Raspberry Leaf Tea | Modern Mummy

Sunday, 30 September 2012

Raspberry Leaf Tea

I HAVE DISCOVERED THE HOLY GRAIL OF RASPBERRY LEAF TEAS!!!!  I've been drinking a lot of the stuff recently and have received lots of questions about is benefits after tweeting about it so I thought I'd do some proper research and write a wee blog post on the subject.

When I was pregnant with Daisy, I started taking the capsules from 32 weeks (the only actual teas I could find were REVOLTING). I'd read that raspberry leaf helps to tone the muscles of the uterus - which can assist in labour - and one study reported that women who drank it regularly towards the end of their pregnancies had a shorter second stage of labour than women that didn't drink it. (The second stage is the actual pushing bit).

I was willing to give anything a go and, as it turns out, my second stage ended up only lasting 39minutes! (My entire labour was 1hr 39mins from waters breaking and first contraction to Daisy making her appearance and being placed on my chest!).

Now I'm no doctor or scientist. I have no idea whether this was a complete fluke or not, but on the off chance that my quick labour and my consumption of raspberry leaf were linked I have made the executive decision to take it again this time round.

 photo.JPGI've bought some more of the capsules from Holland & Barratt (on buy one get one half price at the mo if anyone is interested) and I have also discovered the Clipper raspberry leaf tea WHICH IS DELICIOUS!

So a bit of 'professional' info for you all about this.....

The Emma's Diary website reports:

"Raspberry leaf tea takes several weeks to accumulate in the body, so it can’t bring on labour if you are overdue. It can however bring on uncomfortable braxton hicks as it works on the muscles of the uterus.

Raspberry leaf tea contains an alkaloid 'fragine' which is thought to tone and strengthen the muscles of the uterus. It also Contains vitamins A, C, E and B, magnesium, calcium and iron so it is enjoyed as a herbal drink by non-pregnant people and is sold at health food shops and online (loose, in bags or as a tincture). If you don’t like the taste you can buy it in capsules.


Taken in controlled amounts in later pregnancy, after 34 weeks, it has been credited with helping to shorten the second stages of labour by toning the muscles you need to use to push your baby into the world.


The idea, therefore, is not to take it to speed up or bring on your labour, but rather to help your labour progress at a steady pace."


Ask Baby says:

"Raspberry leaf tea is nutrient rich and contains many of the vitamins and minerals necessary for a healthy pregnancy including vitamins A, C, E and B, magnesium, calcium and iron. Consuming raspberry leaf tea not only helps mother and baby to get all the nutrients they need but can also help to replenish a new mothers stores after the birth.

Raspberry leaf tea also contains the alkaloid 'fragine' which is said to strengthen and tone the muscles of the uterus, helping them to contract more efficiently during labour. Research has found that taking raspberry leaf during the weeks prior to delivery helps to shorten the second stage of labour by making contractions more effective. Some studies have also found that it reduces the need for an assisted delivery (i.e. an emergency cesarean or use of forceps or ventouse).

Sipping raspberry leaf tea during and after the birth is also said to help the uterus contract back down to size, reduce after birth bleeding and help initiate the let down of breastmilk.

While there hasn't been a huge amount of research into this area, the general consensus does seem to be that drinking raspberry leaf tea during the latter stages of pregnancy can help to make for a 'better' labour with few side effects."


Whether it makes a difference or not, the Clipper teabags are just divine and even if you're not pregnant I would recommend them as an alternative to every day tea. BUY BUY BUY! (And no, this is not a sponsored post - I paid good money for my teabags I'll have you know!)

xoxox

Disclaimer:
As I said above, I am not a doctor! Take your GP's/midwife's advice before taking any supplement, whether it is medicinal or herbal.

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