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.
Lauren Brooker says
Totally checking this store out! That's awesome about the tea and your second go around! xoxo
I'm not a hot tea drinker (at all. Ever.) I have heard that you can get red raspberry leaf in a pill form like a prenatal. Would this be a decent alternative?
You could, but you have to be careful with herbal supplements in pill form. Find a very trustworthy brand. Herbal supplements aren't regulated by the FDA. So there is no one "policing" them. This can be a good and bad thing. It also means that companies can (and some do) add things that aren't labeled on the bottle. When privately tested some brands contained other herbs that weren't listed, or didn't contain the herb at all.
I think (especially when pregnant) dried herbs are best. Unless you know for sure whats in your supplements. You could try making it into an iced tea with sweetener of your choice. Or even blended with fruit and made into popsicles. Won't be as strong, but a good, easy alternative.
I am 33 weeks pregnant, and never had red raspberry tea before. Should I start with one cup a day or jump straight to 3 cups a day?
It's up to you. You could start with one a day for a week, then 2 the next week ect., if you're comfortable with that. I personally was so off and on with it during my second pregnancy. I think it was the strong infusion before birth that helped me most. Of course, always talk with your provider before starting any herbal supplementation.
I didn't drink it with my first baby, laboured for 40 hours with no progress and ended up with a c section. When I got pregnant with baby number 2 I did exactly as you said minus the labour infusion drink. I laboured for 45 hours and ended up with an epidural due to exhaustion, dehydration and excruciatingly painful contractions but I got my VBAC! Not a short labour by any stretch. I could only dream of what a 17 hour labour would be like! I wondered if the red raspberry leaf is what caused my contractions to be so painful, as they were much worse the second time. I will try the labour infusion drink with #3 and see if I can finally get a short labour!
Oh my goodness, You are a strong woman! I think contractions are painful in general, but going for so long sounds unbearable. I honestly felt that after 17 hours, I wasn't sure my body was going to make it. I cannot even fathom 45. I hope it works for you the third time!
I just ordered mine from the Bulk Herb Store! When you drank your infusion, did you refrigerate it or ice it, drink it hot, drink it room temp? I can't imagine what will sound best when I'm in labor.
I set mine out on the counter because I had a feeling I was going to go into labor soon. I honestly didn't think much past that because I was anxious about the other stuff, like my toddler going to sleep, and that I hadn't even packed a hospital bag. Ha! So it sat for maybe 2 hours before I got back to it. It's not the tastiest when infused this strongly, but during contractions I didn't really care much about the taste. I think it would have been better with some honey in it. I also think that having it too cold would have made it difficult to drink quick enough for me. I'm glad your giving it a try! Let me know how it goes for you. Congrats on your soon to be here little one!
So you steep 20 tea bags in how much water at the onset of labor or do you start around your due date? I drank iced raspberry tea with my first in the last couple weeks and only labored for like 6 hours with an epidural.
I know you said in the recipe you want 1 oz dried herbs to a pint of water, how much total do you drink?
I was only able to drink half of the infusion. I always feel nauseated during early labor, so half was all I was able to tolerate.
On the recommendation of my midwife, I seep my RRLT overnight, as often as I remember. (I have 2 toddlers so I only remember a few times a week.) The during the following day I drink it over ice throughout the day. I usually seep mine with honey because I am having a hard time consuming enough calories because I still have morning sickness at 36 weeks. But if I didn't desperately need the calories I would sweeten with agave. I will definitely try this during labor as well!
Wow, that's a great recommendation. I've never heard of it prepared this way regularly. Juggling two toddlers while pregnant, while having morning sickness the ENTIRE pregnancy. Holy cow you are awesome! I'll be drinking a cup of tea in your honor wishing you a fast and easy birth. =)
I wanted to come back to this & say THANK YOU! I am so glad I found this post. I followed the you directions for 1oz of tea in a pint of water, it made my labor go so smoothly and I was able to have the natural birth I envisioned! It was my second child and the labor was more efficient and the contractions more manageable. I had a natural birth with my first but the contractions were more painful and closer together. I will be doing this again for subsequent children!
Amber, I love to hear that! I'm glad you had a good labor and a positive experience! Congrats on your new little bundle!
I’m in my 3rd trimester and just found out about this tea a couple weeks ago and started drinking it. I like my tea stronger so I have been using 3 tea bags to 12oz of water. Would this count as 3 cups/day or should I be drinking more? Thanks!
You know, im not sure. What a great question. I prefer stronger infusions too. Im not sure that it equates to the same thing though. Ill have to dive further into some research to find out for you.
