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Red Raspberry Leaf tea has gained a lot of popularity in pregnancy circles over the last few decades. Many now sing its praises but others are still misinformed about exactly what Red Raspberry Leaf tea does.
What Is Red Raspberry Leaf Tea
Red Raspberry Leaf tea (Rubus idaeus) is an herbal tea made from you guessed it, the leaves of the raspberry plant. Do not confuse this with the raspberry flavored tea that you see in stores all the time; it is NOT the same.
Benefits of Red Raspberry Leaf Tea During Pregnancy
Used for centuries for many ailments most of which include uterine health which is why ALL women should drink Red Raspberry Leaf Tea (RRLT).
However, it is particularly beloved for the benefits it brings to pregnancy and labor, which of course is why is has become so popular with pregnant mothers.
Red Raspberry Leaf Tea Helps:
- Relieve nausea
- Shortens labor
Tones the uterus, which makes contractions more effective thus making labor easier and potentially less painful. (Note: It will NOT include labor. It only makes labor more effective once it has already begun) (source)
- Increases milk supply
Which means it’s not just great for drinking while pregnant, but after having a baby as well. Basically, you can just drink this until the end of your days.
- Helps bring the uterus back to it’s pre-pregnancy size after delivery.
- Lessens postpartum bleeding and can help prevent hemorrhage.
- High in calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, niacin, selenium, vitamin A, and vitamin C.
When Should You Start Drinking Red Raspberry Tea In Pregnancy
While some believe that drinking Red Raspberry Leaf tea in the 1st trimester may cause miscarriage, my research has shown that this is based on one old study that from what I’ve seen is faulty.
Interestingly, Red Raspberry Leaf tea is said to actually help prevent miscarriages and helps relieve morning sickness which is why it is actually prescribed to many mothers in their first trimester.
You will have to decide which side you lean towards regarding RRLT safety.
That said, you can always stay on the safe side and hold off drinking Red Raspberry Leaf Tea until you’re 2nd trimester.
Personally, I drank it from the get go, through birth, through nursing, and right into the next pregnancy. But of course, my experience does not set a safety standard for other mothers…
How Much Red Raspberry Leaf Tea To Drink in 1st Trimester
If you have decided you are comfortable drinking Red Raspberry Leaf tea in the 1st trimester then you can drink 1 cup of tea a day.
How Much Red Raspberry Leaf Tea To Drink in 2nd Trimester
During the 2nd trimester, the daily amount bumps up to 2 cups a day. However, if you were not drinking this in the 1st trimester, start with 1 cup and work your way up to 2 cups per day.
How Much Red Raspberry Leaf Tea To Drink in 2nd Trimester
During the 3rd trimester, you will be drinking 3 cups each day! I know that seems like a lot but you are probably used to chugging a ton of water by this point so just swap out some water for RRLT.
Again, if you are starting to drink Red Raspberry Leaf tea in the 3rd trimester, you will want to start at 1 cup and work your way up to 3 cups. RRLT is like lifting weights; you can’t just jump to lifting 20 lb dumbbells, you have you work your way up to it.
Can You Drink Red Raspberry Leaf Tea in Labor?
Yes, you can! In fact it’s a great drink to sip on during labor. Not only will it keep you hydrated, but it will also help your uterus work more efficiently. Many women enjoy having RRLT made into ice chips.
Red Raspberry Leaf Tea While Nursing
After you have that new bundle of joy, you can continue drinking your hopefully now beloved Red Raspberry Leaf tea. You can stay at the 3 cups amount or you can drop down to just a cup or two per day.
If you want to pair Red Raspberry Leaf with other milk enhancing herbs then check out my nursing support tea blend.
Where Can You Buy Red Raspberry Leaf Tea
There are a few forms of Red Raspberry Leaf: pre-bagged tea, loose leaf, and even capsules.
Pre-bagged Red Raspberry Leaf Tea:
Many grocery stores are now carrying Red Raspberry Leaf tea in their “natural” sections. Make sure that the box says Red Raspberry Leaf or Raspberry Leaf.
You want the word “Leaf” if not you are probably just getting the Raspberry flavored tea, which tastes better but will not do anything for your pregnancy.
While buying from a local store is convenient it will cost you more, especially since you will be drinking a ton of this tea!
So I recommend buying it online through Amazon for the best price, especially if you buy it in bulk.
Loose Leaf Red Raspberry Leaf Tea:
Loose Leaf is by far the best way to buy tea. It is also the cheapest way.
You buy loose leaf buy by the pound. 1 pound of leaves will make 100-200 cups of tea!
I just bought 2 lbs (400 cups) for only $25 including shipping.
There’s no way you’d get anywhere near 400 cups for that price if you were buying pre-bagged. I prefer to buy my loose leaf tea from Amazon.
Red Raspberry Leaf Capsules:
This really just turns Red Raspberry Leaf into your “vitamin”. Buy a bottle of pills from a natural store or online and take as directed.
It should be noted that capsules are likely to be the least fresh and thus potentially the least effect of the methods.
How to Make Red Raspberry Leaf Tea
Just make as you would normal tea. Boil 1 cup water, drop in one tea bag and let steep for about 10-20 minutes.
Boil 1 cup water, add 1-2 teaspoons of leaves, and let steep for 10-20 minutes. Remove leaves by straining through muslin or cheesecloth.
The tea can also be made in large batches so that you can have it as “iced tea”. Just multiply the recipe and once cool put the tea in the fridge.
How Red Raspberry Leaf Tea Worked For Me!
I started drinking Red Raspberry Leaf tea when I was pregnant with my 3rd baby (but second labor as my first was a c-section).
My first labor was a fairly standard 30 hours. My second labor (my first RRLT baby) was just 6 hours and I only pushed for 3 minutes!
Fast forward to pregnancy number 4 (3rd labor). I of course, chugged RRLT like it was going out of style for this pregnancy as well. In fact, I had never stopped drinking it after baby #3 so I started drinking RRLT at a higher dose from the get go.
Baby #4 was my first non-pitocin birth so early labor took a bit longer, but Red Raspberry Leaf tea is supposedly most useful for the active labor stage and transition… and THAT I can attest to going very quickly!
As I said, my 3rd baby was 6 hours active labor on pitocin. My 4th labor was just 4 hours of active labor and again pushing was done in about 3 minutes or less. Labor with that one was so easy and “do-able”.
My 5th baby (4th labor), I drank all the RRLT just like usual. This time my active labor was about 5-6 hours but my baby also was dealing with a cervical lip and I wasn’t moving around as much (labored in the tub). Pushing again was about 3-5 minutes (darn girl has her shoulder stuck for a bit). I also had the least amount of postpartum bleeding and that was without the standard postpartum pitocin that most hospitals like to give!
- Gladstar, Rosemary. Herbal Healing for Women
- Moerman, Daniel E. Native American Medicinal Plants