There are no studies verify that raspberry leaf tea can induce labour, but plenty of women testify that drinking it did indeed bring on labour. When you understand how Raspberry leaf tea affects the uterus, you can see how drinking this tea would prepare the uterus for birth and why so many women swear by it.
A midwife with 30 years’ experience in infant feeding, active births and working with parents explains it nicely:
“The womb muscle contracts regularly day in and day out even when a woman is not pregnant, which is how it keeps toned and fit. As the womb gets ready for the mammoth effort required for labour and birth, the exercise it does picks up, just like a runner preparing for a marathon.
Raspberry leaf tea is thought to help the womb muscle tone up. There is some evidence that, by getting really toned up and ready for action in this way, a woman is less likely to go past 41 weeks of pregnancy.
So although the tea doesn’t really start labour, it might help push your body in the right direction by getting the womb fit and strong.”
The general advice is to wait until 36 weeks gestation to start drinking raspberry leaf tea, it is not advised to take it earlier as you do not want to prematurely stimulate the uterus when pregnant.
*always consult your doctor before taking any herbs.
Note that it is the leaf and not red raspberries.
Studies have indeed shown the benefits of raspberry leaf tea are:
“The purpose of this study was to examine the safety and efficacy of raspberry leaf products consumed by a group of mothers during their pregnancy, by comparison with a group of mothers who did not. A retrospective observational design was used. The sample consisted of 108 mothers; 57 (52.8%) consumed raspberry leaf products while 51 (47.2%) were in the control group. The findings suggest that the raspberry leaf herb can be consumed by women during their pregnancy for the purpose for which it is taken, that is, to shorten labour with no identified side effects for the women or their babies. An unexpected finding in this study seems to indicate that women who ingest raspberry leaf might be less likely to receive an artificial rupture of their membranes, or require a caesarean section, forceps or vacuum birth than the women in the control group.”