Pregnancy Tea

Hey there! Maybe you’ve heard of or read about these pregnancy teas. Or you may have saw a box in the store but wanted to research them or even make your own. I found the base for mine on a few websites after researching the topic and realizing I had the herbs and also added in a few of my own. I am going to give you a basic recipe but feel free to add in any other herbs that are rich in minerals and vitamins too. You should try to get organic as you will be drinking A LOT of this for most likely a year. It may seem like a investment at first but if you get it in bulk you can actually save a lot and these herbs all have many other uses. ( check out future posts for a profile on them!)

Here are a few herbs that are touted for pregnancy. Perhaps the most known ones are Raspberry leaf, Nettle, Alfalfa, Ginger.

So do you need a tea even? How could it help? Well, the tea helps in so many ways. It depends on the ingredients used but they are always rich in vitamins and minerals. These help your body build the cells needed to your uterus and also the systems that form your childs body! Some may help with morning sickness or issues like cramping and swelling, etc. I will go over a few of the herbs briefly but do check out the other posts, I will go over benefits, side effects, and contradictions in those!

Now what did I use? A simple blend and often added in things such as lemon/orange peel ( especially important to use organic only as conventional has waxes/ pesticides), rose hips, hibiscus. Those all add Vitamin C and flavor. I also added marshmallow root for leaky gut healing. You don’t want to add peppermint, spearmint, or any mints really. Lemon balm is ok in small amounts. Lemonbalm is a good source of iron and magnesium and benefits the nervous and digestive systems too while adding a delicate flavor.

Lets go over some of the herbs first.

 

Raspberry Leaf-

Rich in vitamins and minerals including A,B complex, C, E, & K, iron, calcium, potassium, & magnesium. Helps with morning sickness, leg cramps and swelling, prevents miscarriage, tones the uterus, regulates hormones, and eases labor to name a few. I also include it in my Lactation tea as it helps with pp depression and to enrich your milk.

Nettle-

Stinging nettle is also rich in vitamins and minerals, nearly all of them to be sure! It is one of the highest in chlorophyll of all the herbs!  The vitamins and minerals Nettle has a lot of are A, C, D and K, plus minerals like calcium, potassium,  phosphorous, iron, zinc and sulphur. Vitamin K is a great one to have in particular at the end of pregnancy and during labor as it adds large amounts in your blood for your child!  Carotene is also a great part of nettle. Nettles help to cleanse, nourish, and strengthen your kidneys ( which handles 150% of your blood during pregnancy!) Nettle is good for mom and fetus, eases leg cramps swelling, helps with pain before and after birth, prevents hemorrhage after, helps with hemorrhoids, and also enriches your milk.

Alfalfa-

Another of the herbs highest in chlorophyll, alfalfa contains a large variety of vitamins and minerals. Alfalfa boasts good amounts of Vitamins C,E,& K and has calcium, phosphorous, iron, sulfur, sodium, potassium, chlorine, magnesium, and silicon.

Useful in helping with morning sickness, high amounts of K, helps with breastfeeding, reduces blood sugar levels and cholesterol, good for kidneys, and also eases hemorrhoids.

Dandelion-

Good source of Vitamins A,C, K and B-complex along with minerals including calcium, choline, iron, magnesium, potassium, and zinc.

Dandelion can help with jaundice(so definitely add some in before birth if anything!), insomnia, fever, gallstones, constipation, great for liver and gentle detoxification( you do NOT want a heavy detox during pregnancy as it does affect your fetus but gentle is fine), heartburn and upset stomach, hormone balancing, UTIS, helps with chronic mastitis and other skin ailments.

Oatstraw

A great source of Vitamins A, C, E, & B and the minerals calcium, iron, magnesium, and zinc.

Oatstraw is another great addition to your blend, very nourishing it helps support your body through conception to nursing.  Oatstraw can support conception and nourishes and soothes pregnancy. Beneficial to the nervous system, it helps balance your entire body when under any level of stress.

 

Ginger-

We all know ginger to be a great aid in being sick. Ginger ale is one of the more common remedies after all. So ginger root is a great addition to your tea, or used separately as I did. DO HOWEVER use it wisely. Its advised to use FRESH root in a tea or added to foods, not dried, and don’t take in medicinal amounts or take supplements unless advised by your healthcare professional. In higher doses it may cause a miscarriage.

