Can Eating Dates Shorten Labor?

Can eating date fruit shorten labor-science says it might

Don’t you love when something really simple and inexpensive is actually the most effective option? Like when simple natural ingredients make the best laundry detergent? Or when children ditch the expensive toys and play for hours with a cardboard box or mixing bowl and spoon?

Can Eating Dates Shorten Labor?

I recently stumbled across a study that supports an old (mid)wives tale that eating dates (this type) might be the best way to naturally shorten labor and reduce the risk of induction.

Sound too good to be true?

I thought so too for years and wrote off the idea (partially because dates have always seemed too sweet to me and I didn’t want to eat them). Turns out, there is now some scientific evidence and anecdotal experience from many women that supports the ability of dates to shorten labor and contribute to a outcome.

The study, conducted in 2011 and published in the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, has some really interesting results from comparing two groups of women: those who consumed six dates per day in the last four weeks of labor and those who did not.

I also found it fascinating that in my completely un-scientific poll of friends and readers, those who consumed dates in later pregnancy did in fact have shorter labors (including a few friends who craved them and had labors under 2 hours!). My friend Genevieve ate dates in the last month of her pregnancy and had a shorter labor (and there are quite a few comments on her post from other women with the same experience!).

As someone who tends to have labors more on the 24-28 hour side, it was enough to intrigue me… disgust of dates or not.

The Effect of Late Pregnancy Consumption of Date Fruit on Labor & Delivery

This study was very interesting, and not just because I’m a nerd who loves reading scientific studies. For any woman who has been through labor, this line from the study specifically should be intriguing:

The mean latent phase of the first stage of labour was shorter in women who consumed date fruit compared with the non-date fruit consumers (510?min vs 906?min, p?=?0.044).

In mom terms, that means that the 0-10 cm stage of labor was significantly shorter in woman who consumed dates compared to those who didn’t. In fact, those who consumed dates had an average 8.5 hours of first stage labor (0-10 cm) while those who didn’t had an average 15.1 hours of first stage labor.

Don’t get me wrong, compared to my usual 24+ hours, I’d gladly take either one, but for a woman in labor, 8.5 hours sounds a lot better than 15.1 hours!

Other points of interest from the study:

  • The women who ate dates were dilated an average of 3.5 cm upon admission, compared to 2 cm in those who didn’t
  • 96% of the women who consumed dates went into spontaneous labor and did not have to be induced (compared to only 79% of those who didn’t)
  • Only a small percentage of women who consumed dates needed pitocin (28%) vs those who didn’t consume dates (47%)
  • A smaller percentage of women who consumed dates had their membranes rupture in early labor compared to those who didn’t (17% vs 40%)

Overall, the study authors concluded that:

…the consumption of date fruit in the last 4 weeks before labour significantly reduced the need for induction and augmentation of labour, and produced a more favourable, but non-significant, delivery outcome.

What I’m Doing

That study and the stories I’ve read of dozens of women who tried eating dates in late stage pregnancy are enough to convince me to give dates a try this time. (These are the ones I’m ordering)

I’ll personally start sneaking 4-6 dates per day (six was the magic number in the study) into my meals starting at about 35 weeks (I tend to deliver at just over 39 weeks). Since I don’t love dates on their own, I’ll make some of these chia seed energy bars and some homemade almond milk to blend them in.

I’ll also be drinking my red raspberry leaf tea at that point and incorporating lots of natural movement like walking and squatting to help get my body aligned for labor.

I’ll let you all know in February how things go and if my labor was any shorter! Ever tried this? Did it work for you? Please share below!

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Reader Comments

  1. Did nothing for me. After reading articles & studies on this, I diligently consumed 6-8 dates/day in my last trimester (along w drinking red raspberry tea), at the advice of my midwife (which resulted in lots of extra & unnecessary $$ spent). Nevertheless, had a painful 10 hr labor which resulted in a cesection.

    • I’m sorry your birth didn’t go as planned. My first was a c-section and it can be really traumatic in a lot of ways. I did Hypnobabies for my 3rd and it was a total game changer.

      • Did you do the home study or in person classes?

