Red Raspberry Leaf is present in almost every pregnancy tea out there, and every midwife and natural remedy book I have consulted has recommended it for each stage of pregnancy.
In the first trimester is is said to reduce morning sickness. Drinking it in the second and third trimesters will relieve constipation and heartburn. It is also full of vitamins and minerals including vitamin C and calcium and enriches breastmilk for your newborn.
The main reason I drink it is because it tones the uterus, improves contractions and strengthens the pelvic and uterine muscles and is thought to shorten the second (aka harder) stage of labor. I’m a believer because I drank red raspberry leaf tea every day during the last trimester of my last pregnancy, and my baby was born three hours after I got to the hospital after a very quick transition and only 15 minutes of pushing.
I know there are many factors that contribute to all the aspects of labor and delivery, but I will do anything I can to make it as safe and quick as possible. I recently came across an entry in the Rodale’s Encyclopedia of Natural Home Remedies: Hundreds of Simple Healing Techniques for Everyday Illness and Emergencies that really intrigued me.
“My mother was born and raised in Scotland, coming to America at the age of 26. Whenever a member of her family became ill or had a health problem, her mother had consulted an herbalist or herb doctor. As a result of this, I was treated with herbs as a child.
“Mother had always told me that red raspberry leaf tea would prevent miscarriage and was excellent for pregnancy and childbirth. When I became pregnant, I immediately sent for some raspberry leaf tea and began taking one cup of it each day, made from one teaspoon of dried leaves added to one cup of boiling water and steeped for 15 minutes. I had a very normal pregnancy. Then I went into labor, I truly expected to have an easy labor and delivery because I had faithfully taken the tea. While it is true that I did not have a complicated or extremely difficult time, it was not by any means easy. The tea had not lived up to my expectations.
“It was not until sometimes after the birth of my daughter that I read a book my mother had brought with her from Scotland entitled Dragged to Light by W.H. Box of Plymouth, England. In it I found the secret of just how to take the tea so it would truly work wonders during labor and delivery. Box said, ‘On one ounce of raspberry leaves pour one pint of boiling water, cover and let steep for 30 minutes. Strain, and when the time for delivery is approaching drink the whole as hot as possible.’
“There were a number of testimonials in the book written by women who had used this herb. Several took the strong solution over a period of time before going into labor. They were instructed in that case to take a wine glass full three times a day. They had ‘only two stiff pains and it was all over’ or ‘no after pains and very slight before.’ They never made it out of the house. Box’s instructions were, ‘But those who take the tea considerably before the time should not leave the house when the time is approaching as many mothers are delivered almost suddenly when at their work, to the great vexation of doctors and nurses.’
“When I became pregnant again I was determined to try it that way. I still took a cup a day as I had before. but this time when I went into labor I made a strong solution of it as I had read in the book. I put it in a container and took it to the hospital with me. I wasn’t sure how quickly it would work and I didn’t want to have the baby in the car. I didn’t think they’d allow me to drink it in the hospital so I drank half of it in the parking lot. I was afraid to drink all of it as it was so strong and I didn’t personally know anyone who had taken it this strong before. I had been having strong contractions but by the time I registered and was taken up to the labor room the contractions were so mild I hardly felt them. Upon examination they said I was ready to deliver and would not even give me an enema. In the delivery room I was quite comfortable and hardly felt anything. One hour after entering the hospital my son was born.”
Sounds good to me! I definitely plan to do this when I feel labor progressing. I will let you know how it worked!
Here’s a tea I love: Organic Third Trimester Tea (16 tea bags / box)
If this has worked for any of you, please leave a comment and tell me about it!