I LOVE RRLT!!!!!! I thought you might like to hear another success story. A bit different than the others. Our first child was adopted, and when we finally got pregnant , I gave birth naturally (without knowing about RRLT). Ugggh! I was 42 at that time. I know! I know! I was old. I told a friend of mine that I couldn't understand why she had had 4 children naturally and was fine about the pain. I felt it was the most pain I'd ever had, wondering how we women can live through that much pain. My friend told me she always uses RRLT. I found myself pregnant again, so next pregnancy I took the tea steadfastly! Same recipe as you gave. At 44 yrs old, I gave birth naturally within 1 hr and 20 minutes! My water broke..first pain. My next pain was within 5 min. (transition time!), so we headed to the hospital immediately, knowing we had 45 min. rush hour traffic. ( I did not take tea with me in the car, nor did I drink it before I left, but I had heard that it was good to use during labor.
During the drive and in "transition", I had medium period-type cramps getting closer together. By the time we reached the hospital, I was way into transition, but thanks to RRLT, my pains were nothing near to my past PERIOD cramps I grew up having! The birth of our daughter was so easy and almost "nothing" compared to the pain of my first natural birth. No hard labor like my first birth. I was literally ready to go home within a few hours but they made me stay overnight because of my age, I suppose.
My nurse said that almost every country around the world uses RRLT regularly for childbirth, so it's nothing new to everyone else. Our doctors make a lot of money on the pain meds and such.
Here is something new for those of you who have PMS and/or cramps each month: I continued to take the tea because I loved the taste. I found that I no longer had PMS or my horrible almost-monthly cramps. I spoke at a women's group about remedies for PMS. Months later, three women in that group commented that the tea had worked wonderfully for their PMS...and their husbands were thrilled! It takes about 1 and 1/2 months to get into your system to start working, so give it some time to kick in.
You can also continue to take the tea for other concerns. I have heard that it helps with Postpartum Blues and Menopause.
HAPPY BIRTHING! IT WORKS WONDERFULLY!
I love to hear stories like this! I love it too!!!
I'm so glad you had a good experience the second time! And thank you for sharing.
So did you take it as you did in the first pregnancy but made a big infusion when your labour started? Is that the only difference?
I did! Or at least I tried. There were quite a few days that I skipped my tea drinking, simply because I was busy chasing a tiny toddler.
Ladies advise when should I start the RRL tea I am 30 weeks now and this is my 5th baby I am so nervous
I used RRLT for baby n°2, n°3 and now n°4. My first baby was a long painful induced labour. For n°2, I wanted a quick labor, so I tried RRLT. I was drinking quite a lot of this tea during the third trimester (probably 6-10 cups a day), and my labour was so fast that I gave birth at home. For n°3, I did the same ... 10 days overdue, I woke up for n°2, my waters broke, I told my husband "we're going right now", I started having contractions in the car, we arrived just in time at the hospital! Now I'm drinking it for n°4! My longest labour with RRLT is 2H30 from first contraction to last puch!!
Are you supposed to use the strong infusion as your daily cups as well? Or just for labor?
i am 39 weeks,do i have any hope in taking the tea now,been feeling slight cramps and contraction,it comes and go
Reading these success stories are very inspiring for me. I had a traumatic emergency csection with my first child. Drinking lots of RRLT with this pregnancy. I dont even care if I give birth in the car. I would just love to have the vbac I'm hoping for. Fingers crossed
Sarah, how did your attempted VBAC go? I am curious as I had an emergency c-section as well with my first and hoping for a VBAC this pregnancy.
So i have been drinking RRLT as per your instructions and I'm starting to feel the onset of early labor. Should i make the infusion now or wait until active labor?
I see this most is from 3 years ago but I am going to comment regardless.
I am currently pregnant with my second and looking for ways I can attempt a VBAC and try to induce labor naturally.
My first was born 4 years ago by c-section. I did not drink raspberry leaf tea during my pregnancy but I did drink the "labor day tea" one night to try to get labor going and the next day BOOM I was in labor. Was it the tea? I would like to think so. My labor started somewhat normal. I progressed very fast .. 1cm to 7cm in one hour and then I got an epidural and things just SLOWED down so much. Took me 6 hours to get from 7cm to 9cm and they ended up breaking my water and getting me to push. Pushed for 3 hours with no progress and ended in a c-section. I am so determined to get my VBAC. It's been 4 years, my body should be recovered from my first pregnancy and I've been drinking raspberry tea since 28 weeks or so. About to up my consumption to 2-3 cups a day. I plan on doing the strong dose of tea to induce my labor again or speed it up (avoid the epidural at all costs lol). This article is is definitely giving me positive vibes and I'm so happy I started drinking the tea early on. Only roughly 6-8 weeks remaining so I guess time will tell how the tea works this time around.
I’m 36 weeks with my first and was about to start drinking the tea. I’m glad you mentioned the infusion. I’m hoping and praying my baby waits until I’m 38 weeks to come so my husband has PTO to stay with me for a bit. How early before you delivered did you start the infusion? Wondering if I should wait another week before starting the infusion and just drink regular tea bags for now. I know you’re not here to give medical advice just curious about your timeline so I can make a decision.