        • I did the in person class for my 3rd birth and it was wonderful!!! My teacher was an amazing woman and I learned so much about birth and my body. Then for my 4th birth, I did the home study. But I think it’s really necessary to do the class at least once to really grasp the material. I highly recommend Hypnobabies. It’s not something I thought I’d ever try but I saw my sister use it with great success and that changed my mind. It just totally changed my mentality about childbirth

          • Thank you!! I definitely plan on it but was debating about in person classes vs home study. The classes are 2hrs away unfortunately!

    • Some would consider 10 hr labor somewhat short?

      • No Kidding! My first was 45 hours – I will gladly take anything under 30 this time 🙂 Just ate 12 dates .. and plan to every single day these last weeks.

      • But, she had to have a c-section. More than likely an emergency c-section—which is way worse than a planned c-section. No one wants one of those for sure!

  2. I loved dates in late labor, since I was trying for a VBAC and wanted things to move quickly! I also ate a ton of pineapple to help effacement… and because it’s delicious. Definitely recommend both!

    • I’d not heard about pineapple! This weeks grocery list is getting yummier by the minute!

  3. I love dates and I’m due in April! You can let me know in Feb if I should go for it!

      • Hey I am not sure if i missed a post where you updated us. But how was your experince with dates? Did you feel it helped in anyway?

  4. I believe that all natural food has it’s own power! I was told at one point of my life…after I had my daughter that drinking cinnamon tea as soon as your real labor pains start it will help with continual labor and you can’t have no epidural or any induced medicines. I tried this with my daughter with her 1st and only pregnancy and she had her baby within 4 hours! The funny thing is that the doctor had told us that it would take about 24 hours and insisted in sending us home. I asked if we can stay a little longer and he agreed within 3 hours she had the baby naturally! Right after my beautiful grandson was born, My dear daughter told me: “Mom, I can have another baby!” I was in tears because she didn’t suffer what most women do nowadays.

    Just a note: We ended up going to another doctor, because her previous doctor insisted that she would need a c-section. And we had a great doctor at a hospital near our home with nurse/midwifes and a very natural & awesome experience!

    • great info – can it be cinnamon in any form or does it need to be tea?

  5. Your pregnant? Wow congrats how exciting. My sister gave birth this past August and her labor was way shorter then her first born, she did eat dates throughout her pregnancy.

  6. So, as you say to start eating dates 4 weeks before does that mean they should be avoided earlier in the pregnancy or is that just a good time to build enough benefits from them? I may not have long labors but any shortening of time is awesome!
    My last pregnancy I read that taking high doses of vitamin c strengthened the uterus, muscles, ligaments…My main reason for trying that was I had hemorrhaged three times before and a study was cited to say that none of the women on vitamin c did. It may be something worth investigating more as my fourth labor was shorter, less painful and NO bleeding at all! And the last trimester was not nearly as uncomfortable…for whatever its worth:-)

    • I made the mistake of beginning to eat dates as soon as I hit my third tri (with my third child) at 32 weeks I was 80% effaced and 2cms dilated and had to be put of bed rest because they were afraid my mega soft cervix was going to continue dilating and my baby wouldn’t make it to term. I’m almost 33 weeks now and am taking each day as I can but I wouldn’t recommend eating the dates BEFORE you are term. In my other pregnancies I was never preterm and never softened/dilated before labor began and I also didn’t eat the dates with them. So just be careful.

  7. I don’t love dates, but I love shorter labor! I had my 4th child this summer, and I think all the red raspberry leaf tea I drank contributed to his 4 hour birthing time. (1st was a c-section, #2 was 48hr VBAC, and #3 was 8hr VBAC.) if I’m blessed to have a 5th, I’m definitely trying dates, too. Thanks!

  8. This made me giggle. However I just forwarded it onto 4 pregnant friends. Now I wanna be pregnant just to try it out 😉

  9. I tried it. Didn’t work and was much harder than I thought to consume so many dates due to heartburn. The really aggravated it. good luck!

  10. Worked for me
    First labor start to finish 36 hours
    Second 18 hours
    Third 45 minutes. Third, i arrived at the hospital not in labor for a check up and i was 8cm already! Only thing I changed was eating dates every day from 30 weeks after reading about how it could shorten delivery time.

    • Wow, that is a crazy story! I would love to have received awesome news like being 8 cm without feeling contractions. I can’t even imagine!

  11. Well this is definitely something I would be happy to try, although I’m not a fan of dates either. My first labor was around 24 hours too (although active labor was around 9-10 hours).

