Background: Long-term delivery is an important significant issue which is associated with mortality and fetal and maternal disorders. Based on the previous studies, consumption of dates affects uterine contractions and duration of delivery processes. This study aimed to study the effect of date consumption in late pregnancy on the duration of delivery processes in nulliparous women in 2013.
Materials and methods: This randomized clinical trial was conducted among 182 nulliparous women 18-35 years who presented to OmAlBanin Hospital in Mashhad in 2013. The comparison has been made between 91 pregnant women who consumed 70-76 g dates daily from the 37th week of pregnancy and 91 pregnant women who did not consume dates. Data collection tool was a questionnaire and a checklist of daily dates' intake. Data were analyzed using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences software and statistical tests - chi-square and Mann-Whitney test, and P value <0.05 was considered significant.
Results: The average length of active phase (P = 0.0001), length of second phase (P = 0.0001), and third phase (P = 0.004) in two groups had statistically significant difference. The average length of the second phase (P = 0.03) and the third phase (P = 0.02) in case of spontaneous start of delivery in the intervention group was significantly lower than the control group. Use of oxytocin to accelerate delivery had a significant difference between the two groups (P < 0.001).
Conclusion: According to the results of this study, consuming dates in late pregnancy was effective in decreasing length of labor processes and reduced the need of oxytocin for labor acceleration. Thus, it is recommended to consume dates in women without contraindications.
Keywords: Fruit; Iran; pregnancy.