The Benefits of Eating Dates During Pregnancy

Woman holding a handful of dates.

The Benefits of Eating Dates During Pregnancy

If someone were to tell me that there is something that I could do to make my time in labor and childbirth shorter and easier, without a doubt I would do it! But what if I told you that there actually is something that you can do that really can help you have an easier, shorter, and healthier labor and delivery… Sounds too good to be true, right? Well it is true! And all you have to do is eat dates during your pregnancy. I know it sounds crazy, but I’m about to share with you why dates have been proven to be good for you and your baby’s big B-day.

What Studies Show

Recently, I was told about a study that claims that eating dates are a great way to naturally help women have shorter and easier labors and births and that they help reduce the risk of induction. At first I thought it was ridiculous. How could eating a fruit really help that much? But then I started looking into it further.

In this study, it compared two groups of women: those who consumed six dates per day in the last four weeks of pregnancy, and those who did not. What the study discovered was that the women who consumed the dates had significantly shorter labors compared to the women who did not eat dates. The women who ate dates were dilated an average of 3.5 cm upon admission to the hospital, compared to 2 cm from those who didn’t. Not only that, those who consumed dates had an average 8.5 hours of labor (from 0-10 cm) while those who didn’t had an average 15.1 hours of labor. Pretty amazing! Every woman wants to have an faster and more favorable birth. I was getting excited the more research that I did. I also found that the women who ate the dates were also more likely to:

  • Go into labor spontaneously
    • 96% of the women who consumed dates went into spontaneous labor and did not have to be induced (compared to 79% of the women who didn’t).
  • Have intact membranes (their water did not break) upon admission to the hospital
    • A much smaller percentage of women who consumed dates had their membranes rupture in early labor compared to those who didn’t (17% vs. 40%).
  • Avoid pitocin
    • Only 28% of the women who ate dates needed pitocin during their labor compared to the 47% of women who didn’t eat dates and needed pitocin.
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These are some pretty significant differences and if just eating a couple of dates a day can help have these results, I’m all for it!

And not only have dates been proven to be beneficial during labor, but also immediately postpartum too. It has been shown that there was a significant reduction in the amount of postpartum bleeding experienced by women who consumed dates compared to women who received synthetic oxytocin (pitocin). In this study, women either received:

  1. dates administered orally, or
  2. an intramuscular injection of pitocin.

Because of these findings, we now know that dates have an oxytocin-like effect on our body which stimulates uterine contractions to help with labor and reduce postpartum hemorrhage the way oxytocin does. Incredible!

It really is pretty fascinating when you look at all of these studies. Just FYI, the women in these studies ate 50-70g of dates per day, or right after birth. This is approximately 3-7 dates, depending on the size.

What Are In Dates?

The below information originally found here.
  • Fiber – we all know that fiber helps relieve constipation, helps you stay full, but did you know that it also helps lower your risk for gestational diabetes and preeclampsia? Dates contain a combination of soluble and insoluble fiber and thus are helpful in maintaining your digestive system. Cool!
  • Magnesium – this supports your muscular health and helps to alleviate muscle spasms and cramps during pregnancy.
  • Potassium – this is one of the best electrolytes and it helps you maintain water/salt balance which also helps regulate blood pressure and regulate your nervous system.
  • Natural sugars (fructose) — it offers high energy, but thankfully it easily breaks down in the body and won’t spike blood sugar levels. This is why eating dates during your pregnancy and/or your labor is an excellent choice.
  • Folate – this is super important since getting enough folate will ensure that your baby’s spinal cord matures properly, avoiding neural tube defects.
  • Vitamin K – helps maintain proper blood clotting and keeps your bones healthy.
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What Are Some Different Ways to Eat Dates?

Dates are pretty sweet so some people have a difficult time incorporating them into their diet. Here are some ideas to help get you started.

