Jane Eleodi, a clinical dietician, says pregnant women who regularly eat date fruits will have reduced need for induced labour.
Eleodi, who is a nutritionist with JSPRINGS Nutrition and Dietary Health, Nature Support Ltd Lagos, said dates have been studied for their potentials to ease late-term labour in pregnant women.
“Eating these fruits throughout the last few weeks of pregnancy may promote cervical dilation and lower the need for induced labour. They may also be helpful for reducing labour time,” she told NAN.
“Eating dates throughout pregnancy helps to supply nutrients like essential vitamins and minerals needed for healthy foetal growth and development. It is good for maternal health.
“Nutrients such as Vitamins A, E, K, C, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Folates, Niacin, B6, Pantothenic acid, Zinc, Calcium, Iron, Choline, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Manganese etc, can be found in dates.
Eleodi said also the fruits contained tannins, which are compounds that have shown to help facilitate contractions.
She noted that dates are a good source of natural sugar and calories, which are necessary to maintain energy levels during labour.
According to the nutritionist, a study of 69 women who consumed 6 dates per day for 4 weeks prior to their due date showed they were 20 per cent more likely to go into labour naturally.
She added that they were in labour for significantly less time than those who did not eat the fruit.
She said in another study of 154 pregnant women, the report showed that those who ate dates were much less likely to be induced compared to those who did not.
“A third study found similar results in 91 pregnant women who consumed 70–76 grams of dates daily starting from the 37th week of pregnancy.
“They were in active labour for an average of four hours than those who did not eat dates.”