Contributed By: Brittany Thomas of The Pistachio Project
I’m currently waiting on baby number five. Yes, five! Through the past five pregnancies, I’ve learned a lot about preparing for labor. One of those things is red raspberry leaf tea. You wouldn’t think a tea could make that much of a difference when it comes to having baby but it does! It really does!
Red raspberry leaf tea is an herbal tea made from the leaves of a raspberry plant. This is not the same as red raspberry tea… that stuff is raspberry flavored and while it tastes yummy; it won’t do anything for labor! Red raspberry LEAF tea tastes closer to a black tea and is high in calcium, iron, magnesium, vitamin A, and much more. It’s been used for many different issues but it’s most known for its use by pregnant women.
When used during pregnancy, red raspberry leaf can help:
- Relieve nausea
- Tone the uterus (helps makes your contractions more effective and thus potentially making labor easier and faster)
- Help with postpartum bleeding and help prevent hemorrhage
Please note that red raspberry leaf will not induce you. You can’t start drinking this tea and suddenly go into labor. It only makes contractions more effective once they have already started. It can trigger braxton hicks for some women but those are practice contractions in their own right so it makes sense. Only those who have pre-term labor or irritable uterus issues need to avoid this tea or wait until they are close to their due date.
Think of this tea as your uterus’ way to lift weights. When you lift weights you get stronger. When you drink red raspberry leaf tea your uterus gets stronger. Also as in weight lifting, you do not start lifting 100 lb weights on day 1! You start out slowly, otherwise your muscles are going to hate you. This is why it is recommended to gradually increase how much red raspberry leaf tea you consume each day and not just jump into drinking 3 cups a day!
How much red raspberry leaf to drink:
The general rule of thumb is to drink 1 cup per day per trimester. That means you would drink 1 cup a day during your 1st trimester, 2 cups a day during your 2nd trimester, 3 cups a day during your 3rd trimester. I should mention that there are some who recommend avoiding red raspberry leaf tea until your 2nd trimester. This is based on an old faulty study and many doctors and midwives will actually recommend red raspberry leaf for morning sickness or even miscarriage but of course you will have to come to your own conclusions. In any case, waiting until your 2nd trimester will still give you plenty of time to reap the benefits of red raspberry leaf.
Does it really work?
Yes, yes it does! I’ve had two red raspberry leaf babies so far and their births were far easier and faster than my non-red raspberry leaf births. Now while red raspberry leaf can decrease overall labor time, it is most known for shortening the second stage of labor (the pushing stage). This I can definitely attest to. With my non-red raspberry leaf baby, I pushed for 15-30 minutes. With my first red raspberry leaf baby, I pushed for only 3 minutes and with the following red raspberry leaf baby, I pushed for even less! Pushing can be one of the hardest parts of labor, especially if it lasts a long time so red raspberry leaf tea can be just the labor tool you need!
As for helping with postpartum bleeding, I again found that it helps a lot! My bleeding was much less when I used red raspberry leaf. If I stopped drinking it (and I do recommend drinking it postpartum) my bleeding would increase; start drinking it again and the bleeding would lighten up. The less postpartum bleeding the better in my opinion.
If you are pregnant and are trying to find ways to help you with labor, definitely add red raspberry leaf to your list of things to try! It’s non-invasive and at the very least will help keep you hydrated but odds are good that it will help you through labor as well.
Brittany Thomas is the author of The Pistachio
Project. A mother to four (soon to be five) children, she began her
journey of living green and crunchy because she wanted the best for her kids.
However, she soon realized that natural living was a benefit to herself as well
and now she shares what she’s learning on her blog. You can also find her at Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.