The Great Date Debate: Do Dates Really Help You Go Into Labor?

Maybe you have seen the study posted on social media — maybe a friend swore to you it worked — but does eating dates in the last month of pregnancy really help you go into labor?

What Science says:

According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information ……. maybe ?!?!? Basically they studies 114 women, 69 of whom ate 6 dates each day for 4 weeks leading up to their “due date.” According to the study, the women who ate the dates had a higher instance of spontaneous labor (96% vs 79%), a lower instance of Pitocin use (28% vs 47%) and a shorter length of labor (510 min. vs 906 min.). At first glance it looks as though eating the dates made a significant difference. However, this is a very small study and the parameters are not well laid out, so this leaves us with a lot of questions. Did the women know why they were eating the dates? I believe strongly that a woman’s own mind plays a big part in her labor–the “mind over matter” theory. Are these first time moms? It can make a big difference if this is your 1st or 5th child. The study also did not specify at what point they considered the women “overdue” and started the induction process. Did they go to 40 weeks or 42? That makes a HUGE difference when looking at the “instance of spontaneous labor.” I would LOVE to see a larger randomized controlled trial.

What your friends say:

Face it, as women we LOVE to talk to our friends about babies and labor. Specifically OUR babies and OUR labor.  Everyone has that one little trick that they swear worked for them. Being able to share our experiences and wisdom with our friends is what binds us together.

What your care provider says:

As with anything, it is important to talk to your care provider BEFORE changing your diet or using food medicinally.  Dates are naturally high in beneficial fatty acids, minerals, nutrients, animo acids, and vitamins that are beneficial to women especially during pregnancy. They are also high in sugar and may not be suitable for women that are trying to control their sugar intake.

The final word:

So, can dates really help you go into labor ? The jury is still out on that one, but as long as your care provider agrees, why not give it a try? Date are yummy and can be a great way to treat your sweet tooth while still eating healthy.



Did you eat dates during your pregnancy? Did they help your labor? Comment below to share your experience.


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