Eating Dates During Pregnancy (Benefits & Effects on Easing Labor)
Pregnant women should be aware of their sugar intake during pregnancy because high blood sugar levels can put both mother and baby at high risk of health issues. Eating dates during pregnancy is a good way to satisfy sugar cravings while pregnant. Dates are the best sweet snacks for pregnant women instead of ice cream, candy, and other high-sugar foods.
In this article on Hipregnancy, we will discuss the health benefits of eating dates in pregnancy and other important points that pregnant ladies need to know about dates, the world’s oldest cultivated fruit.
Is eating dates during pregnancy safe?
Generally speaking, dates are pregnancy-safe options that pregnant women can enjoy during the magical time of pregnancy. It is natural sugary food to enjoy while pregnant, and it has not shown any negative effect on pregnant ladies yet.
It is better to know that eating high-sugar food during pregnancy can have negative and even harmful effects on the function of child’s brain. Therefore, the best way to keep your baby safe is to consume natural sugars such as dates, which can positively affect on your unborn baby’s intelligence.
Although there is a good relationship between dates and pregnancy, you shouldremember some things while eating dates during. Dates are rich sources of carbohydrates and are also high in calories. Because of that, you must pay attention to the dates you eat each day.
For example, four pitted dates (100gr servings) have about 277 calories. In addition, some pregnant ladies may have an allergy to dates, so they should not consume dates during this period.
Also Read: dark chocolate during pregnancy
Benefits of dates during pregnancy
It is vital to have a balanced diet with essential nutrients needed for mom and unborn baby during pregnancy; fortunately, dates can be one of your balanced diet’s parts. Dates are considered healthy food for all people, as well as pregnant women, for thousands of years.
This fruit has several varieties worldwide, but here we want to mention some health benefits of eating dates during pregnancy, which are the same in all types of dates.
- Dates are rich in fiber, and it can help your digestive system work properly and improve bowel movement. Therefore, it is a good option for pregnant ladies who suffer from constipation related to pregnancy.
- B vitamin folate is one of the nutrients that exists in dates, which can reduce the risk of congenital disabilities. Take folic acid supplement during pregnancy is recommended because your body needs about 600 mcg of folate daily. 100 gr servings of dates can provide 15 mcg of folate for your body, though consuming dates while pregnant can help you reach your folate need.
- Dates are good sources of potassium which can help relax blood vessels, maintain fluid balance, reduce blood pressure, and support regular cell functioning. Vomiting decreases pregnant women body’s potassium level, especially during the first trimester. If you consume dates during this period, you can help your body increase potassium levels.
- Pregnant ladies require iron much more than others, about twice the amount non-pregnant women need. Dates are good sources of iron and can help decrease the risk of preterm labor, low birth weight, postpartum depression. Recommend you read on article “iron rich foods for pregnancy“.
- Dates can be a good substitute for sugar during pregnancy. Date sugar has 30% fewer calories than regular sugar and can help pregnant women manage their calorie intake.
- One of the best benefits of eating dates during pregnancy is related to its digestion. Dates fall into the category of low glycemic index food; therefore, their digestion is slow and does not cause a rapid increase in blood sugar levels. Because of this reason, dates can reduce the risk of gestational diabetes during pregnancy, which can lead to preterm labor.
- Dates containvitamin K, which is needed for improving nerve function and muscle, and also helps the baby develop strong bones and teeth.
Also Read: calories during pregnancy
Nutrition facts about eating dates during pregnancy
|RDA PER DAY||PER 100G|
|Folate||600 mcg||15 mcg|
|Iron||27 mg||0.9 mg|
|Vitamin K||90 mcg||2.7 mcg|
|Magnesium||350-360 mg||54 mg|
|Potassium||2900 mg||696 mg|
Can eating dates during pregnancy make childbirth easier?
The short answer to this question is yes.
Researchers found that eating dates during pregnancy can induce labor and make childbirth easier. Consuming dates can soften the cervix or cervical ripening for labor and lessen the need for oxytocin.
Studies demonstrated that pregnant ladies who consumed six dates a day for four weeks before labor had a higher mean cervical dilatation, had shorter first stage of labor, and had intact membranes upon arrival at the hospital.
Based on the research, dates and pregnancy are believed to have a good relation, especially regrding labor. Pregnant women who don’t have an allergy to dates can enjoy eating them during pregnancy, especially in the last trimester, to have easier labor and experience enjoyable childbirth.
