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Homemade Pregnancy Tea – A Nourishing Tonic For Two

Affiliate Disclosure | in Motherhood | by | with 25 Comments

“You Know My Uterus Can Hear You, Right?”

He looked at me quizzically as I tried to decide whether I’d said that out loud or not. No, definitely no – phew! The slow, bloody death my career as a mother had just encountered was a private affair, thank goodness. You see, we were reviewing the results of my college aptitude test, which revealed that I . . .

  • Can’t find my way out of a cardboard box. No surprise there. 
  • Would make an excellent greeter should aliens ever invade Nashville. (I learn languages very easily, though the only ones I’ve ever really studied are ancient Greek and Latin)
  • Tend to look slightly constipated when I’m thinking (That one wasn’t on the test, Daddypotamus told me for free!)

Oh, and this: “You’re great with words and ideas,” he tells me. “Go into teaching or marketing, but teach at the college level. You’re not cut out for working with young kids.

Greeeaaat. I think I felt my womb hang the “out of order” sign on the entrance right then and there. You see, I had feared for years that I didn’t have what it takes to be a mother. I don’t naturally use phrases like “criss-cross applesauce” or wake up wanting to do leaf art. I like sleep and crave quiet spaces.

For the first few years of my marriage I obsessed over every late period, terrified that I was pregnant. Then out of the blue a desire more powerful than my insecurity awoke within. “You know you want this,” said something in my soul. And I did. So we did. And it was amazing. (And hard!)

So we did it again – still hard, but oh-so-worth-it. I can’t imagine life without these two.


You can see where I’m going here, right?


 As we prepare for Babypotamus #3 to arrive this November, I am doing all I can to care for this amazing womb of mine: Soundproof headphones for negative comments and of course this nourishing tea, which has been used for centuries to help with labor. Before we get to the recipe, though, let me tell you a little about the ingredients!


Reason to ♥ Red Raspberry Leaf

Fragrine – a component of the red raspberry leaf – is thought to strengthen and tone the uterus so that contractions are very effective. Many midwives believe that it helps to shorten labor time, reduce the pain of labor and postpartum recovery, minimize the risk of postpartum hemorrhaging, decrease postpartum discomfort, and increase milk supply. (source)

In one study, mama’s who consumed red raspberry leaf had fewer birth interventions such as artificial rupture of membranes, forceps delivery and cesarian sections. They were also less likely to experience both pre and post gestation (source)

Additional vital nutrients contained within this herb are:

  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin E
  • Bioavailable calcium and iron
  • Manganese and magnesium
  • Betacarotene
  • B-vitamins
  • Minerals such as phosphorous and potassium

Is red raspberry safe to consume during the first trimester? 

Some have suggested that red raspberry should be avoided during the first trimester, believing that it can cause contractions that might induce miscarriage. However, many midwives say tradition and recent medical studies indicate that it is safe to be used in all trimesters. (source)

“Red raspberry leaf has an ancient tradition of use in pregnancy to sustain and tone the tissue of the womb, support contractions and check hemorrhage during labor. The herb in itself does not promote labor; it does help tone and work with the needs of the uterus during your pregnancy. Raspberry leaf extract apparently contains a component that stimulates contractions of the smooth muscle in the uterine wall; these are toning contractions. Toning contractions will not make the contractions stronger but can help the uterus work more effectively. One double blind randomized trial found the use of raspberry leaf tablets by women in their last month of pregnancy was associated with a significant shortening of stage two labor, but not of stage one. Red raspberry leaf is rich in calcium, magnesium and iron, so using it can promote toning contractions and give you a rich source of vitamins and nutrients. It is a great herb to use, but more important, our bodies know how to give birth and they know how to make babies; the herbs are just a bonus.” ~ Midwifery Today

Please do your own research and talk with your health care provider about what is right for you.

