirth Motherhood Pregnancy

Eating Dates for an Easier Labor & Birth?

December 8, 2013

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.”

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  • Reply Vadika November 16, 2014 at 11:48 pm

    I started to eat 6-7 dates daily as soon as my 9th month began.I had a spontaneous labour and a good cervix opening on admission to labour ward.My labour lasted for 8 hours.I recommend eating dates to every expecting woman.

  • Reply katie | dreamlove December 17, 2014 at 12:54 pm

    I ate 5-6 dates a day during months seven and eight of being pregnant, and kind of slacked off toward the end… Went into labor nine days after my due date, but it was incredibly fast and so much easier than I’d anticipated! Contractions for three hours, pushed for 45 minutes, baby born. Amazing!

    • Reply Natureal Mom December 21, 2014 at 8:25 am

      I also ate the dates but slacked off at the end… I went into labor at 41 weeks and birthed within three hours. Of course there are other factors at play but it is definitely interesting!

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