If you’re a parent or if you’re expecting, you may have already heard about raspberry leaf tea. This age-old natural medicine has long been praised as an aid to mothers during pregnancy, with its benefits supposedly ranging from shortening labour to helping with morning sickness.
These claims got us interested here at The Parents Class. And so we decided to take a look into raspberry leaf tea to try and find out whether drinking this tasty beverage can actually help with all the things everyone says it can.
Read on to find out what’s fact and what’s fiction when it comes to the pros and cons of raspberry leaf tea.
1. Is raspberry leaf tea harmful to drink during pregnancy?
It’s difficult to say. There’s quite a bit of contention around whether raspberry leaf tea is completely safe or harmful to drink during pregnancy.
Some experts believe it is safe, owing to it containing lots of immune boosting vitamins like B group vitamins, as well as vitamins C and E. 
Others believe that red raspberry leaf tea can have adverse effects, like increasing the likelihood of Braxton Hicks Contractions, sometimes known as false labour contractions.
Overall the consensus around drinking raspberry leaf tea during pregnancy is that it shouldn’t be consumed before 32 weeks of pregnancy, and only then in moderation as a daily tea, meaning 1-2 cups per day.
2. Does raspberry leaf tea induce labour?
One of the most widespread beliefs about drinking raspberry leaf tea during pregnancy is that it can induce labour, a process where labour is started artificially. In fact, this is a common misconception.
As of yet, there have been no significant findings in scientific studies to support the claim raspberry leaf tea can actually induce labour. Instead, evidence supporting the use of raspberry leaf for labour induction has so far been both weak and inconclusive. 
3. Can raspberry leaf tea shorten labour?
Much like the claims about raspberry leaf tea being able to artificially begin labour, claims about it also being able to shorten labour are mostly unfounded. Mostly.
In a study from 2001, raspberry leaf tea was shown to shorten the second stage of labour by 9.59 minutes. However, it didn’t shorten the first stage of labour and the results were deemed to show no significant difference between test groups. 
4. Does raspberry leaf tea help with morning sickness?
Anecdotal evidence suggests drinking raspberry leaf tea can help to ease some of the more unpleasant symptoms of morning sickness, like nausea and vomiting.
However, because these symptoms usually occur early in pregnancy and ease off by the second trimester, we advise consulting with your midwife or GP before you consider drinking raspberry leaf tea to relieve morning sickness.
It is widely advised not to take raspberry leaf tea before 32 weeks of pregnancy. 
5. Can raspberry leaf tea increase uterine strength?
It’s thought that raspberry leaf tea can help with toning and strengthening the uterus by increasing blood flow, thereby making contractions easier to manage.
As with all of the potential benefits of raspberry leaf tea on this list, however, there isn’t a huge or substantive amount of scientific evidence to back up this claim, so be sure to consult with your healthcare specialist before making any hard or fast decisions.
6. Who shouldn’t drink raspberry leaf tea?
It’s important to note that there are some instances in which you shouldn’t be drinking raspberry leaf tea at all, including:
- If you have pre-existing or gestational diabetes.
- If you’ve previously had labour that lasted three hours or less.
- If you’ve gone into labour prematurely before.
- If you’re expecting twins.
- If you’re having a c-section, or if you’ve had a caesarean section before.
- If you’ve had any vaginal bleeding in the second half of your pregnancy.
- If you’ve had, or you’re at risk of, ovarian cancer, endometriosis, or fibroids.
- If your baby is breech.
- If you have pregnancy complications such as high blood pressure.
If you’re pregnant and considering drinking raspberry leaf tea we recommend talking to your midwife or GP.
If you want to find out more about raspberry leaf tea, and to discover a wide range of delicious teas designed to help with all aspects of women’s wellness, from periods to pregnancy, parenthood to perimenopause, head over to https://www.hotteamama.com/.
Are you expecting? Join The Parents Class
As with all information relating to pregnancy, birth and early parenthood, it’s important you feel able to make informed decisions for both you and your family.
By joining an evidence-based antenatal class with The Parents Class, you’ll get the opportunity to feel confident about the choices you make during your pregnancy journey, helped every step of the way by our NMC qualified midwives.
Find out more about our antenatal courses here!