In 2008 at Jordan University of Science and Technology, a prospective study was carried out on 69 women who consumed six date fruits per day for 4 weeks prior to their estimated date of delivery, compared with 45 women who consumed none.
There was no significant difference in gestational age, age and parity between the two groups.
The women who consumed date fruit had significantly higher mean cervical dilatation upon admission compared with the non-date fruit consumers and a significantly higher proportion of intact membranes 83% vs 60%. Spontaneous labour occurred in 96% of those who consumed dates, compared with 79% women in the non-date fruit consumers . Use of synthetic oxytocin (syntocinon) was significantly lower in women who consumed dates (28%), compared with the non-date fruit consumers (47%). The latent phase of the first stage of labour was shorter in women who consumed date fruit compared with the non-date fruit consumers (510 min vs 906 min).
It is concluded that the consumption of date fruit in the last 4 weeks before labour significantly reduced the need for induction and augmentation of labour, and produced a more favourable, but non-significant, delivery outcome. The results warrant a randomised controlled trial