Arghghgh I am going to pull my hair out if I see another post about pregnant women and the magical dates!

I thought it was the final straw when I heard a wonderful, pre-natal yoga teacher telling their mums to eat dates to improve their birth, but then I heard even a midwife was advising a mum to eat them to improve birth too!

I think this is a perfect example of how ONE SINGLE research paper can grow a trend that might not even be founded in much accurate evidence (mind you, since this blog, another paper has had some other positive findings about dates possibly reducing induction.. I’ll need to set aside time to properly assess the findings… now if only they didn’t charge money to access more than the abstracts!)

Not that eating a date will harm you. I’m not “anti-dates”. I’m just anti-old wives tales.. or in this case, new wives tales!

I mean eat some dates, yes go ahead and let the placebo effect (or possible real effect? who knows) reduce your labour length – if you believe in the magic of the dates strongly enough, then dates WILL help your birth!

I just want people to stop and reflect that true, full,  informed decision making needs to be based on more that one paper.

Don’t eat dates blindly, don’t take ANY kind of advice blindly. Even if it’s from a doctor or a midwife.

In a nut shell.. a very esteemed midwife and researcher highlighted to our birth professionals group that the ‘date eating, birth improving paper’ was done on a study group where the study group had nutritional and dietary deficits – it is actually possible that the dates had a significant effect simply because they were giving the women much needed sugar and nutrition.

In other words, if they had used raisins, then raisins would have been the latest pregnancy craze!

Personally I have been guilty of sharing links without thorough reading, reflection or personal research…

We are all human!

I saw the ‘date article’ being shared around and as a birth educator I shared it. Then as a pregnant woman, I bought and ate some dates, hey it sounded like a great idea (plus I happen to love dried fruit and it made my breakfast suddenly far more yummy!).

And after one such delicious breakfast, heavily laden with delicious, sugary dates, I did a random glucose finger prick at the chemist (I was self monitoring for any risk of Gestational Diabetes) and I had a reading that was showing insulin concerns, the first thing the nurse asked was “what did you have for breakfast?”.

Yes, folks, dates can compromise your sugar and insulin levels.

So be careful before upping your intake.. and by the way, those suckers are addictive – like any sugar is.. and it all starts with just one or two and escalates from there.


I love looking at various sides to any topic,

Natalie Meade.