Red Raspberry Leaf Tea: Pregnancy & Labor Benefits, Side Effects and Precautions
Red Raspberry is a plant found in parts of Asia and Europe. It is a sweet fruit packed with excellent health benefits. It is known for a long time for its effectiveness in digestive, respiratory and uterine health. It is sometimes also called a woman’s herb. However, the sad part is that it tastes nothing like raspberries.
If you are pregnant, then your doctor must have told you to try out red raspberry leaf tea. If not from your doctor, then I am sure that you must have heard about this herbal tea from family and friends.
People have been drinking this tea for ages owing to its fantastic health benefits, specifically during labor and pregnancy. The raspberry leaf tea helps in contraction, and it induces labor so that your baby can see the light of the world soon.
Yet, these set of questions that remains with most people -
“What is Red Raspberry Leaf Tea?”
“Does raspberry leaf tea help with labor?”
“Are there any side effects to drinking this pregnancy tea?”
If you have all of these questions revolving in your head, remember you are not alone. You have come to the right place and we will make a fair attempt to answer these questions through this article. So, keep reading.
Raspberry Leaf Tea is simply a herbal tea made from red raspberry leaves. It is known for its health benefits primarily as a drink that helps the uterus to strengthen. The tea is rich in vitamins and nutrients such as vitamin C, vitamin B, zinc, potassium, magnesium, iron and phosphorus. Raspberry leaves also contain antioxidants which protect the cells in your body from getting damaged. It is undoubtedly assured that this tea is packed with nutrients which are suitable for your body. However, before making any conclusions, let’s make sure learn more about this tea.
Benefits of raspberry leaf tea in pregnancy
Women have been drinking raspberry leaf tea to reduce labor pain since ancient times. Drinking this herbal tea increases the blood flow to the uterus area, which helps to strengthen it. It also triggers contraction and reduces bleeding after childbirth, because of these reasons, women prefer drinking this tea during the last stages of pregnancy. However, some of them drink it even earlier to cure nausea and to improve the strength of the uterus.
It has also been found that red raspberry leaf tea induces labor and shortens the delivery time. However, it does not usually reduce the first stage of labor.
We will now take a closer look at raspberry leaf tea benefits:
Potential to reduce labor time
This is considered one of the most popular benefits of consuming raspberry tea. There are many claims made that it helps in tightening and toning the muscles around the pelvic and the walls of the uterus too. While we cannot explicitly make a claim or deny one, since we did not sample study the experiment, it is fair to be aware that there are studies that have shown that women who drank this herbal tea during the final stages of their pregnancy experienced a shorter labor stage as compared to the ones who did not drink this tea. However, it is worth mentioning that it only helps in reducing the second stage of labor and not the first stage.
Rich in Antioxidants
Raspberry Leaf Tea like most herbal teas is rich in antioxidants such as polyphenol and ellagic acid. It is also said to contain essential vitamins such as Vitamin A, Vitamin C and Vitamin E with added nutritional benefits arising from iron, calcium, and potassium. All these nutrients are good and healthy for a pregnant woman.
Raspberry Leaf Tea is said to have diuretic effects. This effect helps in easing puffiness which is generally caused due to water retention. Drinking red raspberry leaf tea is also said to help in balancing postpartum hormones.
Strengthens Uterus Muscles
Drinking raspberry tea in pregnancy helps the blood flow to the uterus muscle there by supporting normal contractions. While this benefit is inconclusive from the studies on animals, historically the herb has been used for aiding pregnancy and labor.
Healthy Skin Benefits
Berry leaves such as Raspberry Leaf, has often been told to have anti-inflammatory properties that help with skin issues that mothers to be face. This tea is sometimes used to treat skin irritation caused by psoriasis, acne or eczema, as well as other skin issues, though the effect is not conclusive. The high levels of vitamins C and E, and the various antioxidants help to soothe the skin.
Increase Breastmilk Supply
Often people associate drinking raspberry leaf tea with increased breast milk production. It is important to note that there are no known conclusive studies that support the theory. It is true that raspberry fruit contains polyphenols that may also be found in breastmilk, making it a potential reason for the tie out. Some studies suggest that combining raspberry leaf tea with fenugreek, verbena and other herbs helped increase breastmilk production.
If lactation support is an area of benefit for you, you may want to try our Fenugreek Blend Tea that combines the power of 5 potent herbs for aiding breastmilk production.
Morning Sickness Relief
Ugg. That’s the term that most women attribute to morning sickness. If you are one of the few that doesn’t suffer from morning sickness, consider yourself blessed. Honestly the term morning sickness is quite ironic wouldn’t you say? The feeling isn’t confined to just mornings to begin with when you are pregnant. But the good news is that morning sickness and nausea could very well be symptoms of a healthy pregnancy.
