Raspberry leaf has traditionally been used for centuries to aid in labour and birth preparation. It's estimated that over 20% of Australia women use this wonder herb during late pregnancy. Here's some more interesting information about this beautiful herb and why I call it a "Herbal Midwife".
Does Raspberry Leaf Tea Work?
Traditionally, Raspberry leaf tea has been used for centuries to help support healthy labour. Research does seem to back up the benefits of taking Raspberry Leaf for labour preparation. It may decrease pre and post term gestation, and it's consumption is associated with reduced need for caesarean, forceps and vacuum intervention (yay!)
When Should I Take It?
Although some people believe that drinking Raspberry leaf tea is safe even during early pregnancy, I'd caution against this as it's a uterine stimulant (not what you want in early pregnancy!). During my Naturopathic training, we were advised to recommend this tea be consumed from 36 weeks onwards for labour preparation and this is what I stick to (and what I did with my first pregnancy which resulted in a beautiful natural birth). I recommend gradually increasing how much you consume - for example, start drinking one cup per day and work your way up to three cups per day in the last few weeks of pregnancy.
Where Can I Get it?
Raspberry leaf tea can be found in many good health food stores. Please be mindful of choosing organic, Australian -made products where possible. My organic loose leaf Raspberry Leaf Blend is a perfect formula for labour preparation and also includes a small amount of Chamomile to keep you calm and Peppermint to soothe your digestion.
Do I Need to Be Mindful of Anything?
Also, be mindful that Raspberry leaf should be taken away from medications and mineral-containing supplements (such as iron or calcium) due to it's high tannin level which can affect absorption. It should also be avoided if you have a history of preterm labour. Of course, everyone's pregnancy is different so please discuss with your preferred health professional if you are looking to incorporate this herb into your labour preparation regime.
You can find my Raspberry Leaf blend here. Best of luck on your pregnancy journey Mumma Bears!