The Date – A Nutritious Powerhouse.
The date fruit comes from the date palm, a tree found in the Middle East and also native to North Africa. It is believed that dates originated in Mesopotamia (now Iraq) around 3,500 BC.
Dates come in a wide variety, and all are unique in flavour, size and texture. Common to Australia are the Medjool and Deglet Noor Dates, both farmed in Queensland and the Northern Territory.
Fibre Vit B6
Magnesium Vit K
Natural sugars (fructose)
Dates provide energy, reduce constipation, boost iron, produce amnio acids and are a good source of folate for prevention of birth defects related to the brain and spinal cord. These are just to name a few!
Benefits for Labour – (For Normal Birth)
In the 3rd trimester, studies show that eating approx. 6 dates a day from 36 weeks of pregnancy, can help with cervical ripening and natural labour, reduce labour interventions and reduce the risk of haemorrhage post birth. (Refer to data from research articles below)
Dates can boost the oxytocin effect (help the uterus to contract) and increase the sensitivity of the uterus. The saturated and unsaturated fats in the dates provide energy and prostaglandin required for labour. The serotonin, calcium and tannin within the dates help the contraction of the uterine muscles.
If you are planning for a normal vaginal delivery, why not eat some dates! They are a nutritious powerhouse for pregnancy and birth and do not cause harm for mother or baby.
We would encourage mothers with Gestational Diabetes to seek advice from their Endocrinologists or Dietitian in regard to date fruit and blood sugar levels.
Al-Kuran, O., et al. (2011). “The effect of late pregnancy consumption of date fruit on labour and delivery.” J Obstet Gynaecol 31(1): 29-31.
Khadem N, Sharaphy A, Latifnejad R, Hammod N, I R. 2007. Comparing the efficacy of dates and oxytocin in the management of postpartum hemorrhage. Shiraz E-Medical Journal 8:64–71.
Kordi M, Meybodi FA, Tara F, Shakeri MT. (2014). “The effect of late pregnancy consumption of date fruit on cervical ripening in nulliparous women.” Journal of Midwifery and Reproductive Health 2:150–156.