Have you heard that you should drink red raspberry leaf tea during pregnancy? Curious as to how it helps or what it even is?
Raspberry leaf tea can do so much for your pregnancy, labor, and just your health in general. But, what is it exactly that makes red raspberry leaf tea so special? Can drinking some tea really help improve your pregnancy and birth?
In this post, we will talk about what red raspberry leaf tea is, it’s many health benefits, and why it’s beneficial for pregnancy and labor. We’ll also cover how much is safe to drink during pregnancy and where you can find 100% red raspberry leaf tea.
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What is Red Raspberry Leaf Tea?
Red raspberry leaf tea (RRLT) is a single herb tea that is made from the leaves of the raspberry bush. Historically, it’s known for its benefits for women’s health, but really anyone can enjoy and benefit from some RRLT.
Despite its name, red raspberry leaf tea doesn’t actually taste fruity at all. In fact, it tastes more like a fine black tea, but without the caffeine. It’s not bad though. I actually found it pretty yummy. It’s quite earthy, but if you don’t like the taste you could try sweetening it with some sugar or honey. I know some moms like it iced well.
What Are The Health Benefits of Red Raspberry Leaf Tea?
Traditionally, red raspberry leaves have been used as a female balancing herb and have been shown to be extremley beneficial for:
- Regulating menstrual cycles: RRLT helps balance out your estrogen-progesterone hormones, creating a steady cycle, so you can stay in-tune with your body.
- Soothing menstrual cramps: Red raspberry leaves contain an alkaloid, called fragarine, which reduces cramps by both relaxing and toning your uterus.
- Reducing bleeding: RRLT helps to slow down your blood flow when you’re menstruating. Many women report lighter periods when consuming RRLT before and during their monthly period.
- Decreasing endometriosis pain: This powerful herb has even been shown to reduce pain associated with endometriosis.
But, the perks don’t just stop there. RRLT actually provides a plethora of health benefits for both men and women alike. Red raspberry leaf tea is also:
- High in magnesium, potassium, and iron: All of which are great for relieving nausea and cramps.
- High in Vitamins B,C, and E: Vitamins which have been shown to increase energy and have beneficial immune properties.
- Detoxifies the body: RRLT helps clear your body of any harmful toxins.
Benefits of Red Raspberry Leaf Tea During Pregnancy
Red raspberry leaf is the ultimate herb for uterine health and has been shown to provide substantial relief for several common pregnancy problems.
- Improves fertility: RRLT has been shown to rid your body of toxins that may be preventing pregnancy. It also strengthens the uterine wall, which increases the likelihood of an embryo implanting successfully.
- Reduces risk of miscarriage: The strengthening of the uterine wall also helps prevent early miscarriage.
- Gives you energy: The vitamins in RRLT help boost energy and get you out of that pregnancy fatigue funk.
- Helps ease morning sickness: The potassium, magnesium, and B vitamins in RRLT helps ease nausea and vomiting.
- High in iron: RRLT is a great option to help boost iron if you’re suffering from pregnancy anemia. Especially, if iron supplements or prenatals with iron in them make you sick.
- Tones the uterus: Drinking RRLT during pregnancy is like doing push-ups for your uterus. Regular consumption of RRLT will strengthen and tone your uterus in preparartion for childbirth.
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How Can Red Raspberry Leaf Tea Improve Labor and Birth?
Research has shown red raspberry leaf to be a uterine tonic that promotes an optimal labor and quick postpartum recovery. It’s certainly worth trying if you’re in hopes of an all-natural birth, especially when laboring at a hospital.
- Shortens labor time: Women who consumed RRLT during pregnancy were found to have shorter labor lengths than those who did not.
- Induces labor: Raspberry leaves have even been shown strong enough to help stimulate labor by softening the cervix and fostering contractions.
- Reduces the need for interventions: RRLT has been associated with less interventions, such as artificial rupture of membranes (AROM), assisted delivery, and cesarean delivery.
- Improves chances for a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean): This all-natural tea has proven to be particularly helpful for women trying to have a VBAC, as it strengthens the ligaments surrounding the uterus. It decreases the risk of rupture of the uterine wall, which is the greatest (yet still very small) risk of a VBAC (source).
- Promotes optimal birthing time: You are less likely to have your baby pre or post term gestation with consumption of RRLT.
- Contractions are less painful: Because RRLT helps strengthen and tone your uterus, your contractions are more likely to be less painful than if you were to not drink any RRLT throughout your pregnancy. Drinking this tea can truly help you avoid an epidural.
- Creates productive contractions: Not only are your contractions likely to be less painful, they’re also likely to be more productive and get you one step closer to your baby each wave.