If you are like the millions that suffer from morning sickness, drinking a warm cup of raspberry leaf tea with a dash of lemon and may be even honey, goes a long way in helping you better manage your nausea and vomiting.
Vaginal Birth After Caesarean (VBAC)
Those who have been through the journey probably would understand the importance of strong uterus lining for VBAC. Raspberry leaf tea is known popularly to help increase blood flow to uterus lining there by supporting stronger uterus muscles and aiding regular to normal contractions. But as discussed later in this article, it may be wise to stick to drinking this tea after 32 weeks.
There are some excellent benefits of drinking raspberry leaf tea especially for women in labor
When to drink raspberry leaf tea to help with labor
There is a contradiction in this answer because, raspberry leaf tea has many purposes. For instance, it can be consumed increase chances of conception or it could be consumed to increase chances of natural labor. It truly depends on what your intent is.
In this article, we specifically focus on when to drink raspberry leaf tea to support labor. So, the primary assumption made is that the lady is already pregnant. Without much delay, let us look at popular opinions.
According to most experts and doctors, if you are drinking raspberry leaf tea for labor, the best time to start drinking this tea is once you have completed the pregnancy journey of 32 weeks. Popular studies have shown that Raspberry Leaf Tea may help shorten labor. This is because red raspberry leaves can be viewed as a uterine tonic which stimulates the muscles of the pelvic floor. Because of this, contractions in the uterus might increase, which can lead to early labor.
Most doctors, midwives and herbalists suggest drinking it only after 32 weeks for various reasons. At this time, your body would be ready to intake all the rich nutrients and vitamins from the tea and thus help you during labor and even after childbirth. Please exercise extreme caution if you are pregnant and are planning to take the tea before 32 weeks. We strongly advise a doctor consult prior to making the decision. For this reason, raspberry leaf tea is also popularly called the Third Trimester Tea.
So, in our humble opinion, get your objective clear -
a) Are you trying to conceive (TTC)? If it’s for conception and pregnancy, then drinking the tea upfront bears a lot of benefits for fertility and increasing chances of conception. Why restrict your to just raspberry leaf tea when you could enjoy the benefits of multiple herbs that aid conception, conceiving and getting pregnant.
Might we recommend exploring our Pregnancy & Fertility Tea that contains not just Raspberry Leaf, but extends itself to include Nettle Leaf, Vitex Chaste Berry, Linden Flower, Lemon Verbena and more.
b) If you are already pregnant and the intent is to ease labor, then please do wait until 32 weeks at least and always consult your doctor before taking any herbal supplements.
If already pregnant, consider Raspberry Leaf Tea only after 32 weeks into pregnancy
How much raspberry leaf tea should I drink?
Ok. Great. Now that you know when you should drink your pregnancy tea, you are probably left wondering, how much of this tea should one drink? Logical question and we got you covered.
Before we get to how much, it is important for us to understand two basic life concepts not restricted to pregnancy.
- Instant gratification pushing the need for immediate results. We live in a world where everyone wants instant results. Speed is considered a virtue. When it comes to human body, this is not always true. Let us chew on that concept for a bit.
- Anything in excess will always be harmful. So, moderation and consistency are the key. This is self-explanatory. Our human body is probably the most complex machine ever built know to us. Like any other machine, our body also goes through regular wear and tear. So, to ensure we restore balance, we need to be conscious of not just what we consume, how much we consume. Anything in excess always turns out to be harmful for our body.
Most people consider these two concepts philosophical or as factors that affect the environment around us. But in reality, these two concepts are fundamental to our human existence and can be applied to every walk of our day to day life including fertility, pregnancy and labor.
Keeping these two concepts in mind, if you wish to drink raspberry leaf tea after you have completed 32 weeks of pregnancy, your intake should be slow and gradual. Do not get overwhelmed and expect to see miraculous results by drinking too much of this tea.
Always begin by consuming little amounts first. Initially, you can start by drinking one or two cups a day. Then you can gradually increase the amount to 3 cups per day.
We also understand every human body is different and is the most complex hardware and software in this planet. So, it is strongly advised that you should discuss this with your doctor first. If you are planning to eat or drink anything that you generally don't consume, you should consult your doctor first.
There are no prescribed guidelines on how much tea to drink. Starting small and in moderation is always recommended.
Is it safe to drink raspberry leaf tea during pregnancy?
By now, this question of safety should have been fairly answered in your mind through our article. But let us still make it explicitly clear. Raspberry leaf tea appears to be a safe beverage for most people because it is 100% natural. Yet, there are a few things that should be kept in mind.