  12. I didn’t read the study, the link shows the abstract only, I’d like to know if the birth times in the test and control groups were compared also by previous vaginal births? Like, if the birth was the first, second, third etc for each woman.
    I’m due Dec 20 with #2, hoping and praying for successful vbac 🙂

    • I am due with my 2nd on Dec 20th as well! Just had to share mama 🙂

  13. I read this study during my last pregnancy and I have so many thoughts on it I don’t even know where to begin! (Sorry, it’s a long comment.)

    First of all, let me just say that both of my labors were about 2.5 days long, even though I ate dates during the second pregnancy and not the first. (I think my very long labors are probably due to the anatomy of my pelvis. I’ve never had a doctor tell me that, but my sister was told after her C-section that she has a “pelvic shelf” that would make it very hard to have a natural delivery. My first labor probably would have ended in a C-section if I hadn’t had a team of patient midwives and a great doula.)

    Anyway, back to dates. A few thoughts on the study (and my own experiences):
    – During my non-date-eating pregnancy I did start having labor contractions spontaneously, but after 1.5 days of labor I had NO dilation, so a balloon catheter was used to help get me started dilating. During my date-eating pregnancy my dilation was very slow, but I didn’t need medical intervention.
    – How did all these women get admitted to a hospital at 2 – 3.5 cm?? I had to beg the hospital to take me at 5 cm because I was desperate to get into the labor tub!
    – As far as the stats about “needing pitocin,” this seems really subjective and probably depends a lot more on the paradigms and philosophies of the medical staff than the progression of labor. I think most people who had experienced my labors would have been given pitocin, but since I was working with a group of patient, natural-friendly providers who are okay with baby coming when she’s ready, I didn’t “need” pitocin. Pitocin would have shortened my labor, but it wasn’t a “need.”
    – My personal experience with membranes rupturing was that in both labors my membranes didn’t rupture until the very end. If date-eaters keep membranes intact longer, it’s probably just correlation rather than causation. (For example, women who are mindful enough to eat dates during pregnancy were also probably more mindful of their protein intake throughout pregnancy, which would have a direct effect on the strength of the amniotic sac.)
    – Finally, I can’t help but think (as I review the study’s findings) that none of these findings can really describe how positive or negative the overall birth experience is. It has been shown that a lower level of pain over a long period of time is more manageable than intense pain over a shorter period of time. (So, it’s better to slowly peel the Band-Aid off than to rip it off quickly.) A woman who has a 5-hour labor could have a much worse experience than a woman who has a 5-day labor, because pain intensity means a lot more when in labor than any other factor. All of my birth attendants thought that my date-eating labor was easier and better than my first labor, but I was much more traumatized by it because transition was beyond horrible. My first birth had much longer active labor, but the pain levels of transition never came close to those I experienced in my second labor. So I guess, in summary, that I think it’s hard to quantify a birth experience with numbers and statistics. It’s just so personal.

    Anyway, my own anecdotal experience isn’t really supportive of this study’s findings. That said, I see no reason NOT to eat dates during my current pregnancy since I love eating homemade Larabars made from Medjool dates! I figure it can’t hurt and it might help.

    • Interesting…I was wondering about the same thing though. Is it better to have a slower, less intense labor or get all the pain over with at once? My midwife sells clients an antenatal seven-week herbal supplement that includes red raspberry leaf among other things, with a slowly increasing dose from week 35 and on. She says she can’t be 100% sure it definitely helps labor go smoother, but what’s the harm in trying it? I guess dates are kind of expensive though…

  14. I ate dates the last weeks of my first pregnancy started at week 36. Also daily 3cups of red raspberry leaf tea starting from 3rd trimester. At week 38 started on 500mg primrose oil capsulas.
    At 38.5 weeks I had a labor that started at 2.30 pm and at 10.43 pm that night I was able to hold my beautiful baby boy in my arms. We barely made it to hospital in time around 9.30pm my water broke at home. I also did the Hypnobirthing. Now pregnant with our second baby I do the same things. Due date is Nov 21st hopefully this one also will have a relaxed way of joining us and soon we will be a family of four.