- Minimizes bleeding: RRLT also reduces postpartum bleeding, helping to speed up postpartum recovery and prevent hemorrhaging.
- Increases milk production: RRLT has also been shown to help boost milk supply. Women that consume RRLT are more likely to have a plentiful supply of colostrum when baby is born.
When Should I Start Drinking Red Raspberry Leaf Tea During Pregnancy?
Even though natural, herbs, like red raspberry leaves, can be extremely powerful, and should be used with caution during pregnancy. It’s always best to consult with your OB or midwife before taking any kind of herbs or supplements during your pregnancy.
That being said, there is really no right answer to this question. It will all depend on how your body responds to the herb.
Red raspberry leaves stimulate the pelvic floor muscles, leaving potential for uterine contractions, which could possibly lead to pre-term labor. Because of this potential, many healthcare professionals recommend only using red raspberry leaf tea after the first trimester. Some are even more cautious and only suggest use after 32-34 weeks gestation.
Other midwives and OBs are more lenient and accepting of RRLT and may recommend you taking it as early as you’d like since it has been used for centuries (source).
Pay close attention to how your body reacts. If you notice any cramping, contractions, or spotting, discontinue use and contact your healthcare provider.
How Much Red Raspberry Leaf Tea is Safe to Drink?
Again, it’s always best to consult with your physician when it comes to drinking herbal tea during pregnancy.
Having said that, the typical recommended dose is 1.5 to 5g of red raspberry leaves per day in tea or infusion. So essentially, about 1-2 cups daily in the second and third trimesters. But, no more than one cup during your first trimester if you do choose to drink it earlier on in your pregnancy (source).
And again, pay close attention to how your body responds. If you notice any cramping or contractions, it’s best to cut back your intake or stop drinking RRLT altogether .
Where Can I Buy Red Raspberry Leaf Tea?
You can usually find red raspberry leaf tea at your local health food store or even Target. And, of course, you can always just order some off Amazon.
I’m a big fan of the Traditional Medicinals brand. It’s Non-GMO, certified organic, and made with the highest quality grade herbs. Plus, it’s convenient, as most Targets carry it. Take note, the package only says “Raspberry Leaf,” but it is indeed 100% red raspberry leaf tea.
If you prefer the convince of the sealed tea bags, another great brand to try is Earth Mama. Each tea tag comes with a cute little note on it for baby and mom-to-be.
If you prefer loose leaf tea, Frontier Co-op is a great brand to purchase. This is also a great way to go if finances are tight. You can get a 1 lb. bulk bag for just under $12. That should last you quite awhile (if not all the way) through your pregnancy.
Is Red Raspberry Leaf Tea the Same as Raspberry Leaf Tea or Raspberry Tea?
There is no difference between “red raspberry leaf” and “raspberry leaf.” Both are typically 100% red raspberry leaf tea, but it never hurts to check the ingredients list just to be sure. All the teas recommended above are in fact 100% red raspberry leaf.
You’ll want to steer clear of raspberry teas, as they are NOT the same RRLT. In fact, they usually have 0% of red raspberry leaf in them. These herbal teas are typically just raspberry-infused and filled with other natural and artificial flavors and sweeteners.
My Experience With Red Raspberry Leaf Tea
I didn’t drink any red raspberry leaf tea with my first pregnancy. In fact, I had never even heard of it. But, with my second, I drank it religiously throughout my entire third trimester.
The results? My labor actually ended up being longer than the first time around, but the pain was SO much more tolerable. I also bled less postpartum and was leaking colostrum before baby was even born (something I didn’t have with baby #1). I’m not sure if the RRLT was contributing factor or not, but it certainly didn’t hurt to drink it!
Raspberry Leaf Tea for the Win
Mother Nature has provided us with safe, effective tools for a healthy pregnancy and optimal labor. Drinking just 1-2 cups of red raspberry leaf tea per day throughout your second and/or third trimester can do wonders for your pregnancy and your birth.
Red raspberry leaves help strengthen your uterus, setting you up for an easier delivery and postpartum recovery. It helps expedite labor, reduce potential birth complications, and makes contractions far less uncomfortable. It also helps reduce common pregnancy complaints, like nausea, anemia, and fatigue.
RRLT is the perfect pregnancy tonic. But, remember just be sure to consult your healthcare provider before you start sipping.
What About You?
Did you drink red raspberry leaf tea with any of your pregnancies? Did you notice a difference in your labors or recoveries? Share your experiences with us in the comments below and be sure to share this post with other expecting moms.
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***Disclaimer: I am NOT a health care professional. The information on this website has not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration or any other medical body. We do not aim to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any illness or disease. Information is shared for educational purposes only. You must consult your doctor before acting on any content on this website, especially if you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition. See full disclaimer here.