A good dosage would be about 1 gram a day, divided into 2 to 4 doses. Be extra careful in the 1st trimester!

Ginger boosts blood supply which benefits you AND baby, increases energy, helps with morning sickness and heartburn, reduces  bloating, improves libido, eases muscle ache, prevents flu and colds, helps with cholesterol and blood sugar levels, increases your bodies ability to absorb more nutrients, anti-inflammatory/ helps with arthritis and pains, lowers risk of congenital disabilities,

Chamomile-

Now you would THINK Chamomile would be a great herb for pregnancy and I would agree. Being it is a soothing herb and aids in calming insomnia. However its been advised that it isn’t. Please read this link for more info and do some research for your own benefits. I personally did include a very small amount before seeing this information and I myself feel that it was ok and safe. But that decision is up to you.

Is Chamomile Safe While Pregnant?

 


Pregnancy Tea Recipe

1 part Raspberry Leaf

1/2 part Alfalfa

1/2 part Nettle

1/2 part Oatstraw ( I added in sometime during my second trimester but you can during first)

1/4 part Dandelion Leaf( Again I added during third trimester)

Additions: Alternated Citrus Peels & Rosehips or Hibiscus ( high in Vitamin C & for taste), Ginger (occasionally), Marshmallow Root ( very soothing to the digestive system and helps with Leaky Gut


 

Please do check out my List Of Herbs NOT To Use During Pregnancy. And as always, do your own check to make sure you feel comfortable using herbs. I have outlined many of the pros and cons but a quick search is always beneficial.  Such as “dandelion during pregnancy, ” ” risks during pregnancy ” ” safe during pregnancy, etc

 

 

 

 

 

 

Raspberry Leaf

 

Who doesn’t love raspberries!?!? So sweet and plump with a perfect tart in some of them… One of my favorite berries, it brings me back to my childhood. Warm summer days with a slight breeze cooling us off and red stained hands spotted with a few prick marks if we weren’t careful. My dad would plop down that square plastic carton or a ice cream pail and we would pick them until they were full. When we moved to Seattle 6 years ago we lost those moments. There were wild blackberries but those weren’t the same for me :/ Now we are back but wont have raspberry plants for a while. But I digress, we are here for a different reason!

Raspberry leaves! No, they aren’t sweet like the berry and to get the benefits in a tea you DONT want raspberry flavored. Sorry, most flavorings aren’t good for you for one, but the leaves are what help you here. They still have the most wonderful smell alone though and every time I open my bag it takes me back to those lost moments of ours.

One of my best friends started taking the tea before I even was far into hippy mode. She used it to help regulate that oh so fun time we women enjoy. HA. I thought it was a good idea but taking something every day for a good 30 years wasn’t my idea of fun, or even attainable for me I thought. Heh. Every time I think of the tea I think of her. From her output and others, it has been said to help a lot.. I didn’t start taking it until I got pregnant though and wont know personally on that area for a while I hope, haha.

But I guess now I AM taking it daily,  funny how things work. I can attest to it working throughout my pregnancy, labor, and I also believe nursing. All of those a product of hormone balancing like regulating your cycle.

Here is a short synopsis of Raspberry Leaves.

(While generally safe, PLEASE do read to the bottom, as there are some cases you do NOT want to take R.L. )

Contains:

  • Vitamins A, B complex, C, and E
  • Calcium
  • Potassium
  • Magnesium
  • Phosphorous
  • Iron
  • Pectin
  • Fragrine – an alkaloid which gives tone to the muscles of the pelvic region and strengthens it, including the uterus.
  • Very high in anthocyanins (A natural antioxidant and the pigments that color red, purple, and blue plants. They have many benefits but may help by being anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, and anti-cancer to name a few)

It helps increase fertility, tones and strengthens the uterus( which may be beneficial for VBACS!), regulate hormones, helps prevent miscarriage, ease labor, remedy many other ailments, and helps with breastmilk production. It can help with morning sickness and also the leg cramps and swelling. The minerals, vitamins, and plant compounds found in R.L  help to give you “rich milk”.

Now the lengthy part..

Its been long said that raspberry leaf tea may make labor and childbirth easier. However it doesn’t speed it up. I know, I know.. I am sorry. For hundreds of years at least! In fact they tested Raspberry Leaf Extract on pregnant rats in a study published. They found it did help with contractions during labor. I think I would agree! I feel it even helped with after birth for me! I had two homemade gatorades made with my Pregnancy Tea but forgot to drink them until after birth. I had drank my daily tea before labor though. Its muscle relaxant properties are at work with both of these situations. It has been said it makes contractions more effective by concentrating them and can also help with bleeding during labor. Raspberry can also strengthen the membranes protecting baby in birth!

