Today I'm talking about one of my favorite herbs, red raspberry leaf tea and how I used it to prep for labor.
This is my personal success story of using red raspberry leaf tea for a good birth.
Red raspberry leaf tea is a tea made from the leaves of the raspberry bush. It's a favorite tea amongst women and for good reason!
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Benefits of Red Raspberry Leaf Tea
I had heard rumors in the natural pregnancy community that Red Raspberry Leaf can help you have a faster labor, but I was skeptical.
Don't get me wrong, I can (and often do) go on and on about the many great benefits of raspberry leaf tea.
After all its the go-to herb for matters concerning the uterus.
Think Periods, Pregnancy & Postpartum Healing.
But could it really help decrease the amount of time laboring?
Here I'll dive into the research I found and my personal experience with the labor day tea.
When I became pregnant for the first time, I did what most New Mom-to-Be's do and researched like crazy.
I was determined to have a natural labor, and since this is somewhat terrifying the first time, I was willing to do anything to help ease the process and aid in a fast labor.
I love tea, so when I read about red raspberry leaf it sounded perfect for my needs.
Red raspberry leaf helps to support the uterus by strengthening and toning it. This means stronger, better contractions.
It's also supposed to help tone the pelvic muscles that are used during labor. For those moms looking to have a VBAC (Vaginal birth after C-section) it's supposed to help them heal and strengthen their womb.
When to Start Drinking Red Raspberry Leaf Tea
My midwife recommended I started drinking red raspberry leaf tea right away. Not out of necessity, but simply to provide support for my womb and nourish my body.
The recommendations for red raspberry leaf tea is usually as follows:
- 1 cup a day for the first trimester
- 2 cups a day for the second trimester
- 3 cups a day for the third trimester
During my first pregnancy, I did exactly this. I started with a couple weeks of finding out I was pregnant with hopeful thoughts of a fast labor. My first labor was 17 hours, completely unmedicated.
I was grateful, because I had heard of women having very long births that can last days. But those 17 hours still seemed pretty long to me.
I was so exhausted when it came time to push, so drained that at one point I seriously started thinking "There is no way I can keep doing this."
I did do it though. It just wasn't my fast labor I had read so much about.
Using Red Raspberry Leaf Tea During Labor
Fast forward to pregnancy number two. I drank my raspberry leaf tea as directed. Most of the time... I may have forgot a few days here and there, due to wrangling my toddler.
This time I had done even more research and found excerpt from a book that had a first person account of a less painful, fast birth. She felt the tea had successfully helped her have a faster labor.
It was taken from the book dragged to light by W.H Box. According to the book, you have to make a strong infusion of raspberry leaf tea and drink it during labor.
I hadn't seen this bit of advice before, but with birth number two quickly approaching, I was willing to try it.
I really didn't want to go through such a long exhausting labor again.
My very fast labor
The night I went into labor I had a funny feeling that my baby was coming very soon.
I wasn't having any contractions or anything out of the norm, it was just a feeling.
At 9 PM I asked my husband to prep my infusion "just in case" while I went to bed early to get some rest.
At 10:30 my toddler woke up crying. I got up to comfort him and had a contraction. They continued while
I coaxed him back to sleep. When he finally went back to sleep, I got up and told my husband it was time to go.
I grabbed my infusion to drink in the car (once I stopped throwing up on the kitchen floor.)
I drank most of it on the 15-minute drive to the hospital, but couldn't stomach the last quarter or so.
Apparently, labor makes me super nauseous.
We got to the hospital and my nurse started asking me questions to get me into the system while I was having contractions.
After about 10 minutes she stopped and said we would have to finish later because I looked like I was progressing very quickly.
Suddenly 4 other nurses were running around my room, which after a birth center birth was very unnerving.
I'm a nurse too, and I didn't really understand why they seemed so panicky.
My Group B Strep test had come back inconclusive and I was told I'd need 2 doses of antibiotics.
They had just gotten the first bag up when it was time to start pushing. Within 30 minutes, I had had my baby.
I couldn't believe it. I only labored for 2 ½ hours from my first contraction! It was so much easier this time around.
I wouldn't say it was less painful because the contractions seemed the same to me as the first time, but I attribute the ease of it from not being completely exhausted.
I know that second labors are usually faster, but I seriously think my quick labor was due to the raspberry leaf infusion.
Hands down, I'm a believer and will recommend this to any of my pregnant friends, and to you guys!
Where to get it?
I get my herbs organic. You can find a great brand here. It's a very large bag of loose leaf tea.
They have ½ a lb for about the same price you would pay for a box of tea bags.
You can get a whole lot more as loose leaf herb than in prepackaged bags.
If loose leaf tea just isn't your thing then you'll need several boxes of tea bags.
I like this brand of tea bags, and they are the ones I used for my first pregnancy.
For the strong labor infusion, you are going to need roughly 20 tea bags (they are .05 oz each, i measured on my own scale and they average out to be a little less than this so I would use a couple extra tea bags.)
Recipe for Labor: Raspberry Leaf Infusion
1 oz. dried red raspberry leaf infused in 1 pint of boiling water and steep for 30 minutes.
Personally, at the time I didn't have a food scale, so I ended up just using a large handful of the herb and I let it steep until I was ready for it. (a few hours)
It worked great. (Update: I have a food scale now and I love it. I highly suggest getting one. Takes out a lot of guesswork.)
And that's the story of how I used Red Raspberry tea in all of its glory to help me have a super fast labor.