  • Stuffed Dates — remove the pit and add a nut – pecan, almond, walnut, or even peanut butter!
  • Date Shake — frappe fat free vanilla, banana, or plain yogurt and dates in a blender for a delicious drink.
  • Breakfast — add a bold texture and taste to your cold cereal or hot oatmeal. Just mix in sliced dates and enjoy!
  • Sweet Salad — mix dates in with a salad of your choice
  • Wrap it Up — wrap dates, tuna or chicken salad, and other vegetables into a whole wheat tortilla or pita.
  • Make Your Own Trail Mix — add dates with your favorite nuts and chocolate to make a tasty trail mix.
  • Drizzle It — blend dates with a small amount of milk until smooth, then drizzle over whole wheat waffles, oatmeal, or french toast.
  • Date Parfait — brighten up your day with a parfait filled with dates and all of your favorite fruits.
  • Cookie Time — chop up some dates and bake them in cookies/muffins where you would use raisins or figs and add some nuts for protein. It adds a nice chewy and fruity texture!
  • Dessert Dates — dice and serve dates over some vanilla frozen yogurt. Yum!

I also like these super yummy LARA bards that are made from dates (also paleo friendly) that I think you will enjoy!

What’s Been Said

So with all of this information, I decided that I wanted to look around to see what other women have been saying about eating dates during their pregnancy. What I found was awesome! Here are a few stories that I found on the web:

  • My labour was very quick (about 6-7 hrs from start to fin) and I was 8 cm when I got to hospital!
    This was my first baby so I expected it to be much longer & to be in extreme pain long before I got to 8 cm! I love dates so I had been eating them regularly throughout my pregnancy 🙂 – Sahara D.
  • I started to eat 6-7 dates daily as soon as my 9th month began. I had a spontaneous labor and a good cervix opening on admission to the hospital. My labor lasted for 8 hours from start to finish. I recommend eating dates to every expecting woman. – Vadika
  • I religiously ate the recommended amount of dates each day from 36 weeks on. When I got to the hospital in labor and saw my doctor, he made a point to comment on how soft my cervix was. I had a fast labor (5 hours) and great delivery! I believe that the dates played a huge part in that. – Susan K.

Did you eat dates during your pregnancy? Do you think it made your labor faster and easier?

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About the Author /

Nina is The Baby Chick® & CEO of Baby Chick®. She is a baby planner, birth doula, postpartum doula, childbirth educator, newborn care specialist, and a mother. With over eight years of experience, she has supported hundreds of families during their pregnancies, births, and postpartum journeys.