Consuming Raspberry Leaf tea throughout pregnancy reduces the risk of C-sections, forceps or vacuum-extraction births showing less instances than women who did not consume the tea

Well, what about after birth? The great thing is that that leftover R.L you have could help you with lactation and depression! It balances hormones which will help with that and cramping too! I actually based my lactation tea off of my pregnancy one ( so you don’t have to worry about making too much ahead of time unless you make like 50 gallons of mix..)

For menstruation it helps by regulating your cycle including the frequency and length. It also reduces just about ever symptom you get. Pretty cool huh? Even though Raspberry has all these hormone related benefits, it can actually help remove extra hormones your body doesn’t need, which is one way it helps to regulate them!

Other remedies not specific to women include digestion, diarrhea, gas, helps with colds/flu, sore throats, may fight infections, helps skin rashes,  diabetes, heart and respiratory problems, and purifying your skin and blood!  Men can also look forward to its cleaning extra hormones effect, many men are exposed to estrogen/ estrogen mimicking chemicals daily with plastics and chemicals.

It is generally safe for all ages and some people drink one cup and some have drank up to a gallon daily. DO exercise caution and be wise. Honestly 2-3 cups would be ideal for a pregnant lady, less for children. And personally I would think unless you are very deficient that much more is probably not needed. Now read below for some important mumbo jumbo. Seriously.

 

Now to the don’t do this or that part.

In a report in 2007, “International Journal of Toxicology” reports that Castoreum, an extract derived from secretions of a beaver’s anal glands, is an FDA-approved natural food additive that has been used for decades to flavor foods. It is commonly added to vanilla ice cream and raspberry-flavored products, such as raspberry tea. So make sure you get the LEAVES!

While no side effects have been reported. It is still wise to use precautions, as always!!

WebMD says:

Pregnancy and breast feeding: It’s LIKELY SAFE to eat red raspberry in food amounts during pregnancy. Red raspberry leaf is POSSIBLY SAFE for use in medicinal amounts during late pregnancy, but only under the direct supervision of a healthcare provider. Red raspberry leaf is commonly used by nurse midwives to ease delivery. Don’t take it on your own. The concern is that red raspberry might act like the hormone estrogen, and this might harm the pregnancy.

Not enough is known about the safety of taking red raspberry during breast-feeding. It’s best to stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Hormone-sensitive conditions such as breast cancer, uterine cancer, ovarian cancer, endometriosis, or uterine fibroids: Red raspberry might act like estrogen. If you have any condition that might be made worse by exposure to estrogen, don’t use red raspberry.

 

Hopefully you learned a bit here! What have you used it for or what will you try it for now?

 

 

 

A Day Late And A Holler Short

Well. I had hoped to document more of my journey on here! But I went temporarily insane from eating 4-6 plain dates a day for months on end. Ok kidding, but I think I could be ok if I NEVER saw a date in its raw form ever again. I do believe it helped me with my labor though! That’s a story for another day but short stats were that it was about 15 hours total. 7 of that was active/intense, 5 in the hospital and 2 I was pushing! During it I thought it was the worst labor in the world.. FTM here nothing to compare to ( oh and a sissy with certain pains.) But after I realized it was a pretty good experience. I was lucky with my whole pregnancy hardly having any symptoms besides a growing belly and a easy birth. (Are they ever really easy though?)

What I feel really helped me the most though was the dates, my pregnancy tea blend, a whole food diet( basically Weston A Price pregnancy diet minus raw milk after 4 months), and just staying active ( kinda… after 4-5 months I started walking, and a lot.) I didn’t even waddle until the day of labor! And I was 200 lbs at the end!! No diabetes even 🙂 I didn’t even take the prenatals after 2 months, which is the biggest part of why I followed the WAP diet. I have a beautiful healthy happy baby who is developing pretty dang speedy! Sometimes I wonder if she was 4 days overdue or 4 months!

This post ended up being more in depth than I planned about the birth, oops. But I do want to focus on that more later… So lets just leave this as a catch up and my next post will start us out on a little profile on Raspberry leaf, a herb I use a lot lately. In my pregnancy and lactation teas.