Welp, I’m 39 weeks pregnant with my official due date less than one week away. Where has the time gone?!
I have to say this has all been a surreal experience, especially these last few weeks leading up to this present moment.
On one hand I am beyond excited and can’t wait to meet this baby girl, on the other completely terrified and hoping she decides to wait a little longer (primarily so I can check more off my to-do list, go figure).
Either way, I’m still taking it upon myself to do things to help my body prime and prep for labor, in the hopes it will promote an optimal experience (i.e. less pain/time/intervention).
I’m lucky in that throughout this process I’ve had an amazing doula, support system, medical team (with a mix of eastern/western approach) and my own credentials as a nutrition + hormone health coach to help guide me and supply me with resources — and this has been no different in prepping for birth!
Here’s a rundown of tips I’ve gathered so far that help ripen and efface the cervix and promote hormonal responses that can trigger contraction and labor —
+ Nipple Stimulation
+ Clary Sage Oil (in a warm bath or diffuser)
+ Red Raspberry Leaf Tea
+ Evening Primrose Oil
I’ve been slowly but surely making my way through the list, but not surprisingly the one that really excited me was dates — LOL.
Not only are dates insanely delicious, but they actually promote cervical ripening, with studies showing those who ate up to 7 dates per day prior to delivery prompted dilation an additional cm (4 cm compared to 3 cm without).
There are also numerous studies showing eating dates can stimulate the hormone oxytocin (that feel good/love hormone that ALSO brings on contractions) and can help manage postpartum blood loss.
Basically — bring on the dates!
While I love dates and could eat a million of them on their own, they’re still relatively high in sugar (albeit a naturally occurring form) and thus I like to even out their sweetness with some healthy fat and protein.
Enter in these Dark Chocolate + Cashew Butter Stuffed “Due” Date Bombs, which are stuffed with rich and creamy cashew butter ( a good source of blood-sugar-stabilizing healthy fats and protein), drizzled in dark chocolate (rich in antioxidants and helps stimulate serotonin, a mood booster) and topped with trace-mineral rich sea salt (because chocolate + sea salt is always a good idea).
The finished product is a slightly sweet, slightly salty, rich and creamy indulgence that satisfies your sugar cravings in a healthy (and apparently labor-inducing) way.
They are also ridiculously easy to make and only require 5 ingredients, which I’m all about!
Oh and let’s not forget you don’t have to be pregnant or approaching labor to indulge in these date bombs, as they are totally versatile and equally stand out as a healthy Halloween treat for yourself or kiddos, an easy dessert or snack option at a holiday party, or just a simple sweet treat when you need a little pick me up.
Happy Date Night 😉
Dark Chocolate + Cashew Stuffed "Due" Date Bombs
A slightly sweet, slightly salty, rich and creamy indulgence that will not only satisfy your sugar cravings in a healthy and easy way, but can also help your body prepare for labor -- if you're pregnant and into that sort of thing 🙂
- 10 organic medjool dates
- approximately ½ cup cashew butter (will need to eyeball)
- ¼ cup dark chocolate chips or dark chocolate, chopped
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- sprinkle of sea salt
- Melt coconut oil and dark chocolate in a small stovetop pan over medium low heat. As soon as it's almost melted, remove from heat and continue to stir until smooth. Set aside.
- Make a lengthwise slice in each date (do not cut in half as you want the date still in tact to stuff) and remove the pit.
- Scoop in a spoonful of cashew butter (feel free to eyeball or fill to your preference) and stuff in the center of each date.
- Drizzle or dunk dates in dark chocolate, then sprinkle with sea salt.
- Option to chill in the fridge or eat warm and melty as is.
- Store in the fridge for a week or freeze for 2 months!