As I’ve gotten further in my doula training, I’ve learned more about the incredible power of dates. (Not the ones on the calendar…the food!) It’s amazing to see what a tiny dried fruit can do. Dates have actually been used in Muslim cultures for ages as a supplement for pregnant and laboring women, and now scientific research is confirming what women have known for years: eating dates helps ease labor.
(p.s., want to listen to this blog post? Click here!)
Ready for the benefits of consuming dates during late pregnancy?
- More likely to go into spontaneous labor.
- The cervix is more dilated upon admission to the hospital.
- Less likely to need oxytocin/pitocin.
- Shorter active labor!
- Less postpartum hemorrhage compared to using oxytocin.
So cool, right!?
How to get the benefits of eating dates for better pregnancy and labor
You can get the benefits of eating dates just from eating 6-8 dates per day every day starting at about 33-34 weeks of pregnancy. Talk about a fabulous and delicious way to help your pregnancy along.
You can eat plain dates, mix them in your smoothies, OR (and this is my preferred consumption method) have a recipe for chocolate peanut butter date balls that you’ll love.
Chocolate peanut butter date balls recipe
This snack comes together in a food processor or blender in less than 5 minutes. They stay good in the fridge for about 2 weeks. You’ll finish them faster though 😀
These chocolate date balls are gluten free, refined sugar free, vegan, and high in protein. You can adapt them to be nut free if you use a sunflower or pumpkin seed butter.
- ½ cup pitted dates
- ½ cup peanut butter (or other nut/seed butter of choice!)
- 3 tbsp raw cacao powder
- 3 tbsp plain plant-based protein powder (can be replaced with raw cacao powder if preferred)
- ¼ tsp salt (omit if using salted peanut butter)
- Place dates in the food processor or blender and mix until a paste forms.
- Add peanut butter, cacao powder, protein powder and salt.
- Mix until a dough is formed.
- Shape the dough into 1 tbsp balls. If the balls are too soft, add more cacao powder.
- Refrigerate, store in an air-tight container, and enjoy!
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Thanks for reading, and have a wonderful day,
Samantha Attard, PhD, is the founder of Happy Healthy Human. Sam is a performance coach and yoga instructor who helps people eat, move, and live with intention. Learn more here.