Pain in childbirth has been around since time began.
To the woman He said: “I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception;
In pain you shall bring forth children . . . – Genesis 3:16
Pain from cramping during menstruation has been around just as long I’m guessing. When I became a teenager and joined the ranks of ‘womanhood’ and then years later became a mother several times over, I realized that this was simply a fact for women. We would endure pain.
Modern man has come up with ways to cover that pain: Tylenol, Aleve, epidurals, intrathecals, etc. But many of us don’t want to take synthetic drugs that have long lists of side effects for both us and our babies. Thankfully, God has created something we can use that’s safe and beneficial: red raspberry leaves.
Benefits of Red Raspberry Tea
Red raspberry leaves are most often consumed in the form of a tea. This tea is an amazing uterine toner due to the presence of an alkaloid called fragrine which allows the uterus to contract more powerfully and effectively during labor. Less contractions, less straining, and less effort from the muscles means the muscles don’t consume all their oxygen, so there’s less crampy sensation. The alkaloids also aid in toning the uterus after birth as it returns back to its usual size.
- decreases profuse menstrual flow
- helps relieve cramping during menstrual cycles
- supports the adrenal glands during menopause
Not only are the leaves a good uterine tonic, it’s also high in both zinc and manganese. Zinc is known for shortening labor, strengthening connective tissue, preventing nipple cracks, bonding, avoiding post partum depression and preventing inconsolable crying in babies. Manganese is a mineral that helps form bones and cartilage.
Red raspberry leaves also contain an easily assimilated form of calcium which is necessary in controlling nerve response to pain during childbirth as well as aiding bone development in the baby. The high vitamin and mineral content helps to replace those that are lost via blood during delivery.
Midwives often say drinking red raspberry tea is “watering the soil” – growing a really healthy placenta to nourish the baby. They encourage women to start drinking 1-2 cups a day during their second trimester and the sky’s the limit in the third trimester! 🙂 A quart a day is comparable to a day’s worth of leafy greens.
- vitamin A – aids the womenís immune system as well as facilitates healthy skin and bone development for the baby
- vitamin B complex
- vitamin C
- vitamin E – helps to promote better circulation in the mother whose blood volume dramatically increases during pregnancy.
How Did It Affect My Delivery?
The Braxton Hicks started sporadically at 37 weeks. During my previous pregnancies they’d start around 5 mths. and cause several false labor alarms. Two days after my due date, about 1:00 a.m., I noticed that they were coming about ten minutes apart. They were light, which was typical, but they were also consistent – which wasn’t typical.
Finally, I woke my husband at 2:30 a.m. and we decided to go in. The drive to the hospital was 45 min. but I’d read him so many stories about how the tea encourages quick labor that we made it in 27 min. 🙂
When we checked in at 3:45 a.m. I was only 1 cm dilated. Within an hour I’d progressed to 4 cm and by 5:45 a.m. I was at 5 cm. I was surprised since my contractions were barely any worse than the ones that woke me at 1:00 a.m. Finally they became strong enough that I needed some relief so I asked to sit in the bathtub.
I got into the bathtub at 6:00 a.m. but the warm water didn’t seem to help. I was only in the tub for 15 min. when I told my husband I wanted to get out. As soon as I stood up, I felt the need to push.
By time I’d tottered back to the bed I was 9 cm. The nurse called down for the ER doctor (they’d called our family doctor, but they didn’t think he’d make it in time). She told me to try not to push. I must have given her ‘the look’, because she quickly amended, ‘just do what you need to do’.
Three pushes later, at 6:20 a.m. our daughter was born on the end of the bed at 6:20 a.m. When the ER doctor ran into the room we were already oohing and ahhing over her.
By the third day post-partum I was hardly feeling the after pains which had lasted much longer with my previous pregnancies. My husband couldn’t stop commenting on my energy. I’d never felt so good after any delivery!
It’s been two years since our daughter was born, and I still drink my tea every day.
I started ordering a bulk tea mix called Mama’s Red Raspberry Brew from The Bulk Herb Store and then to save on cost I ordered their herbs individually and mixed them myself. In the summer I dry the herbs I can find on our property. This makes my wonderful uterus-toning, cramp-relieving, and flow-reducing tea practically free!
A delicious tea, cold or hot, that helps alleviate many women's symptoms.
- 8 cups red raspberry leaves
- 3 cups alfalfa leaves
- 3 cups peppermint leaves (if you're nursing, replace this with fenugreek as peppermint can decrease your milk supply)
- 2 cups nettle leaves
Combine herbs and store in an air tight jar or container.
To make hot tea, pour 1 cup boiling water over 1-2 Tablespoons of the tea mix. Let it steep for about 10 min. Remove the leaves and sweeten if desired.
Pour about 8 cups of water over 4 c. of leaves and let steep for about 2 hours.
Strain the leaves and pour the liquid into a gallon container. Fill the container the rest of the way with water. Sweeten if desired.
Place it in the refrigerator until cold. This tastes great on a hot day!
If you opt to use fenugreek seeds, the recipe is no longer AIP approved.