Pregnancy advice and tips about labour are probably coming at you fast and furious and you may have some well-meaning friends suggesting ways to bring on your labour. One of these suggestions may be to drink raspberry leaf tea.
While the other suggestions (eating hot curries, having sex and taking a bumpy car ride) are tried and tested methods which have had varying degrees of success and are safe for you and baby, the jury is still out on raspberry leaf tea.
You should NEVER take it without checking first with your midwife or doctor as it may not be suitable for you. They will advise you on your suitability and the safe quantities for you to drink.
Raspberry leaf tea has been around for hundreds of years and, before terminations were made legal, it was used to trigger a miscarriage.
So this would rather indicate that the best pregnancy advice is that women hoping to go full term should NOT drink raspberry leaf tea.
There is a misconception about how raspberry leaf tea actually works. It can actually take several weeks to accumulate in a woman’s body, so taking it at the last stages of pregnancy probably won’t bring on labour. It could, however, bring on uncomfortable Braxton Hicks as it causes the muscles of the uterus to contract.
If a woman takes it after the 34th week of pregnancy raspberry leaf tea may help to shorten labour by strengthening the muscles used to push. In other words it should not be used to speed up labour, but more as a preparation for labour (with your GP’s approval).
This is because raspberry leaf tea contains the alkaloid 'fragine' which can tone and strengthen the uterus muscles. It also Contains vitamins A, C, E and B, magnesium, iron and calcium which is why it is a popular herbal tea sold in health food shops in loose format, as a tincture and in capsules.
Drinking raspberry leaf tea after the baby’s birth could help your uterus shrink back to shape and boost your immune system. Check first with your midwife or health visitor.
You should NOT take raspberry leaf tea if:
You’ve had a previous short labour
you are scheduled for a caesarean for medical reasons
you’ve previously had a caesarean
you’ve previously had a premature baby
you've had any vaginal bleeding during pregnancy
there is any personal or family history of fibroids, ovarian cancer or endometriosis
you’ve had any pregnancy complications
you’re blood pressure is higher than normal
you are carrying more than one baby
Always check with your GP or midwife before taking raspberry leaf tea.
Debra Aspinall is an experienced journalist and the editor and leading writer for the Emma’s Diary website, one of the UKs foremost pregnancy, raspberry leaf tea, pregnancy diary, pregnancy advice, pregnancy stages and etc. If you are searching for free baby samples, please visit us at Emmasdiary.co.uk.