The benefits of eating dates in late pregnancy and postpartum

As the end of pregnancy and childbirth approach, it is time to review the natural ways to facilitate the arrival of baby. Focus on the date, a well known fruit, with numerous benefits for future and young mothers.

We will admit it, originally this dry fruit was not necessarily in our radar. However, eating a handful of dates is more nutritious than some people think. Here’s a look at some of the benefits of eating dates during pregnancy, especially during the last half of the pregnancy, to prepare for delivery.

The benefits of eating dates during pregnancy

Dates offer many nutritional benefits during pregnancy. You know the feeling? One day you’re feeling great, and the next day you’re tired and can’t think straight. Thank you, pregnancy brain fog!

Know that the more nutrients and vitamins you give your body, the better you’ll feel physically and mentally.

dattes-accouchement_naturel

Dates are a fruit of the date palm, which is a type of flowering plant. Dates are one of the sweetest fruits. Although it is a natural sugar.  Eating this dried fruit is a healthier way to satisfy your sweet tooth than the traditional candy bar. And because they are a good source of natural fructose, dates can give you energy to fight pregnancy fatigue.

But the nutritional benefits don’t stop there. Dates are also loaded with fiber, which keeps your digestive system working properly. As a result, you are less likely to suffer from pregnancy-related constipation.

Dates are also rich in potassium, a mineral that helps relax blood vessels and reduce blood pressure.

Dates are a source of folate, which helps reduce the likelihood of birth defects. They also provide iron and vitamin K. Increasing the amount of iron in your diet can boost your energy levels and combat iron deficiency anemia. In addition, vitamin K helps your growing baby develop strong bones and can improve muscle and nerve function.

Dates are also rich in potassium, a mineral that helps relax blood vessels and reduce blood pressure.

Can dates make childbirth easier?

The date palm is a plant native to the Middle East. If dates are not a staple food in France, they are in this part of the world, and this for thousands of years. Dates have long been attributed therapeutic properties (anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-tumor). Another supposed benefit is the ability of dates to facilitate childbirth.

grossesse_accouchement

Eating this dried fruit for childbirth may seem like a “grandmother’s remedy”; but researchers have successfully demonstrated an effect of date consumption on childbirth. In a 2017 study (1), a team of Iranian researchers were able to demonstrate that the duration of the 3 phases of labor was shorter in women who consumed dates late in pregnancy. In addition, oxytocin use was significantly lower in the group of women who consumed dates. The researchers conclude that date consumption was beneficial in reducing the duration of labor and reducing the need for oxytocin injections to speed up labor.

In another study (3), researchers find that women who ate dates had significantly less need for medical intervention to induce or speed up labor than those who did not.

Based on these results, the researchers believe that date consumption is beneficial in reducing the need to induce labor. More research is needed to confirm that this practice would benefit all women. But it certainly wouldn’t hurt to snack on a few a day until your due date.

By the way, don’t hesitate to try our range of energy balls with dates and dried fruits specially designed for childbirth and postpartum.

Precautions to take when eating dates during pregnancy

Dates are not only healthy, but they are also safe to eat during pregnancy. There is no reason to believe that dates have a negative effect during the first, second or third trimester of pregnancy.

In fact, the opposite is true: Eating dates can have a positive effect and help you feel better, especially if you suffer from low energy or constipation.

Some people may try them for the first time during their pregnancy, because of their reputation for making childbirth easier. For this reason, it is necessary to be alert to the (very small) risk of having an allergic reaction to dates. Signs of a reaction include tingling, itching or swelling around the mouth or tongue. If these symptoms occur, stop eating dates immediately.

Remember that dates are also high in carbohydrates and calories. Don’t overindulge if your gynecologist or midwife has advised you to watch your caloric intake or blood sugar or if you have gestational diabetes. If in doubt, limit yourself to six dates a day. The best way to regulate your blood sugar is to break up your food intake.

Eating other dried fruits during pregnancy

Dates are not the only dried fruit you can eat during pregnancy. Fruit in general is good for you because of the vitamins, fiber and other nutrients it contains. They are also filling and can help you feel satisfied longer.

But it is also important to consume dried fruit in moderation. Indeed, dried fruits go through a drying process (yes, it may sound obvious!), which makes them lose water. As a result, these fruits tend to contain more calories and sugar than their non-dried counterparts.

So eating a handful of your favorite dried fruit is not the same as eating the same amount of fresh fruit. If you’re trying to control your sugar intake, eat no more than half a cup to a cup of dried fruit a day.

You can eat dried fruit on its own, add it to smoothies or sprinkle it on a salad or side dish.

– (1) Kordi, M., Meybodi, F. A., Tara, F., Fakari, F. R., Nemati, M., & Shakeri, M. (2017). Effect of Dates in Late Pregnancy on the Duration of Labor in Nulliparous WomenIranian journal of nursing and midwifery research22(5), p383–387

– (2) Kordi, M., Aghaei Meybodi, F., Tara, F., Nemati, M., Taghi Shakeri, M. (2014). The Effect of Late Pregnancy Consumption of Date Fruit on Cervical Ripening in Nulliparous WomenJournal of Midwifery and Reproductive Health, 2(3), p150-156.

-(3) Razali, Nuguelis et al. “Date fruit consumption at term: Effect on length of gestation, labour and delivery.” Journal of obstetrics and gynaecology: the journal of the Institute of Obstetrics and Gynaecologyvol. 37,5 (2017): p595-600.

La fabrique des mamans

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