    • That is amazing for first baby!! I’m on #3 but I love dates so I will be looking forward to trying this. I would love it to go this well:)

  15. I’m really excited to try this, especially since I love dates! First baby and due beginning of January.

  16. Worked for me. Had 6 hours of labor with my first. Arrived at the hospital at 10cm. I am now pregnant with second and plan to follow same routine. I ate Lara bars throughout pregnancy (not necessarily everyday but frequently). Last month or so I made date energy balls. Chocolate and an oatmeal raisin flavor were the two I tried. Just popped a few of those a day. I really don’t care for dates by themselves or even those energy balls, but 6 hours of labor will definitely have me eating them again! Doesn’t hurt to try it, hope it works for you.

  17. Good luck! You can also use dates instead of sugar in baked goods. I make a banana harvest muffin with dates processed in the food processor and they’re delish.

  18. Ok so now we need some ideas on how to incorporate into our diets daily!! Any ideas?!

    • Wow great ideas! Thanks!

  19. You’ll have to keep us updated! I just had a baby 3 weeks ago, and my labor took 10 minutes to get from 3 centimeters to 6 (I came in for induction- breaking of waters- at 3 due to pregnancy complications). Then it was 5 minutes until she was out completely, sunny-side up with both hands on her face. I would rather have a longer labor! My first was 4 hours and much more manageable and less intense.

  20. I just read Fitnessista’s blog post on her labor and delivery, and she said that she ate dates throughout her pregnancy. Apparently, consuming a large amount of dates can also make a woman’s bag of waters stronger and less resistant to breaking, which prolonged her labor. Keep this in mind, ladies!

  21. I’ve heard of this. I never got the chance to try. All of my babies came 3-7 weeks early and labors were so fast that the dr didn’t even make it in the room. My smallest baby was nine pounds even, and I can’t imagine how big they would have been if they waited until 38+ weeks. I’d like to know how to prevent jaundice, I guess late pre term babies tend to suffer from jaundice.

    • My Mom swears by lemon water. The lemon acts as a natural liver detox among other benefits. I drank it a lot in my first trimester and am starting up again in these last 6 weeks of pregnancy. Just half a lemon in 8 ounces of water a day, you don’t want to over to it. Hope that helps! This is my first so hopefully it works for me too, as well as the dates!

  22. I don’t know if it made my labor shorter, but consuming about 6 a day in my last 3 weeks of pregnancy helped me go into labor on my own! This time my son was only 2 days late, as compared to my first (did not eat dates) who was 9 days late and I had to be induced! I also went in only at 1 cm with my first (no dates) and a 4 with my second (ate dates). Total labor with both was about the same, 12 hours for my first, 10 for my second. Hope that helps–overall I recommend them! I also used a midwife with my second, and that I cannot recommend enough!

  23. Will any type of dates work, not just the type you suggested? Is there a benefit of one type over another? Thanks!

    • I was wondering the same thing! I have dates in my pantry right now…I love them but they r not the medjool dates….they r the deglet noor dates. (Cheap at Costco for a massive bag)

  24. I happen to love dates, but love them the most in the afternoon in a great date based bar. I usually add in coconut and pecans, and also tart cherries are divine in them too. They keep me from eating sweets during my after lunch slump and I will now definitely keep up this habit til I am due in Feb! This is the link to the recipe

  25. I ran into this study when I was pregnant 4 years ago, ate tons of dates…and labored for 2 1/2 days!! But it was my first baby and I would definitely try it again based on the research. Great post, thanks!

  26. I never knew this was a thing until this post, but it worked for me! I’d been regularly eating several dates a day for a few years (an Ayurvedic practice for nourishing the body’s tissues) and continued during pregnancy. My water broke at 37 weeks, and although I had regular contractions, they were painless, so my midwife gave me pitocin. Once that kicked in, I had 3 hours of manageable pain until my son was born. Despite the pitocin, they didn’t even think I was fully dilated until I said I needed to push. It was an incredible experience.

  27. Very interesting. I had a short labor with my first in 2008 (5 hours!). Now I’m pregnant with my 2nd and due in March. We’re planning another homebirth with a midwife so I will definitely be adding dates to my diet in February and see how things go.

  28. How wonderful! Congrats on your current pregnancy! =)

    My first is due in April and this was nice to read. I think dates are too sugary too but I suppose spaced out throughout the day should be ok.