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Board by: @treasuresfromjennifer
📷: unknown⁠
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📷: @momhashtags⁠
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TRUTH!⁠ 😂⁠ (quote via @nottheworstmom via T TRUTH!⁠ 😂⁠
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📷: @momsgotink⁠
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How would you finish this sentence? . . .⁠ You k How would you finish this sentence? . . .⁠
You know you have a newborn when _______.⁠
📷: @healthiest_baby⁠
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You’ve spent the past 9 months preparing for the You’ve spent the past 9 months preparing for the arrival of your beautiful baby. 🤰 Labor and delivery has come and gone. Now its time for your 6-week postpartum check up. 🏥  So much of life after delivery is focused on your new bundle of joy that you can sometimes forget to care for yourself. This is exactly why I believe the postpartum appointment is so important to you as a new momma – because it’s all about you! 💗⁠
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Sure, your provider loves to fawn over your sweet baby, but this appointment is about mom. How are YOU doing? Self-care is so important to your health and recovery after having a baby, so let this appointment focus on your well-being. 😊⁠
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Here are 10 helpful questions to ask when you see your provider at your 6-week postpartum check up. 📝 Your provider will likely cover most or all of these topics on her or his own, but use this as a guide to remind you to ask anything she or he doesn’t cover! {Click 🔗 in bio to read more!}⁠
📷: @tailsandwings⁠
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#postpartum #postpartumlife #newmom #postpartumcheckup #postnatal #postpartumhealth #postpartumwellness #obgyn #4mind4body #momcare #motherhoodjourney #motherhoodlife #postpartumdoula #postpartumrecovery #mommychick #babychick
YES 👏 IT 👏 DOES👏⁠ Go and find your troo YES 👏 IT 👏 DOES👏⁠
Go and find your troop, your tribe, squad, village. Whatever you want to call it. Find people to surround yourself with who will support YOU, love YOU, encourage YOU as a woman and as a parent. Parenthood is tough. Especially when you feel alone. So find your village and love them hard. And from one mother to another, load up on wipes. Because motherhood can get quite messy too!⁠ 😉⁠
📷: @hallmarkbaby⁠
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#motherhoodthroughinstagram #momlife #motherhood #momstruggles #momprobs #mumlife #mommylife #parenthood #motherhoodunplugged #realmoms #momstatus #thatmomlife #realmomlife #momsofinstagram #momhumor #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #babychick⁣ #mommychick
An amazing story from a determined mom to breastfe An amazing story from a determined mom to breastfeed her #triplets. 💗 With hard work, determination, help and support, anything is possible.
Words & 📷: @triplets_and_toddler
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“I breastfed my first child so I knew I wanted to #breastfeed again. People were skeptical about me #breastfeeding triplets, and this drove my determination! 💪 My boys were born at 29+3 and therefore it was so important for them to have #breastmilk! 🤱
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After having an emergency C-section, I knew there was no time to rest, so I started hand expressing within the first hour. I set an alarm to ensure that I expressed every 2 hours during the day and every 3 hours overnight. ⏰
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Being separated from my boys was hard so having pictures/video links helped whilst I expressed. Seeing my teeny, vulnerable babies in their little incubators drove my determination to provide them with my milk! I also rotated muslin squares between us so that I could smell them and vice versa. This also helped me whilst I expressed during the night away from my boys. Their smell on the swaddles kept me focused! 💙
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Twice during our #NICU journey my boys were split between hospitals over an hour apart! This was the hardest time and meant I was separated from 2 of my boys for a couple of days. During this time I kept up with expressing and ensured that all three of them had enough milk to take with them until we were all reunited.
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Looking back I feel it is my sheer determination that has really enabled me to successfully breastfeed my triplet boys! Not once have they needed donor or formula milk. It required a massive commitment both physically and emotionally but I am so proud of my achievement! My boys are now 11 months and are still breastfeeding." ❤️
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*This story is not to bring any mothers down that choose to formula feed. (I, personally, had to give my son formula at 7 months old!) We share this mother's story to inspire mothers and celebrate our victories! ✨
If you are having breastfeeding struggles and want to succeed, contact a good local IBCLC and receive support. Find new mom friends who are also breastfeeding who can encourage you. And if you choose to formula feed, we honor you too. 💕 #mommychick
WTF 😑⁠ (via @thenatewolf via Twitter)⁠ .⁠ WTF 😑⁠
(via @thenatewolf via Twitter)⁠
