This pregnancy is flying by, and it will only fly faster. I don’t know if it is always this way with the second child or if it is the time of year or if it is a part of getting older. But I know that it is only a couple days until March begins. And as March begins so does spring. And no one ever knows where spring goes in Wisconsin. And then it will be summer, and I will be as big as a boat and busy in the garden. And then? Then the walnuts will drop and darken and people will carry armfuls of zucchini and the grass and air will turn a little brown with August’s end, and then we will be welcoming a new baby into our lives and getting to know her (yes, I want a girl now- expect me to change my mind every few weeks until we find out).
As I’ve entered the second trimester, raspberry leaf tea has entered my life once again. Traditionally in herbal medicine, red raspberry is thought to tone the womb and aid in labor (among other things). I drank it religiously throughout my first pregnancy (two cups daily in my second trimester and three every day my third). When I was traveling, I brought a big thermos and a little jar of the fluffy leaves, and I carried a little dropper jar of raspberry leaf tincture for days I couldn’t get to hot water (I know, diligent, right?). And, you know what? I couldn’t imagine a more perfect labor and delivery. It was painful, yes, but fast for a first birth and I felt ready and strong.
No good scientific tests have been done to prove or disprove any benefits taking red raspberry leaf gives pregnant women. But, whether it works miracles in labor or not, one thing that is certain is that raspberry leaf tea is rich in vitamins and minerals including vitamin C and calcium. And to sit with a cup or two of mild, nourishing tea everyday and remember that your body is preparing itself to bring a child into the world, that is a wonderful thing.
I say, give it a try. I can’t recommend it enough, really. I love to see my big glass jar of pale green crushed leaves on the shelf, to pinch cottony fingers-full and let them steep nice and long in boiling water. I love feeling (placebo effect or no) like I am helping my body get strong and ready.
If you want to give raspberry leaf tea a go, it is easier to find than you might think. Most any “mother-to-be” or “pregnancy” blend tea will site red raspberry leaf as a first ingredient, but if you go to your local health food store or co-op, you can probably find it in bulk at a small fraction of the price (it is a very affordable herb). Or when summer rolls around go ahead and harvest your own leaves from red raspberry bushes, air-dry them, and store them as you would any other herb- just be sure that no pesticides have been used on the leaves.
Happy almost-March, friends. There is so much going on in the world these days. I’m happy to be sharing this crazy decade with you-