Raspberry leaf tea is often recommended as an all round magical remedy for labor preparation. However, there is a lot of misinformation about its uses, dosages and what it actually does.
Raspberry leaf has benefits throughout pregnancy and after birth, but this post will talk about the particular benefits in the third trimester and labor.
Here is a short guide, along with some links to further in depth information at the bottom of the page.
Where To Buy Raspberry Leaf
You can buy raspberry leaf from many chemists and health food stores. You can also buy it online. Raspberry tea is different; you need to make sure you buy products made from the leaf of the plant.
How & When To Take Raspberry Leaf
There are two main ways to take raspberry leaf; you can take it in either pill form or as the tea.
The tea requires larger amounts and is not palatable to all taste buds. If you like tea, this may not be an issue, but many women prefer to buy the pills, which come in a higher concentration and are faster to take.
You can begin taking raspberry leaf from around 32 weeks of pregnancy. However you should read the warning guide below before beginning too early.
It takes some time for the raspberry leaf to do what it is designed to do, so beginning it just days before labor will not have the same effect as beginning it earlier.
In the third trimester, 4-5 cups of raspberry leaf tea can be drunk from 32 weeks. In tablet form, 1-2 (300-400mg) tablets can be taken 3 times daily, with meals.
Dosages vary by both brand and medical professional so you should read the directions on the packet, talk to your care provider and do your own research before deciding on a dosage.
How Raspberry Leaf Works
Raspberry leaf does three main things, when used in the third trimester:
1. Tones The Uterus – This makes the uterus stronger, for more effective contractions. This can lead to a shorter labor.
2. Reduces The Risk of Bleeding – After birth, some women experience excess bleeding or hemorrhage. Raspberry leaf can reduce the risks of this happening.
3. Reduced Complications & Augmentation – Studies have shown it can decrease the risk of AROM (artificial rupture of membranes), forceps, c/section and other complications in birth.
However it also has many other uses outside pregnancy, such as relieving nausea, helping with PMS and other issues. It can be used earlier in pregnancy, although in smaller dosages, for a variety of other reasons.
What Raspberry Leaf Does NOT Do
Raspberry leaf does not induce labor unless taken in excessive amounts, which can sometimes cause contractions. However if taken correctly, and with no risk factors, it will not induce labor.
Raspberry leaf does not dilate or ripen the cervix. This is a common myth – this is something that is done by Evening Primrose Oil.
Reasons You Should AVOID Raspberry Leaf
If you have a high risk pregnancy, a history or risk of preterm labor, irritable uterus or severe braxton hicks, you should avoid or discontinue use of Raspberry Leaf until 35 weeks OR talking to your medical care provider.
More In Depth Reading
If you’d like more information on how Raspberry Leaf works, studies and information, start here:
- Raspberry Leaf Tea – A great article which includes information about the many benefits, dosages, studies done to ascertain its value and more.