Verified by Edna Skopljak MD
Edna Skopljak is a medical doctor and an editor at BJBMS medical journal. She graduated from the University of Sarajevo School of Science and Technology.
Whether dates are a staple snack that soothes your sweet tooth or whether you plan on incorporating them into your diet when you’re expecting, knowing how they affect you is important.
This article looks into if you can eat dates while pregnant.
Follow along for information on how many dates you should eat while pregnant, the side effects of dates in pregnancy, and to learn whether dates ease labor pain.
Can You Eat Dates While Pregnant?
Yes, you can eat dates while pregnant. Dates offer both a healthy alternative to sweet cravings and extra energy to help shake off pregnancy fatigue. This energy is derived from the natural sugars and iron found in dates.
With plenty of fiber packed into these sweet dried fruits, pregnant women may also notice the promotion of a proactive digestive system, defeating pregnancy-related constipation.
Not to mention, the folate in dates also helps to minimize the risk of birth defects. Additionally, vitamin K helps the development of a baby’s strong bones and the mother’s nerve and muscle function.
Potassium is also potent in dates and works as an electrolyte mineral that aids with the relaxation of blood vessels and lowers blood pressure.
When eaten in proper portions, dates not only ease the obstacles of pregnancy, but they can also potentially induce labor.
There are very few cons (if any) to eating the recommended amount of dates daily in the first, second, or third trimester.
How Many Dates Should You Eat While Pregnant?
Pregnant women should eat around 70-76 g of dates (NIH), or about six dates a day.
Limiting yourself to around six dates helps maintain your calorie intake and blood sugar levels since dates are high in calories and carbohydrates.
Side Effects of Dates in Pregnancy
There is virtually no evidence to suggest that dates cause any negative side effects in pregnancy, especially if consumed in limited portions.
If you are trying to watch your blood sugar and calories, then eating dates in excess may cause problems. Otherwise, the only other concern would be if you developed an allergy to dates.
If you’re eating dates for the first time in pregnancy and notice any itchiness, tingling, swelling, or irritation of the mouth or tongue, immediately stop consumption.
Do Dates Ease Labor Pain?
While it is inconclusive if dates ease labor pain, it is believed that they can ease the labor process by naturally inducing childbirth.
A clinical trial noted by the National Library of Medicine compared 91 pregnant women who consumed 70-76 g of dates daily in late pregnancy and 91 women who did not.
This study concluded that consuming dates daily in late pregnancy was effective in shortening labor. Eating dates daily also reduced the need for oxytocin to induce labor.
More research may be necessary, but since eating dates in moderation is harmless during pregnancy, it wouldn’t hurt to try it out yourself.
Eating dates while pregnant is both safe and beneficial.
The proper daily consumption of dates might help pregnant women with their pregnancy symptoms, the development of their baby, and child delivery.