No, not the romantic kind (Although those are also important in late pregnancy for ‘you’ time!), we’re talking the sweet dried fruit of the date palm.
A recent research study found that women who ate 4-6 dates daily in the last 4 weeks of pregnancy, are more likely to:
- Have a more ‘favorable’ cervix when labor starts
- Have intact membranes for longer during labor
- Go into labor spontaneously
- Have a shorter first phase of labor
The date fruit has an oxytocin-like effect on the body, leading to increased sensitivity of the uterus. It also helps stimulate uterine contractions, and may reduce postpartum hemorrhage the way oxytocin does. All that in a little fruit! Snazzy!
Yummy ways to eat dates
- Chopped up as a topping on cereal, salad, yogurt or icecream
- Stuffed with soft cheese (like blue, chevre or feta) and broiled- these can be wrapped with bacon, too
- By themselves as a substitute for candy
- Blended into a smoothie or milkshake
- In baked good like breads, pies and cake