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Can Eating Dates Shorten Labour? Find Out!

What don’t we do to make labour easier, shorter and healthier? - Taking prenatal vitamins, exercises to get the baby in the right position and perineal massages are a few of them. There’s one more thing you can do apart from these that’s relatively simpler and tastier too - Eating dates. 

It may have been just a midwife's tale all those years ago but it is backed up by scientific evidence now.

A study that was conducted in 2011 and published by the journal of obstetrics and gynecology compared two groups of women: the first group had 6 dates everyday during the last four weeks of labour and the second group didn’t.

The study produced interesting results. It showed that the 0-10 cm labour stage was significantly shorter in the first group (i.e., women who had dates) when compared with the second group. The average time of the first stage of labour among women who consumed dates was 8.5 hours whereas the average time for women who didn’t was around 15.1 hours. 8.5 hours might not sound like a small time period but sometimes women are in labour for as long as 2 days!

This study also concluded that women who eat dates as their due date approaches are more likely to:

1. Go into labour spontaneously (Almost 96% of the women in the first group of the study had spontaneous labour which was not induced).

2. Have their membranes intact after being admitted to the hospital. 

3. Avoid pitocin which is used to induce contractions.

The reason for this was explained as - dates have an oxytocin-like effect on the body which increases the sensitivity of the uterus. It also stimulates contractions exactly like oxytocin. Apart from this, the saturated and unsaturated fatty acids help in storing and supplying energy when needed. 

The right time to start eating 6 dates per day would be 36 weeks until labour. Please do share this with other pregnant mommies who would like to have an easier and quicker labour.  

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