Dried Dates to Prepare for Birth

Naomi Abeshouse Benko

6 Dates a Day!

If you have a client who is nearing the end of her pregnancy, it’s time to suggest 6 dates a day. No, not dates of the Tinder variety! But she can now enjoy eating the lovely, super sweet dried fruit.

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 preparation for birth 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 your client has gestational diabetes, there’s no good reason for her not to enjoy 6 beautiful organic dates a day for the last month or so of her pregnancy.

Dried dates to prepare for birth - a Persian natural birth technique

How to Consume Dates for Birth Prep

From 36 weeks on, she 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 for your clients who are keen to get their birth started naturally and avoid interventions where possible. I mean, it can’t hurt!*

*Reminder: the exception is if she has gestational diabetes or dietary restrictions for other medical reasons.

Learn more natural remedies for helping your clients prepare for birth and avoid interventions – enrol in our accredited home study program for midwives, Ancient Secrets to Better Bumps Births and Babies.

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