    My mom’s first was a c section. I came out VBAC in about 30 mins. Once my mom found out about me having her first grandchild she’s just been soooo excited. She told me about a month before the baby is due to drink coconut water and have a tablespoon of sesame seeds daily. She did that on the recommendation from her coworker who always had quick labors. Seems to work since she barely got admitted to the hospital and I wanted out haha

    I’m not so sure I will do the coconut water even though I like having it daily…. but even less so now as apparently it strips the vernix caseosa and the baby will be born without it at all. Though I hear that full term babies many times are born without it anyway. Reading other posters in other forums… It really does look like it helps bring on a quick labor. It looks to be something typically done in some Asian cultures…

    From reading about sesame seeds, it provides methionine which helps keep cysteine levels up and helps with skin elasticity. I’m guessing that could help preventing tears for sure and maybe help diltation…

    I’m all for short, pain free as possible labor but I really want to do whats best for the baby which is keeping the vernix on as much as possible, even considering a lotus birth since my friend mentioned it the other week (was going to cut the cord after pulsing stopped, but the other seems more beneficial for the baby). Also trying home birth and water birth.. basically anything I can do for my baby… since this baby is most likely my first and only one.

    I know you’ll try out the dates, but would you consider the coconut water and sesame as well? It seems to be great for very quick labors from the births my mother has been telling me about, friends, etc. Or are you set on solely the dates?

  29. So this has nothing to do with whether this works or not but for those who said they don’t like eating dates you should try squeezing some fresh lime on them- delicious!

  30. I did this for my first pregnancy, and though I have nothing to compare it to personally, here is how my labour went: Waters broke 715pm. Admitted to birth center at 4am, 3.5cms dilated. Started pushing at approx 845am and healthy baby boy born at 950am. I’d say that went pretty well!! I am currently 15 weeks and will be eating dates again! I do quite enjoy them 🙂

  31. It didn’t work for me at all! In fact, I went all the way to 42 weeks this pregnancy (my girls were on time and no date consumption happened with them!). Because I was 42 weeks, my water had to be broken…so no pitocin but definitely needed an natural induction to kickstart labor! I felt betrayed bc I actually dislike dates too 😛

  32. Not to burst your bubble, but while the first stage of labor includes dilation from 0-10 cm, the latent phase of the first stage is only from 0 to 3-4 cm. For me, the latent phase has lasted a few weeks with both of my babies, but was extremely mild and tolerable, and I wouldn’t necessarily want to shorten it too much or I’d be delivering too early. But my active phase has lasted 24-28 hours, so I’d be interested to see if anything shortens that phase of labor. I’ve always been 4 cm when I get to the hospital and I pretty much stay at 4-5 cm until my water is broken. I’m not sure how long my labor will last if I wait for my water to break on its own, but that’s what I plan to do with the next baby. I’m on the fence about dates for a variety of reasons. Last pregnancy I wanted to try them to hopefully avoid induction, but I had gestational diabetes and couldn’t justify the extra carbs. I’m hoping that won’t be a factor this time around.

  33. I ate 6 a day for the last month and we didn’t even get out the door to head to the birth center!! Had her in my bathroom!! Lol I set down my groceries at 7 and pushed her out by 7:20! It was crazy! But also awesome!

  34. I love dates so this gives me an extra excuse to chow down on them 🙂 I love putting them into my smoothies, with bananas. Banana date smoothie is the ultimate and you can have 5-6 in just one smoothie so it takes care of it for the day. I’m definitely going to try this!

  35. Didn’t know about this with my 1st and 2nd child so didn’t have any dates as not a big fan of them.

    1st labour was over 2 days…lead to being induced and rushed for forceps.

    2nd labour was long again…..Over 12 hours which lead to an emergency c section.

    However I ate 7 dates all through my 3rd pregnancy and during the start of labour (who doctors said would be an all day birth as well).

    At 2cms dilated……35mins later baby was born with no assistance and absolutely no pain relief. It wasn’t pain free but I wasn’t going to complain that in 35 mins I had dilated 8cms and pushed out a healthy baby. May we be Blessed those who had an easy birth to have more and those who have had difficulties be replaced with ease.

    On the plus side of dates. The doctors were amazed that after giving birth my iron levels were perfect….so in my opinion……7 dates a day and some during labour I would definitely recommend.

