Here’s the tea…
Red raspberry leaf tea. So, here’s the deal: it’s gross. Sorry. I hate it. Raspberry zinger? Yum! Iced tea
with raspberries? Okayyyyyyyy. Raspberry fruit tea with apples and hibiscus. Omg yaaaaaaaasssss. But
Red raspberry leaf tea? That’s the kind that they’re talking about in all your pregnancy groups. That’s the
“magic labor tonic.” That’s the one that tastes nothing at all like raspberries. It doesn’t even have
raspberries in it!
Frankly, I feel deceived. Bamboozled even.
But that’s what gets the job done…ish.
Midwives and other birth professionals including doulas and mamas and knowledgeable ladies up the
road have been using herbs to assist with pregnancies for centuries and one of the most common is red
raspberry leaf. Taken as a tea, a tonic, or a capsule, it’s been handed down from pregnancy to pregnancy
to jump start labor for someone who is, frankly, tired of being pregnant. Sorry to add more
disappointment to this post, but that ain’t it, sis.
Red raspberry leaf tea is an amazing uterine tonic, due to an alkaloid (a naturally occurring organic
compound that has at least one nitrogen atom) called fragrine that tones the of the pelvic region.
Fragrine tightens up the uterus, making it stronger, which some studies have said might help to prevent
As the red raspberry leaf acts directly on those big ol’ smooth uterine muscles, the tea can also help to
shorten second stage labor- the hard work that occurs when the cervix is fully dilated and it’s time to
push- by up to ten minutes. It can also reduce the risk of going postdates (past 42 weeks), and ingesting
red raspberry leaf tea has been linked to fewer interventions like forceps, vacuum assisted delivery,
artificial rupture of membranes (having your water broken), and cesarean section.
The benefits don’t end with labor and delivery! After birth, red raspberry leaf continues to help tone the
uterus and get it back (closer) to its pre-pregnancy size (hello snap back!) and keep some of that
postpartum bleeding under control by helping to heal the wound left by the placenta detaching from the
inside of the uterus.
And if that’s not enough, red raspberry leaf is also a pretty good source of magnesium, calcium, and
So why not ingest it? Not really a good idea if you’ve had a precipitous labor (one lasting less than 3
hours from first real contraction to baby earthside) or have naturally gone into labor before 37 weeks. It
should also be avoided if you’re experiencing gastrointestinal distress or have had spotting in the second
or third trimester.
All in all though, red raspberry leaf tea is damn good stuff.
Even though it’s still gross.