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I was looking up energy ball recipes for some easy snacks to take to work, and theni found a recipe that called for dates. This jogged my memory- I remember reading an article or two in the past that talked about pregnant women eating dates in late pregnancy and having a "better" birth. I just googled really quickly and found a small abstract on a small study of women that ate dates during the last 4 weeks of pregnancy.
We set out to investigate the effect of date fruit (Phoenix dactylifera) consumption on labour parameters and delivery outcomes. Between 1 February 2007 and 31 January 2008 at Jordan University of Science and Technology, a prospective study was carried out on 69 women who consumed six date fruits per day for 4 weeks prior to their estimated date of delivery, compared with 45 women who consumed none. There was no significant difference in gestational age, age and parity between the two groups. 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), and 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 prostin/oxytocin 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.
I thought this was interesting and seems worth a try. I've never eaten a date though...they don't really sound that great! However, the energy ball recipe I found that wa made with dates is supposed to taste like the Girl Scout samoas....and I definitely like those!!
Dates are delicious! You need to eat like 6 of these a day to make this work, but no worries, they're pretty small. Something to do with them in a pinch - press a pecan into the side and roll in sugar. Yummy!
And btw, if I wasn't having a c-section, I'd be eating like 12 of these a day. Anything to shorten labor!