No one knows for sure when a baby will come. A due date is more of a guideline in most cases. The time that a woman goes into labor varies with each individual woman. This is the same with the length of time spent in labor.
The good news is that there is a study from Jordan University that has indicated a way for women to have shorter labors. The study was conducted between February 2007 and January 2008 between 69 pregnant women.
These women consumed 6 dates a day for beginning at 36 weeks gestation. They continued to consume 6 dates a day until their due dates. The control group of 45 women did not eat any dates.
The women who consumed dates had on average higher cervical dilations compared to the women who didn’t consume dates. 96% of the date group went into spontaneous labor and in comparison to 79% of the control group.
Only 28% of the women in the date group received prostin or oxytocin, but 47% of the non-date consumers received these drugs. Also, the average time of the first stage of labor was significantly shorter in the date group compared to the control group. On average, the date consumers had an 8.5 hour first stage of labor and the non-date consumers had on average a 15.1 hour first stage of labor.
The conclusion of the study was that by eating dates 4 weeks prior to labor, women were much less likely to need induction of labor. Eating dates also produced more favorable birth outcomes in their deliveries.
As you can see with these results, there are significant differences between the two groups. This is enough evidence to give me encouragement that eating dates will help to not only shorten labor my own time, but improve the overall outcome of my delivery. I have also heard anecdotally from a number of women that dates help shorten their labors. Yes, this was not their first time giving birth, but it is great to hear they had much shorter labors than previous births.
The first time I heard about consuming dates, I heard a number of women complain about how hard it is to consume that many dates in one day. I didn’t relate to them at first because I love eating dates! However, I have never had to eat so many dates at a time every day for weeks on end. I have been eating them every day for nearly 4 weeks and it can get old at times, but I press on because I want to have a better delivery outcome.
Here are some excellent ways to enjoy dates (the first 2 are recipes I created so I didn’t get bored of consuming them):
- Homemade Larabars*
- Paleo coconut rolled dates*
- Add 2-3 or more dates to your smoothie in place of a sweetener
- Chopped in your soaked oatmeal
- Straight up (drink with a glass of raw milk to balance your blood sugar)
- Sesame brittle*
- On top of salad
Let me know in the comments how you enjoy eating dates and if you tried this or are going to try this in your pregnancies!