    • Hi aisha i was intrested to read you ate dates through out your pregnancy. If you don’t mind can you tel me how many dates you had a day please? Im 15 weeks and iv heard dates are good for pregnancy and labour.

  36. I love this! I never really ate dates until my 4 th pregnancy, but I craved them a lot. I really enjoy them in homemade Lara bars and homemade truffles. My labor with my 4 th was only intense for about 1.5 hours and it only took 3 pushes to get her out. My other labors were also fast but this one was much less painful. Maybe it was the dates!
    Congratulations and many blessings to you for a joyful pregnancy and birth!

  37. I didn’t know you were expecting again! Congratulations! That whole ship has sailed for me, lol, but I hope it works for you!

  38. Thanks for posting on this!! Worked perfectly for me. I didn’t read this study until after my first pregnancy, but I have eaten dates with homemade almond butter as dessert for 10+ years, so during my first pregnancy that was the daily routine. I also eat fresh pineapple for breakfast every morning. I had my son in less than 6 hours and the pain was very manageable, completely un-medicated. My water didn’t break until the last hour which I think made the labor less painful too, more cushion. Definitely recommend eating dates and pineapple throughout pregnancy. I’m now pregnant with my second and have the same routine, hopefully this labor will be just as quick.

  39. I drank date smoothies for a few weeks at the end of my last pregnancy. I’m not sure I’m going to drink them as often this time. I had a 45 minute labor and delivered in the hospital parking lot in the front seat of our minivan. Oops. Haha!

    Here’s the recipe I used:

  40. I’m 35 weeks with my third and definitely going to add in dates! I never thought of this until now, but are you suppose to wash dates before eating them?

  41. I am afraid to try this because I am due on January 19th, but I have SO much going on at work the week before. I really need to be there through the 15th if at all possible. In afraid to try anything that might make me go into labor earlier! Do the dates only shorten labor time, or is there a chance they could make me go into labor any earlier?

    • HAAA!! This reminds me of a Gilmore Girls episode where a character goes into labor before her scheduled due date. “Sherry really screwed up!!” “I wrote it down!”
      Baby’s coming when baby’s coming. Due dates are less than 10% accurate. So good luck!

      • Haha! My mother was like this with my children. We shall see with number 5…Love Gilmore Girls!

  42. Hi all, would you say regular dates or medjool as not sure on what the difference is relating to this method?
    Thanks 😉

  43. My first labor was 23 hours – had almost every intervention out there… membranes broke, petocin administered, epidural and vacuum assist. I happened to read about eating dates when I was pregnant with my second. I love dates and figured I had nothing to lose by eating them. Through most of my pregnancy I replaced the raisins in my morning oatmeal with sliced up dates. Hard to say if it was the dates, but I had a 3 hour labor, start to finish. Contractions started at 11pm, got admitted to the hospital at 12:50am, at which time I was only 4cm. I delivered my little girl at 2am. She crowned from contractions alone and my membranes didn’t rupture until this point. She was just shy of 8lbs, too. I have told numerous mommies-to-be about this date study – whether it works or not – its worth a shot to try! I’d take my second labor over my first one any day!

  44. Wellness mama, howd your labor end up going?!

      • Oh sorry!! I saw 2015 and was thinking post was from last year! I’m due February 14th and have been eating my dates for the past couple weeks too! Keeping fingers crossed! My twin sister and good friend both had babies in December and ate dates a month before and both went few days early and both had active labors less than 5 hours! Hoping I follow suit…and you too! Good luck!!

  45. Wellness mama, when is your due date? I am due March 24 and will be eating medjool dates 6 per day starting at 34 weeks.

    My first labor was 25 hours all unmedicated and very hard. They had to break my water when I was stuck at 8cm for a few hours. Baby was sunny side up and pushing took four hours. I am so hoping and praying for a shorter labor this time!! Let us know how it went for you when you have your babe!

    • I’m 35 weeks today and going to give the 6 dates a day a try, I already incooprerate them into my smoothies most days but today I made date almond milk! So yummy! Fingers crossed I’m praying for a fast delivery

  46. I’m 35 weeks and wanting to order some dates, but I see that the ones you recommend aren’t organic. I’m not finding a lot of evidence one way or the other online…are pesticides a concern with dates?

