The benefits of drinking Raspberry Leaf Tea in Pregnancy
Raspberry leaf tea in pregnancy. Warm tea decoction of raspberry leaves for women's health in female hands

Raspberry Leaf Tea in Pregnancy?

As we head into the autumn months I start to dream about snuggling up in a good cardigan, under a blanket with a warm cup of tea. However, if you are pregnant, no matter the time of year, you have probably had someone tell you you should be snuggling down with a good cup of raspberry leaf tea.

But what is Raspberry Leaf Tea? What are the benefits of drinking it in pregnancy?

Raspberry Leaf Tea is a herbal drink (although you can also by it in tablet form from health shops such as Holland and Barrett) rich is antioxidants and fagines which has been touted for years by women, midwives and herbalists as having great benefits on your labour. 

But is this an old wives tale? Or is there scientific backing to these claims like there are in eating dates in pregnancy? Let’s take a look.

What does science say about drinking raspberry leaf tea in pregnancy?

Although this botanical is often mistakenly recommended to induce labor, its actual role is to increase blood flow to the uterus and aid the uterine muscle fibers in more organized contraction.

One study looking specifically at taking raspberry leaf tablets (2 x 1.2 g per day)  from 32 weeks pregnant until labor found that there were no adverse effect on mother or baby and excitingly that the second stage of labour (the pushing stage) in the group taking the raspberry leaf tea was shorted on average by 10mins. This might not sound like much but when we are ideally wanting the pushing stage to take under an hour and no more than 2 hours, 10 minutes can make quite the difference. But also of particular interest, this study found that only 19% of the group taking raspberry leaf tea had forecep deliveries as opposed to 30% in the group not taking the raspberry leaf tea tablets. *1

 

So should I drink Raspberry Leaf Tea in Pregnancy and how?

There is surprisingly little statistical research looking into the effectiveness of taking raspberry leaf tea tablets or drinking up to 3 cups of raspberry leaf tea. However, overall, there is no evidence to suggest that it is risky to ingest raspberry leaf and the anecdotal evidence as well as the formal empirical evidence does suggest it supports labour and therefore if you enjoy the taste (I was partial to drinking it cold with ice and a little bit of honey to sweeten it personally) then it will not have a negative effect on you and your baby. 

So the take home message? If you want to drink it, it may help your labour. If you don’t want to drink it, you are unlikely to notice huge difference. For many pregnancy people the idea that drinking raspberry leaf tea in pregnancy MAY help ease labour is enough to make them feel like they are taking easy but productive steps to support their bodies during their labour. And that alone, can only be a good thing.

When choosing a tablet or tea make sure you are buying a quality product which a good about of raspberry leaf tea in. 

I recommend the Hot Tea Mama ‘The Final Push’ Raspberry Leaf Tea which also contains peppermint for flavour but also the digestive benefits.

Or the Myrtle and Maude Raspberry Leaf Tea for 100% raspberry leaf with no added anything. 

 

Sources:

*1 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11370690/

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