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#motherhoodthroughinstagram #momlife #motherhood #momstruggles #momprobs #mumlife #mommylife #parenthood #motherhoodunplugged #realmoms #momstatus #thatmomlife #realmomlife #momsofinstagram #momhumor #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #babychick⁣ #mommychick
Repeat after me . . . 💗⁠ (quote via @friscoar Repeat after me . . . 💗⁠
(quote via @friscoareamoms)⁠
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#motherhoodthroughinstagram #momlife #motherhood #momstruggles #momprobs #mumlife #mommylife #parenthood #motherhoodunplugged #realmoms #momstatus #thatmomlife #realmomlife #momsofinstagram #mommychick #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #babychick⁣ #positiveaffirmations #motherhoodaffirmations
🧠 4 Ways to Promote Your Child's Mental Health 🧠 4 Ways to Promote Your Child's Mental Health 🧠⁠
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Your child’s mental health is fairly complicated. It's also critical to their overall health and wellness. We often think of mental health as it pertains to adults, but just like growth and physical development, research shows that mental health is something that should be considered starting at birth. ❤️⁠
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When children are very young, their brains are extremely sensitive to environmental stress. Toxic stress, defined as high levels of prolonged stress, can have life-long effects on children. Limiting stress for young children is critical for their early mental health. One of the most fundamental ways we can help eliminate toxic stress is by building a strong relationship foundation from the very beginning of their lives. Your relationship with your baby is an integral part of their sense of self-esteem, independence, and confidence; three key factors in mental health.⁠
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Building that relationship with your child can be broken down into four key concepts . . . {Click 🔗 in bio to find out what they are!}⁠
📷: @vlentine⁠
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#parenting #parenthood #parentlife #motherhoodthroughinstagram #momlife #motherhood #momstruggles #momprobs #mumlife #mommylife #motherhoodunplugged #realmoms #momstatus #thatmomlife #realmomlife #momsofinstagram #mommychick #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #babychick⁣
Just in case you call her a boy, here's a MASSIVE Just in case you call her a boy, here's a MASSIVE bow that shows she's a girl . . . yet still somehow get's called a boy. 🤷⁠
📷: unknown⁠
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#motherhoodthroughinstagram #momlife #motherhood #momstruggles #momprobs #mumlife #mommylife #parenthood #motherhoodunplugged #realmoms #momstatus #thatmomlife #realmomlife #momsofinstagram #momhumor #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #babychick⁣ #mommychick
💤 Good Bedtime Routines for Babies of Every Age 💤 Good Bedtime Routines for Babies of Every Age 💤⁠
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If you’ve ever typed into Google, “Why won’t my baby sleep?” you’re not alone. In fact, you’re among thousands of other parents/caregivers who are likely as tired as you are. Chances are, if you have gone down the Google rabbit hole at 2:00 a.m. (or just asked your pediatrician for sleep advice), then you’ve most likely been introduced to the concept of a bedtime routine.⁠
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A bedtime routine can be an incredibly helpful tool in establishing healthy sleep habits and good sleep hygiene. Infants and young children thrive on routine; in fact, they are comforted by predictability (spoiler alert: most adults are this way, too!). Plus, a young mind is exposed to so much new information every day that it’s reassuring for a child to know that they can depend on certain events to have a predictable structure.⁠
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Bedtime routines are also a cue to their brains and bodies that sleep is coming. With a predictable bedtime routine, your little one will start to recognize the order of the routine and begin to anticipate what comes next. With enough repetition, this process happens automatically in a very Pavlovian way. A calm and successive routine will also make the onset of sleep come more easily. Can you imagine if you walked out of your workout and immediately someone told you that you had to lay down and fall asleep? This would be nearly impossible, and the same is true for our little ones. By allowing them some time to unwind, you are making the falling asleep process that much easier. Here are some tips on what to do for your little one's bedtime. ❤️⁠ {Click 🔗 in bio to read more!}⁠
📷: @hannahxruth⁠
Article by: @ohbabyconsulting⁠
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#babysleep #goodnight #bedtime #bedtimeroutine #nightnight #sweetdreams #sleepconsultant #babysleeptips #sleepcoach #parenting #sleeptips #motherhood #babylove #sleeptraining #parentingtips #sleeping #toddlersleep #sleephelp #parentinghelp #sleepcoaching #parenthood #sleepdeprived #sleeptraininghelp #babysleepconsultant #babychick #mommychick #momlife
THIS. The struggle is real.⁠ ⁠🥴 📷: @brit THIS. The struggle is real.⁠ ⁠🥴
📷: @britt.kav⁠
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#parenting #parenthood #parentlife #motherhoodthroughinstagram #momlife #motherhood #momstruggles #momprobs #mumlife #mommylife #motherhoodunplugged #realmoms #momstatus #thatmomlife #realmomlife #momsofinstagram #mommychick #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #babychick⁣ #momhumor
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