Pregnancy Hack #2: Prep Your Uterus for Labor with this Fruit
Dates are definitely not the most consumed of all fruits on the market, but what they lack in popularity, they make up for in benefits towards pregnancy and birth! I've heard rumors about how eating dates throughout the end of a pregnancy can speed labor up and make it all an easier process, but I needed a bit more than rumors before I started chomping them down 3 at a time! Apparently, there is plenty of truth behind this pregnancy hack! So much so, I'm heading out to grab a package of dates today. If I can't swallow them down solo, I'll be adding them into my homemade granola bars or baking something else up with them.
So what's the deal with dates?
According to MamaNatural, dates contain the following: Natural sugars (fructose) that easily break down in the body and won't spike blood sugar levels but will offer high energy, which makes dates during pregnancy or labor an excellent choice. Fiber: Helps you stay full, relieves constipation, and lowers your risk for gestational diabetes and preeclampsia. Potassium: One of the best electrolytes. It helps maintain water/salt balance which helps regulate blood pressure. Magnesium: Support muscular health and helps to alleviate muscle spasms and cramps in pregnancy. Folate: Getting enough folate will ensure that your baby's spinal cord matures properly, avoiding neural tube defects. Vitamin K: Maintains proper blood clotting and healthy bones "Date fruit contains saturated and unsaturated fatty acids such as oleic, linoleic, and linolenic acids, which are involved in saving and supplying energy and the construction of prostaglandins. In addition, serotonin, tannin, and calcium in date fruit contribute to the contraction of smooth muscles of the uterus. Date fruit also has a laxative effect, which stimulates uterine contractions." In simple terms, dates prep the uterus for labor so that everything will go quick and smooth once baby decides to descend the birth canal. They also provide an energy boost, supply amino acids through their high protein content, and help prevent anemia!
When Should You Eat Them?
Beginning at 36 weeks pregnant, you can eat 6-7 dates every day. Dates are pretty sweet, so you may enjoy them straight up! A few ideas to include dates into your daily meals:
- Add them as a sweetener into your smoothie
- Blend them up with some nuts for a topping or pie crust
- Add into any cookie or muffin recipe
- Stir into your morning yogurt
Remember that dates alone aren't going to predict your birth outcome! Take a birth class, exercise, eat well, and lead a healthy lifestyle too.