    • Dates are not typically a highly sprayed crop, but you may be able to find an organic option locally…

  47. Curious to hear if it helps you. I’m due March 3rd and eating dates this time around (#4).

  48. I ate 6 dates per pay during my last 2 months of pregnancy, and drank red raspberry leaf tea,, with Baby #1. Before giving birth, I noticed signs of early labour (mucus plug, slight contractions) around noon, and had very little pain or discomfort until 10 p.m. We went to the hospital as I was having contracts about 2-3 minutes apart. I was 1 cm dilated, so I was sent home. Less than an hour later, my water broke and we went back to the hospital. I was now 10 cm dialated (2 a.m.). After one hour of waiting to push and finally pushing, Baby arrived. In total, I would say my intense labour lasted only 5 hours maximum! I will definitely be using both dates and the tea for my other pregnancies!

  49. I am obsessed with dates. I don’t buy them because I will eat-them-all-right-now! But I ate a lot in late pregnancy with my last (probably 6-8 per day) and had a baby within 4 hours of my first contraction. It was also my first labor because my first born was delivered c section.

  50. It’s February! ? Hoping they help provide a fast complication free delivery, keep us updated! I’m due with my 4th in June and defiently going to try it.

  51. I wonder how much of this is Psychosomatic? But hey, if anything helps right?

  52. Great to read all the personal experiences! I am due in September and will definitely try this.

    Wellness Mama, did you have the baby yet?

  53. I definitely beleive it worked for me ! I ate dates and date squares for the weeks leading up to my due date. I was 6 days overdue and my water broke naturally.
    I was in labour from start to finish for 12 hours, and only 2 of those hours were truly painfull. I went from 3 cm dilated to 10 , in 2 contractions. I will definitely be eating dates in my next pregnancy!

  54. My midwife suggested this to me along with red raspberry leaf tea due to the fact that i had symptoms of pre-eclampsia and was at risk for being induced if my blood pressure got too high or my baby was in distress. I was put on bed rest at 35 weeks and ate 4 medjool dates everyday along with drinking the raspberry leaf tea …This was my first child and gave birth to her at 37.5 week…. my labor was only 5.5 hours start to finish! Don’t know if it was a coincidence or if the dates really worked but i was happy to have a natural childbirth and not be induced or receive any unnecessary drugs.

  55. Would the dates be safe to eat before the due date? I’m currently 22 weeks and eat them everyday

  56. I have just given birth to a beautiful 8lb 8.5 baby girl. I read this post & decided to give it a shot! No harm trying. I ate 6 organic mejool dates a day from week 35, I also drank Red Raspberry leaf tea as in my previous pregnancy.
    I went into spontaneous labour at 39 weeks & 2 days. However I did have acupuncture & a sweep to try to get things moving due to my age & associated risks once you reach 39 weeks. My labour was intense & super fast the first stage was 3hrs! Total labour was 3hrs 21 mins not included the 3rd stage. Which was 36 minutes. I had my daughter in a birth pool at home, with no complications…just as I wanted!
    My first labour was 9hrs 40. Which isn’t that long for a first one.
    So in conclusion maybe the dates did help? I couldn’t really say either way, it may have been fast regardless.
    I know that if I never see another mejool again as long as I live I will be happy! I used to love them, but eating 6 a day is a real chore! Worth it though if it contributed to my fast delivery.

  57. I decided to give the dates a try after hearing from my sister about them. . . . figured I might be able to tell a difference after my 4 boys were all born with 10-17 hours of labor, many hours of hard labor. I ate 6 dates a day starting four weeks before my due date. Baby was born 15 days late (first 4 were anywhere from 10-20 days late, so that was unchanged by the dates) after an easy 6-hour labor, two hours of hard labor. By far my shortest and easiest birth and baby was a healthy 11lb 6oz boy! Definitely doing the dates next time!

  58. I LOVE dates and really want to try this but they are are high in sugar and I have borderline gestational diabetes. Any tips on including them in my diet and not raising my blood sugar too much? Maybe stuffing with coconut oil or coconut butter?

  59. I don’t like dates but started craving them, out of the blue, at 27 weeks! A week later I read the ACOG findings and it confirmed, one more time, that I need to trust my body. Pregnancy at 41 is no joke ladies. I feel fortunate that I know myself and have really strong intuition.