You’ve probably heard about drinking raspberry leaf tea during pregnancy, but might, like myself, not actually know why we’re supposed to start drinking it around 34 weeks.
So what actually is raspberry leaf tea?
Raspberry leaf tea is a herbal remedy, not to be confused with raspberry fruit tea, which I initially thought it was!
Why do women drink raspberry leaf tea during pregnancy?
Raspberry leaf tea is thought to help ‘tone’ the uterus muscles, and has been linked to shorter and more straightforward births. The idea is not to make labour super fast, but to help it progress at a steady rate. It strengthens the uterine and pelvic muscles, while also working as a relaxant at the same time, and therefore helps reduce the pain of contractions during labour. It can also help speed up aid recovery after labour.
There is some evidence that, by getting really toned up and ready for action in this way, a woman is less likely to go past 41 weeks of pregnancy. So although the tea doesn’t necessarily start labour, it might help to push your body in the right direction by getting the womb fit and strong.
Who can drink raspberry leaf tea?
According to the NHS website, there are women who should avoid raspberry leaf tea if:
- Your previous labour lasted three hours or less from start to finish
- You are going to have a planned caesarian section for a medical reason
- You have had a caesarian section before
- You have had a premature labour before
- You have had any vaginal bleeding in the second half of your pregnancy
- You have a family or personal history of breast or ovarian cancer, endometriosis or fibroids
- You are expecting a baby who is breech
- You have any complications or health problems in your pregnancy, including high blood pressure
- You are expecting twins.
When to start your raspberry leaf tea journey
I read a few different things online about when to start taking/drinking raspberry leaf tea. 32 weeks was the earliest I came across, but after speaking to my midwife she advised me to wait until 34 weeks just to avoid any risk of premature labour.
How to consume raspberry leaf tea
My midwife advised me to start by drinking 1 cup a day for a week, increasing to 2 a day for the next week, and then finally building up to 3 cups a day until labour. It takes weeks to build up in your system, so doing it gradually helps your body adjust gently, and to not shock your uterus into contracting!
Advice online states that if you feel any cramping or contracting, to stop taking it, or reduce your dose.
Raspberry leaf tea capsules vs teabags
You can either choose to consume raspberry leaf tea in either tea bags or capsules. My midwife advised me that the tea bags were more effective, so I went down this route. I’m also a huge tea lover and drinker so I was more than happy to do this.
The capsules would be a good option if you don’t drink hot drinks, or can’t stomach the taste of the tea bags!
Where to get raspberry leaf from
Getting hold of raspberry leaf tea wasn’t as easy as I thought. I assumed all the supermarkets would have it but actually it’s more of a health product so it’s found in places like Holland and Barrett, and other online health shops.
I came across a fantastic brand called Hot Tea Mama that has created their own raspberry leaf tea blend called ‘The Final Push’ – lol! I can vouch that it tastes amazing. With a common complaint being the awful taste of raspberry leaf tea as it tastes like a bitter green tea, the Hot Tea Mama blend also includes peppermint, which sweetens it and can also help to ease digestion.
Hot Tea Mama also do other teas depending on what stage of pregnancy you’re at, including:
- Morning Rescue – designed to help with sickness during your first trimester
- Get up and Glow – for when you need a boost, but can’t have caffeine, perfect for use throughout pregnancy and into the fourth trimester
- Night Owl – another caffeine free blend to help with all the late nights, early mornings and broken sleep, to ‘soothe a tired soul’ as the website says. How lovely!
- Newborn Wonder – this white tea is high in both caffeine and theanine. Whilst the caffeine level is higher than a normal builders brew, the theanine gives it a slow release effect. Perfect for those mornings when you haven’t slept well!
- Milk’s Up – this tea helps stimulate breast milk production whilst you’re nursing
- Take a Pause – designed for use through the menopause and helps to ease stress and anxiety, regulate blood flow, improve sleep and reduce hot flushes.
Hot Tea Mama is such a great concept. I love that there’s a tea for every stage in pregnancy, and I just love the brand. We’re stocked up on the raspberry leaf and breastfeeding teas so far. Just remember to always check with your midwife what is suitable for you and your pregnancy, as everyone is so different.
Let’s get this body ready for labour!
Thank you to Hot Tea Mama for gifting me a box of the raspberry leaf tea to try; and this lovely mug. Great gift idea for a baby shower or new mum.
Did you find raspberry leaf tea helped your labour?
Love Mrs E