Raspberry Leaf Tea – What to expect in late pregnancy


Questions & Answers

Hello Herb Lovers, it’s FAQ time again!

Raspberry Leaf Tea is popular remedy for women, particularly when they are pregnant – unfortunately it is also a source of much confusion.


Hi there,

Thanks for your informative help in the past with regard to Raspberry
Leaf Tea, but the time has come to ask some very specific questions of
my favourite herbal resource!

I’m currently 35w +4 days pregnant and in the last couple of weeks have
sporadically been drinking one cup of Raspberry Leaf Tea a day. In
the last few days I’ve had some painful Braxton Hicks contractions
(I’ve been to the hospital for monitoring and an exam to confirm they
are not “real” labour).

My question is, would you recommend that I stop drinking the tea, in
an effort to stop “irritating” the uterus, or increase the dosage of
the tea to try to help tone the uterus and make the contractions less
painful? Also, could you advise herbal methods to help distract me
from the pain?

Thanks in advance for your advice,

P.S. I noticed when shopping at the supermarket the other day,
Colgate have a “herbal” toothpaste on the shelves – right down the
bottom! Have you seen it?

Hello Anxious,

As you know, I am not a professional herbalist and as such can not recommend a particular course of action for your particular situation.

However, I can say that Braxton Hicks contractions are “practice contractions” that get the uterus into shape.  When I drank raspberry leaf tea in the last trimester (3 cups a day) I found that my uterus went into overdrive.

I would not have called it irritating but toning, after all that is what it is supposed to do.   Also, as you progress in pregnancy you will find that Braxton Hicks contractions not only become stronger but can also become quite ouchy. And that is without the aid of raspberry leaf.  I have never heard of raspberry leaf making labour less painful, just that it potentially makes it easier since the uterus is well toned. It also helps the uterus contract back to its original size a lot faster.

What you describe sounds very much like what the tea is supposed to do, but if you find that the sensation is too uncomfortable then there is no reason why you couldnt stop drinking it. My advice is ” the more you drink of it, the more you will feel it” so make your decision on quantity based on that bit of wisdom.

In regards to herbal distractions from the discomfort of heavy pregnancy….
Nothing beats relaxation. Your body is being overloaded in so many ways right now. All the muscles, tendons and ligaments are working in unusual conditions and therefore your whole body is out of whack.  A bath infused with relaxing herbs and salts is a must – as is massage.  Some pleasant oils in an oil burner while you elevate your feet and read a good book can ease a lot of the niggling side effects of impending motherhood.  Just make sure herbs or herbal extracts you are using are appropriate for this stage in pregnancy.

Indulging  in some herbal relaxation will also give you a great opportunity to listen to your body, have a bit of a chat to the new family member and spend some quite bonding time while getting in tune with your body. (Actually I dont see it as an indulgence at all, I see it as an essential part of a healthy and sane pregnancy)

This stage of pregnancy is a time where most women are “over it”….but it can be a great time for some introspection, a bit of pampering and getting your mind and body prepared for the wonderful experience ahead.

Thanks for the heads up about the herbal toothpaste :).  I have not seen it but I will keep my eyes out next time I head to the supermarket.

I wish you and your family all the very best and a fantastic birth experience to come.
Stay herbal


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