6 Dates a Day for Natural Birth Preparation
If you are nearing the end of your pregnancy, it’s time to think about 6 dates a day. No, not dates of the Tinder variety! But you can now enjoy eating the lovely, super sweet dried fruit as a natural birth prep option.
A client asked me about eating dried dates to prepare for birth a little while ago, and I thought it seemed like a fairly good idea, so I looked into it further. It seems that Persian cultures have been using dates as a natural birth prep for some time. It is thought that the nutritional components of dates can support prostaglandins, contribute to uterine contractions and its laxative effects can also stimulate uterine contractions.
Whilst there has only been very limited research, I have just seen a study released in March 2017, which shows further promise for the use of the humble date to support positive birth outcomes. This study revealed that eating dates improves birth outcomes by reducing the need for interventions during the labour, though not necessarily speeding up the start of labour.
Prior to this, there was another small study that also suggested that eating dried dates could be helpful late in a pregnancy to prepare for birth. This study 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.”
Unless you have gestational diabetes, there’s no good reason not to enjoy 6 beautiful organic dates a day for the last month or so of your pregnancy.
How to Consume Dates for Natural Birth Prep
From 36 weeks on, you can consume 6 organic dried dates per day in lots of different ways:
- Eat them whole
- Make a delicious date and nut bar
- Blend them with almond milk, turmeric and coconut in a smoothie
- Make a warm milky tea with chopped stewed dates blended in.
Dates are so sweet and yummy that it’s a no-brainer if are keen to get your birth started naturally and avoid interventions where possible. I mean, it can’t hurt!*
*Reminder: the exception is if you have gestational diabetes or dietary restrictions for other medical reasons.