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When can you start Raspberry Leaf tea in pregnancy?

Hi Claire,

There seems to be mixed messages about when to start taking Raspberry leaf tea during pregnancy.  Some places say 32 weeks, some say 36 weeks and other's say it helps for morning sickness (which would surely mean the first trimester?)

What would you suggest?

xxx
Clairetheherbalist

When to start raspberry leaf tea

Raspberry leaf tea is taken mainly as a 'uterine tonic' to prepare the uterus for labour. It works on uterine smooth muscle to both relax and strengthen it, helping contractions be as effectual as possible (neither too weak nor too strong), so (hopefully!) lessening the pain of childbirth and often shortening labour times. Given all this, it's not a good idea to take it early on in pregnancy - you don't really want anything directly working on uterine muscle in the early stages. I'd go so far as to say it's contraindicated before the last trimester (unless under supervision from a herbalist or midwife for a specific problem), and wouldn't recommend it for first trimester morning sickness. It does have a digestive and anti-nausea action, but this is really more appropriate in the context of the first signs of labour, when many women can feel or be sick. It's also great post-labour, for helping the uterus recover and regain its tone.

I'd recommend starting raspberry leaf tea with 1 cup a day any time from about 30-32 weeks, increasing to 3 cups a day at about week 36. Make it by steeping about 1heaped tsp of the dried leaves (or 2 tsp of fresh) in a cup of boiling water for 5-10 minutes, strain and drink. It can be sweetened if you like, or mixed with other teas (eg lemon balm) to make it more palatable. In my opinion, you're better off with loose raspberry leaf tea than the teabag version, when it's often combined with fruity flavours, but you might not be getting the quantity or strength that you need.

Hope this helps!
Nature's Mother

That's great, thank you!
tim salisbury

Hi, sorry its taken so long for a reply but I've just taken over from claire so I,m only now trying to catch up. Raspberry leaf tea is safe from the 2nd trimester onwards as it helps tone the uterus. I am really reluctant to prescribe herbs in the 1st trimester at all. You should only sip the amount of tea that is needed and this usually means that 1 cup of tea ,made from fresh leaves, is all thats needed especially if its to help with nausea. from 32 weeks you can step up the amount to 2 cups spread over the day and from 36 weeks 3 cups. some ladies even take a thermos flask of the tea with them into the maternity ward. Obviously if there is any adverse reaction then stop immediately. Tim

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