Reason to ♥ Nettle

Rich in bioavailable iron and other essential nutrients, nettle has long been used to nourish the adrenal glands, which are often put to the test during the pregnancy and postpartum period. It is also thought to help with leg cramps, reduce the pain of labor and birth, nourish the kidneys which are responsible for cleaning the extra blood required to sustain pregnancy, and increase the richness of breast milk. (source) Vital nutrients contained within this herb are:

  • Vitamin K-1
  • Chlorophyll
  • Betacarotene
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin D2
  • Minerals such as calcium, potassium, phosphorous, iron and sulphur

Reason to ♥ Rosehips

Rose hips are rich in Vitamin C, which boosts immunity and assists with the absorption of blood-building nutrients such as iron. It is also thought to be a mild diuretic that helps with water retention.


Homemade Pregnancy Tea ~ A Nourishing Tonic For Two

Many mama’s drink 1 cup of this tea every day during early pregnancy, and up to 4-5 cups (some say more!) in the last trimester.

Main Ingredients

Optional Add-Ins – see descriptions here

  • Fresh ginger (to help with digestion)
  • 2 tablespoons mint leaf (also beneficial for digestion, not to mention delicious!)
  • 2 tablespoons chamomile (to soothe frazzled nerves and encourage restful sleep)

To Make:

Though a tea ball is optional, it does simplify the process quite a bit!

To make a single cup, boil water and pour into a mug. Add one tablespoon of tea to a tea ball and allow to infuse for at least 10 minutes. Remove tea leaves and sweeten with honey, maple syrup, etc. if desired.

If you don’t have a tea ball, simply add the tea leaves to boiling water and then strain with a mesh strainer .

To make a large batch, boil 8 cups of water and add 1/2 cup tea leaves. Steep for at least 10 minutes to overnight, then strain and place in the fridge to sip on over the next few days.


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25 Responses to Homemade Pregnancy Tea – A Nourishing Tonic For Two

  1. Martina says:

    Thank you for the info! I’ve been reading Susan Weed’s info on pregnancy tea and have greatly enjoyed drinking red raspberry and nettle on a daily basis. I didn’t realize how much the nettle was benefiting my non-pregnant self until I ran out a week ago! I have this miday sluggish thing that screams for a nap when my non-napping children require my attention. … thanks be to herbs!

  2. Corie says:

    Thanks so much for this post! I love to know there’s a way to ‘tone’ the inside of my body in preparation for delivery. Could you recommend a good place to purchase the tea leaves?

  3. Dominique says:

    Hi Heather,
    I was really interested in you talking about not being good with young kids. I have the same tendencies: I really like quiet spaces, I love my sleep, and I like order. But I want lots of kids!

    I actually do work with kids now, as a full time reading coach. The reason it works so well for me is at the end of the day, I get to go home, rest, and enjoy my quiet little house.

    So my question would be, how do you feel that transition has gone for you? Do you miss quiet time? Do you miss sleep? How have you transitioned from someone who’s not-so-good with constant kiddos to a full time mom?


  4. Katrina says:

    Congratulations on your new family addition! You have such a beautiful family! My husband and I hope to start our family soon, and your website and books have been a great resources. Thank you!
    I found a great source for organic herbs and teas (as well as info.) a while back, and have fallen in love with their Red Raspberry Brew tea (as has my husband). It reminds me of your recipe. We make whole pitchers of it and typically drink it cold. You can buy the herbs seperate to make your own brews, or buy ready-made, all for very reasonable prices. I highly recommend this company:

  5. Janelle says:

    Like Dominique, I’m curious for you to share more thoughts about transitioning to motherhood (if you want to). I love kids, but also I’m someone who loves the quiet and who needs alone time. My husband even said the other day that he’d be worried about me not sleeping enough if we have kids, because my emotions get a little crazy – ha! And, the other day I was taking care of two five year olds. It started out great with some painting and coloring, but then they became extremely hyper. At first, I just felt dazed and didn’t know how to react. Eventually, I entertained them by dancing with them, which was fun… but also exhausting… and that was only about 2 hours of childcare!