Potential laxative effect – If you suffer from occasional constipation during pregnancy, sometimes consuming raspberry leaf tea may help ease constipation by acting as a laxative. Always consult your doctor before taking any herbal laxatives during pregnancy.
In case you are currently under medication before or after having this tea, you should know that it might interfere with it.
Gestational Diabetic Effect - If you are diabetic patient, suffer from GDM or gestational diabetes mellitus or a patient suffering from high blood pressure, consuming raspberry leaf tea may lead to reduced insulin levels. Please always, consult your doctor before drinking it and get your glucose levels monitored periodically. Nothing beats your doctor’s advice.
While raspberry leaf tea in general is good for health, it is wise to seek doctors counsel in specific cases like GDM
Raspberry Leaf Tea - Do's and Don'ts
We recommend below a few suggestions which you must consider following before opting to drink this herbal tea.
DO'S TO CONSIDER
DON'TS TO KEEP IN MIND
- Consult your doctor before taking herbal supplements. Your doctor is well aware of your body as well as your child's condition, making them the best advisors for your health
- Consuming this tea after hitting 32 weeks of pregnancy is best if you wish to see benefits during labor. Better safe than sorry.
- Less is more when it comes to life. Begin with smaller quantities such as one cup a day. You can then slowly increase the quantity to three cups a day under advice of your doctor.
- If you experience signs of strong contractions stop drinking this tea and see your doctor immediately. Reduce usage upon doctors advice
- The tea tastes bland but is well palatable with lemon and honey. There are raspberry leaf capsules available as alternatives.
- In case you are already having some hormone drip to induce your labor, do not drink this herbal tea.
Consider talking to your doctor before taking any herbal supplements
When to avoid Red Raspberry Leaf Tea
In general raspberry leaf tea contains innumerable benefits and uses as described in the article above. But as with everything else in life, there are always cases where it is not recommended to consume this tea. We have tried to compile for you a short and quick list of instances you may wish to completely avoid this tea.
The list isn’t by any means exhaustive or conclusive. Since each human body is different and reacts differently to what we consume, we recommend checking with your doctor always.
- In case you will go through a caesarean section because of any medical reason
- In case you have experienced premature labor previously
- If you have experienced bleeding from your vagina during the latter half of your pregnancy
- If during previous childbirth/s you experienced the labor span of three hours or less
- If you are a patient suffering from high blood pressure
- In case you have any kind of pregnancy complications
- When you are pregnant with twin babies
- If anyone in your family has suffered from ovarian or breast cancer
Additional Health Benefits of Raspberry Leaf Tea
Apart from benefiting pregnant women or women in labor, this tea also helps all the individuals in general. It reduces menstrual pain and the discomfort experienced. It is also known to improve the reproductive health of ladies and create a balance between hormones which helps in increasing fertility.
Also, it prevents the chances of having a miscarriage and improves implementation chances. Moreover, it also improves the immune system of your body.
It may also popularly used by women used in treating acne in girls and in some cases known to have helped with morning sickness, nausea and vomiting.
It is essential to understand the fact that each body is different; therefore, it would react differently for everyone. One of the critical things is to notice the changes that you feel after drinking this tea and tell every detail to your health advisor.
Although its health benefits are great, no study has shown 100% results of this tea. It is still a debatable topic. Some believe it to be an outstanding natural herbal tea, and others believe that pregnancy and labor is a natural process, and that it should not be disturbed by consuming anything. However, if you are planning to drink this tea, we would like you to read our suggestions mentioned below.
Closing Remarks & Final Words
Raspberry tea has numerous unproven yet explored benefits, and it effectively helps pregnant women in numerous ways. It is a fact that our modern-day science is based on purely empirical evidence. If we choose to go with pure empirical science, all our ancestor wisdom and herbal benefits for our body would be lost.
Apart from pregnant women, it helps women in general by helping to strengthen their vaginal muscles, among numerous other benefits. In this article, we have covered all the obvious questions that have arisen in your mind. Its health benefits are unaccountable though unproven 100%.
We hope that our little effort in helping you becoming better aware of drinking raspberry leaf tea was useful to you. However, consult your doctor once before intaking it if you are beyond 32 weeks pregnant. In case you know someone pregnant, planning to become pregnant or trying to conceive (TTC), we would be happy for you to recommend not just this herbal drink but others too with a word of caution on taking their doctor’s advice.
There are no conclusive evidence on the benefits of red raspberry leaf tea other than personal accounts and experience. Yet billions of cups are consumed every year. We say, it does not hurt to try.