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Herbs for preparing for labour: why you should stick with Red Raspberry Leaf

Weekly pregnancy tip

 

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Red raspberry leaf tea (Rubus idaeus) is one of my favourite herbs in pregnancy. It has a proven safety record (considered Category A meaning that human pregnancy studies have demonstrated its safety), and has a number of wonderful effects during pregnancy.

Red raspberry leaf is such a rock-star herb in my books because it:

  • Is highly nutritive – high in minerals including magnesium, iron and calcium
  • Strengthens and prepares the uterus – red raspberry leaf is best known for its action as a “uterine tonic”
  • Improves labour outcomes – including a shortened 2nd stage of labour, as well as lower rates of forceps, caesarean sections and vacuum extraction
  • Decreases bleeding after birth – likely due its nutritive and tonic action

A safe dose is 1-3 cups of tea per day. Red raspberry leaf can be taken throughout the second and third trimesters for its nutritive action, but is especially important during your final month of pregnancy to prepare for birth.

What about all of the labour tea blends out there? I recommend against buying an over-the-counter tea blend for labour, especially those that contain Blue Cohosh. This herb, despite having been flagged almost ten years ago due to case reports of neonatal congestive heart failure and perinatal stroke, unfortunately remains in many labour tea formulations, including popular “Mother’s Cordial” preparations. Unless you have an herbalist or naturopathic doctor on your team that is prescribing you a safe combination of herbs to prepare for labour, sticking with Red Raspberry leaf truly is your safest choice.

I hope you have found this helpful, and do let me know if you have any questions!

If you are hungry for more evidence-based information in your pregnancy, sign up for my free webinar: 7 Pregnancy Myths Debunked – and get the information you need to have a healthy pregnancy and a thriving baby.

And if you are a care-provider looking for evidence-based resources for your pregnant patients, please get in touch with us at support@myhealthypregnancyplan.com.

In health,

Dr Jocelyn Land-Murphy, ND

Terra Life

Disclaimer: The information and content provided is for general educational and informational purposes only and is not professional medical advice, nor is it intended to be a substitute therefore. Please consult the Disclaimer and Terms of Use for full details.

References:

Jean-Jacques Dugoua, J. (2008).Safety and efficacy of Blue Cohosh (Caulophyllum Thalictroides) during pregnancy and lactation. Canadian Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, 15(1): e66-e73.

Parsons M. et al. (1999). Raspberry leaf and its effect on labour: safety and efficacy. Australian College of Midwives Incorporated Journal, 12: 20–25. 

Simpson M. et al. (2001). Raspberry leaf in pregnancy: its safety and efficacy in labor. Journal of Midwifery & Womens Health, 46: 51–59.

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