It is a dream of every woman to have an easy, short, and healthy labor. We all are ready to do anything to achieve that simple process of labor. What if you are told that you can achieve that by eating dates during pregnancy?
Eating dates can ease your labor as a tried and tested fact indicates. It is an interesting phenomenon and dates are an amazing way to do so. Dates are beneficial to the mother and the baby. While there are a number of things you can do to achieve easy labor, something as easy as consuming dates can do the trick.
How do dates help with the labor?
Consuming a good amount of dates during pregnancy has a positive effect on labor and delivery. It has an oxytocin like effect on the body which leads to an increase in the sensitivity of the uterus.
Studies have shown that consuming date fruits could help in the ripening of the cervix. It also helps in triggering uterine contractions. Not just for the labor process but it also plays a major role in reducing postpartum hemorrhage the way oxytocin does
Nutritional value of dates
The date fruit is rich in nutrition and it has certain compounds as a result of which it helps during the labor:
- Natural sugar: Dates are sweet in taste. It helps in providing the body with high energy levels but keeps the blood sugar levels in control.
- Fiber: Fiber in dates helps you to feel full, relieves constipation during pregnancy, and lowers the risk of gestational diabetes and preeclampsia.
- Magnesium: Magnesium in dates helps to support muscular health and helps to alleviate muscle spasm and cramps during pregnancy.
- Folate: Folate in dates ensures that the baby’s spinal cord matures properly, avoiding neural tube defects.
- Vitamin K: Dates are rich in vitamin K which maintains proper blood clotting and healthy bones.
- Iron: Dates have a decent amount of iron that helps to prevent anemia during pregnancy.
Benefits of eating dates during pregnancy
A number of studies have been conducted to find out the significance of eating dates during pregnancy tenure.
Here are the additional proven benefits of eating dates during pregnancy:
- If a woman eats 6 dates daily for four weeks till the due date, she is 74% more dilated than the non-date eaters.
- They have more intact membranes.
- They are 21% more likely to spontaneously go into labor.
- The biggest benefit is that date eaters have a 77% shorter first stage of labor.
- Date eaters have a 43% lower chance of cesarean delivery.
Other benefits of eating dates during pregnancy are:
- Provide energy: Pregnant women need more energy and dates are amazing energy providers. Consuming 5-7 dates every day maintains good energy levels in the body.
- Cures constipation: Constipation is one of the many problems that pregnant women face. Since dates are rich in fiber, it helps to cure constipation problems. Hence dates are the best natural solution to constipation during pregnancy.
When Should I start eating dates during pregnancy?
Since dates are a miracle fruit during pregnancy, it can be eaten anytime throughout the pregnancy. But you surely need to be cautious about the amount you eat:
The first trimester: The first trimester is a sensitive time and constipation is a common problem in those weeks. Eating dates can be very helpful with constipation. But the quantity should be small. Eating 2-4 dates is enough. If you have high blood sugar or group B strep then you must be a little cautious with dates consumption.
The second trimester: The second trimester comes with a risk of getting gestational diabetes. You must consult your doctor before adding dates to your diet. If you do then the quantity must be small.
The third trimester: The third trimester is the best time to eat a good amount of dates. It will make your labor duration shorter and easier. From the 36th week, a pregnant woman can have at least 6 dates every day. It is the best time.
How to eat dates during pregnancy?
Here we have different ways in which you can consume dates:
- Raw: Dates are good in taste and can be eaten raw. But some women don’t like to eat raw dates so they do have other ways to consume them.
- Smoothie: Having fruit smoothie is what many pregnant women have liked instead of eating raw fruits. Add dates to the smoothie and you are good to go.
- Dessert: Date fruit can be added to many desserts like pudding, cakes, etc.
- Sweetener: The date is the perfect replacement for sugar. Replace sugar with date syrup.
- Cookies: Dates can be added to cookies in whichever way one likes.
Side-effects of eating too many dates during pregnancy
Dates can never have side-effects if eaten in moderation. Eating too many dates can have some side effects like:
- Excessive gestational weight
- Increased blood sugar
- Tooth decay in case of poor oral health
There is quite a variety of dates available in the market like red, black, soft, dried, and more. Different dates are used for different purposes.
Many of the grandmother’s advice pregnant women to eat dates since it’s very helpful at the time of pregnancy. So if you are also going to have a baby then you must start eating dates from today itself.