Also Read: can you eat peanuts while pregnant
Eating other dried fruits during pregnancy
Dates are delicious and pregnancy-safe options, but there are several dried fruits that you can have beside or instead of dated while pregnant.
As you know, fruits are good sources of fiber, vitamin, and water, but pregnant women should choose options that fall into the category of the best fruits to eat while pregnant. When fruits go through a drying process, they lose their water, and because of that, dried fruits have more sugar and calories, in contrast with fresh fruits.
Keep in mind that you should consume dried fruit in moderation while pregnant. The best amount of dried fruit consumption during pregnancy is about a half cup to one cup a day. You can have them alone or add to your salads, smoothies, etc.
Also Read: can you drink hibiscus tea while pregnant
When to eat dates during pregnancy?
You can enjoy consuming dates at any stage of pregnancy, whether first, second, or third trimesters. Although dates are pregnancy-safe options, you should eat them moderately to prevent high blood sugar levels.
Dates are nutritious and can benefit you in several ways. For instance, eating dates in third trimester can make childbirth easier and shorter. Moreover, it can ease pregnancy-related constipation. So, when it comes to craving dates during pregnancy, you can enjoy eating them in moderation as a healthy snack to satisfy your sugar cravings.
How many dates to eat during pregnancy?
Dates are safe for the mom and the developing baby, but are there any recommended amounts? How many dates should a pregnant woman eat?
You should first determine which type of dates to consume, dried or fresh, to know the safe amounts of dates for you. A standard serving of fresh dates is 2-3, and dried dates is ¼ cup.
You can enjoy one or two servings of dates during pregnancy. Studies on women eating dates to induce labor included 3-6 dates in their daily meal plan. Since each pregnancy is unique, consulting your doctor is the best way to determine the right amounts of dates to include in your diet.
Best dates for pregnancy
Different types of dates are available worldwide that come in different colors, shapes, and sizes. Deglet Noor, Medjool, Barhi, Halawi, and Chinese red dates are some popular types of dates that you might find in grocery stores. Which ones are the best dates for pregnancy?
Different types of dates offer similar health benefits for pregnancy; therefore, we can not mention any of them as the best dates for pregnant women. All dates are good for pregnancy if eaten moderately.
Here is good news for those who dont eat many fruits containing vitamin C. Chinese red dates contain Vitamin C, unlike other varieties. So, consuming Chinese red dates is better for your body’s vitamin C needs.
Date shake in pregnancy
Date shake can be a healthy choice for dessert or breakfast ideas for pregnancy. It is made with nutritious ingredients and can benefit you and the growing fetus. Let’s see how you can make this yummy beverage.
- Pasteurized milk
- Peanut butter (Read more on peanut butter while pregnant)
- Chia seeds
- Cinnamon (Read more on is cinnamon safe during pregnancy)
- You can make a date shake in a few minutes! Add all the above mentioned ingredients to a blender and blend them until smooth. Your tasty date shake is ready to eat.
Side effects of dates in pregnancy
You might want to determine the side effects of dates in pregnancy first trimester or second or third trimesters. It is good to know that consuming dates during pregnancy will not harm you if you take them in moderation. Otherwise, eating excessive amounts can cause the following side effects;
- Increased risk of gestational diabetes
- Unhealthy weight gain
- Tooth decay
- High blood sugar
You should be mindful of dates portion size during pregnancy to prevent the side effects mentioned above and to support a healthy pregnancy. Hipregnancy recommends you talk to your doctor before including dates in your pregnancy diet, as your provider can help you determine how many dates are safe to meet your body’s needs.
Pregnant women should consume healthy foods to give birth to healthier babies. Dates are the best-dried fruits to eat while pregnant and have many health benefits. Eating dates during pregnancy can induce labor, improve nerve function, help those suffering from pregnancy-related constipation, decreaseblood pressure, etc.
Although there is a good relationship between dates and pregnancy, it is better to consult your healthcare provider before adding them to your diet.
If still any questions need to be answered, share them with us via comment. The Hipregnancy team is always here to help you!
1. When to start eating dates in pregnancy?
You can start consuming dates anytime while pregnant, but should moderate your intake to prevent high blood sugar levels.
2. How many dates to induce labor?
Eating 3-6 dates per day is recommended to induce labor. It is advisable to consult your doctor before eating dates to induce labor.