For Valentine's Day Birth Boot Camp hosted a "Why I Loved My Natural Birth" contest. Here's my video talking about Nicole's birth (my youngest).
Did you know dates can help you in labor? No, not your due date, the fruit! Something as simple as eating six dates a day for the last four weeks of pregnancy had noticeable results in a study. We don't know why dates have a positive effect, but they caused women to have a faster first phase of labor, had their water break less often, and had less induction/augmentation. Not surprisingly, since it's a natural food, there were no negative effects.
This study also found dates being effective in preventing postpartum blood loss. Those women eating dates immediately after delivery lost less blood than those receiving Pitocin (a drug often given preemptively in hospitals to prevent hemorrhage). The calcium, serotonin, tannin, and glucose in dates are thought to have roles in slowing the bleeding.
I also would recommend dates in the last few weeks of pregnancy because the glucose (sugar) in them is the body's main source of energy. Muscles need glucose to function most efficiently, and the uterus is a large muscle, after all. Getting more carbohydrates from natural foods as labor nears can help you, especially in a long labor. If nothing else, dates might be a welcome healthy sweet treat after months of watching your diet!
I'm a natural childbirth educator, lactation consultant (IBCLC), and doula in Athens, AL. Here is where I put healthy recipes, current research, and helpful articles for pregnancy, postpartum, and life in general. Check back often!