It was 11:30pm when I felt a contraction. I had felt them sporadically all week, but this one I felt in my back. I knew from palpating that my son was “sunny side up”, so I had been expecting back labor. This was it. Since this was my first baby, I mentally prepared myself for a long labor. But somehow, before I knew it, I was holding my baby in my arms before 5:30 the next morning!
Four other friends gave birth that week, two of them the same day my son was born. As we all shared our birth stories, I noticed a common theme: every one of us had a labor lasting less than 6 hours, and every one of us took Red Raspberry Leaf tea during our pregnancies.
Red Raspberry Leaf (RRL) tea is commonly used for its medicinal properties, and especially well-known for its uterine-toning properties. It is rich in vitamins B and C, making it an excellent immune booster. It promotes proper circulation by dilating blood vessels, and supports the production of breast milk. All these benefits make it a new mother’s best friend.
Generally speaking, there isn’t much research done on herbs and home remedies. However, there was a study conducted in 1998 in Australia to see if ingesting RRL tea had any potential benefits to a pregnant mother. While they were able to confirm the suspected benefit of a shortened labor, researchers also noticed, “An unexpected finding in this study seems to indicate that women who ingest raspberry leaf might be less likely to receive an artificial rupture of their membranes, or require a caesarean section, forceps or vacuum birth than the women in the control group.” (Parsons, et al)
Another Australian study, published in 2000, suggests that ingesting RRL shortens the second (pushing) phase of labor, due to the uterine toning properties found in the tea. (Simpson, et al). My personal experience confirms this finding.
RRL has been used for centuries for other womanly complaints, specifically regulating hormones, decreasing cramps, and lessening menstruation. Other reported benefits include decreasing diarrhea and clearing skin.
I am not a fan of tea, so I chose to take my RRL in capsule form. I used the Nature’s Way brand, and was thrilled to see that it was easily within my tight budget. I began taking it before conception and continued all throughout my pregnancy. I had a peaceful, pain-free birth at 39 weeks +4, and became an instant believer in using RRL tea for any future pregnancies.
If you are interested in experiencing the benefits related to ingesting RRL tea during pregnancy, please consult your health care provider.
Mothers, Fathers, & Birth Professionals