With all that controversy out there about what’s safe and what isn’t for pregnant women, with drugs like Zofran that were supposed to be safe and then were later thought to be potentially unsafe for pregnancy, what is a expectant mom to do about deciding what is and is not okay to eat, take, drink while pregnant? Well, all I can say is do your research! I, myself, prefer to stay as far away from pharmaceuticals as physically possible, I tend to try the more natural route before anything else. Be aware that even natural remedies like herbs and oils can be dangerous if not used properly and some herbs are contraindicated for pregnancy all together.
One thing that I found to be very helpful in many aspects of my pregnancy was “pregnancy tea.” I had heard from several herbalists, doulas and moms that red raspberry leaf was amazing for pregnancy because of both it’s nutritional properties and it’s ability to strengthen and tone the uterus. Apparently women that drank this miracle tea religiously during pregnancy were able to achieve shorter labors and more effective pushing phases as well as a faster postpartum healing time. Of course I was hard pressed to find any scientific information on this topic, but I did learn that it was safe to take throughout pregnancy so I figured why not.
Well, I bought a package of RRL tea from the local healthfood store and decided to make a cup that evening, turns out red raspberry leaves taste NOTHING like raspberries (duh, right?) and not only that, they are pretty gross (at least I thought so, some women love the taste). Now I was a bit disappointed, I really wanted to test out this theory about the amazing benefits of raspberry leaf tea, but I knew there was NO WAY I would be able to drink it daily for the next 6 months. Back to the drawing board I went. As I was browsing my favorite herb site, Mountain Rose Herbs (affiliate link), I put together a blend of herbs such as Red Raspberry Leaf, Nettles, Alfalfa and Peppermint that my research led me to as beneficial herbs for pregnancy. The peppermint really helped with the flavor (and my heartburn and nausea), but the taste still wasn’t very good.
Now I’m getting irritated, I was determined to drink this tea so I began scouring the web for different preparations for pregnancy tea. Some suggested adding honey and lemon which was better, but still not great. Then it dawned on me, I don’t really like hot tea that much! Go ahead, laugh away, it took me that long to realize that the reason I wasn’t loving this whole tea idea is because I don’t really like to drink hot tea very often. Da-Doi! So I began experimenting with various cold brew methods and finally landed on this SUPER YUMMY Iced Pregnancy Tea Infusion. Victory! I had finally found a delicious way to prepare this nutrient packed (and I mean PACKED) beverage that I would have no problem drinking daily. You can check out the exact recipe and preparation HERE.
I don’t know how much it helped shorten my labor (12 hours for my 4th baby) and I can’t say whether it made my pushing more effective (my son had a nuchal hand so pushing was HARD), but I do know that I felt great about drinking it because each and every herb in that mix was rich in vitamins and minerals (A, C, D, E, K, magnesium, calcium, iron, potassium), protein and dietary fiber. Not to mention it was super yummy!