    • Kate KV says:

      Yes, I wonder about this too. I am a music teacher, and LOVE teaching kids, but in general I’m quite introverted and don’t do too well on little sleep. However, I’m fantasizing about having kids (not yet financially stable enough). I’d love to hear your perspective, Heather… although I totally understand if you’re otherwise occupied. :-)

      • Heather says:

        Oh my goodness, there is so much I could say on this subject. Let me start out by saying that I have never – NOT EVEN FOR ONE SPLIT SECOND – regretted becoming a mom. The learning curve has been pretty steep for me, but thankfully I have learned a lot from moms who are naturals when it comes to communicating with small children. One day, when all our kids are older, I look forward to being able to help them with some of the aspects of parenting that – according to Mr. Aptitude Guy – I am going to rock! No one is perfectly suited for every phase of a child’s development, so we’re all fish out of water at some point.

        The next thing I would say is that other than my husband my mom is my best friend. She is uhMAZing. Guess what, though? When I was young she explained to me that she was not really a little kid person in general, but that my sister and I were different and that she loved getting to know us and spending time with us. Her honesty gave me the courage to believe that I would feel the same way, and I do! Don’t get me wrong, I actually loooooove little kids now, but it took some time for me to feel at home with the little balls of energy :)

        Sleep, etc. Yes, it was hard for awhile, though now that my kids are three and five I actually get quite a bit of sleep. It is really important to take care of yourself when you become a mom, because if you are run down it can make things reaaaaallly hard. That’s one of the reasons I’m so committed to nourishing myself and my family – we’re all in better moods when we’re well fed and cared for!

  6. Laura says:

    Red raspberry leaf tea has been a staple during my second pregnancy. I’m hoping for an awesome delivery this December!

  7. Miracle Quelle says:

    I wanted to say first to those who are worried about being a mom, it is totally different with your own kids than it is when you’re caring for others. You have a natural affection for your kids from the moment of conception. You get to start small (as in, not usually with a five year old, unless you’re adopting, that is) and if something is important to you, like quiet time, you can build that into your home and teach your kids to respect it.
    I will also say I’ve been drinking red raspberry leaf tea during the first trimester with no ill effect. I am due Nov 5 and I’ve used it for two pregnancies now. (out of 6 total) and I saw a big difference in the way my last labor went.

  8. Courtney says:

    I love that you are sharing this! I have been teaching women to use both nettles and raspberry LIBERALLY during pregnancy and postpartum for years in my childbirth ed classes. A few things I would suggest, if I may, is considering drinking MUCH more than one cup a day. Susan Weed suggest to brew this as an infusion (more herbs brewed for 4+ hours) and drink a QUART a day:
    To make this medicinally beneficial in pregnancy, you would want to also measure out an ounce (in weight) of the herbs and make your infusion with that much. Therefore, your recipe above would be about one day’s worth/serving, I’d say. Finally, I would never recommend to brew this with mint. Mint has what we call a volatile oils that can disrupt the other herbs it is brewed with, some even say it can make them less absorbable, etc, if brewed in combination, as suggested in the blog above. I would brew them separately, and then when they are cooled, combine them. Ginger is a great one to mix in with these teas and nice for pregnant women who are experiencing nausea. In general, Susan Weed and other herbalists tend to suggest using simples, or one herb at a time, so that you can really “know” the herb. Just my two cents! But really great blog and awesome information on two great herbs!

  9. Sadie says:

    Hi. You mention just above the ingredients list and the recipe that mothers may drink 1 cup in early pregnancy and 4-5 cups in the third trimester. I know it’s a silly question, but I just want to confirm, that is PER DAY, correct? Thank you!

  10. Michele says:

    Is there any difference between red raspberry and black raspberry leaves? I have a TON of black raspberry, but only 2 twigs of red.

  11. Cait says:

    I love my pregnancy tea! I’ve never seen another recipe with rose hips so it makes me happy that I include it in mine (I also use oatstraw and peppermint, though maybe I should brew the peppermint separately, as the above poster said? It really helps with the flavor though!). My first midwife started me on it making a quart a day and steeping overnight. I’ve tried to do that this time as well, though my current midwife recommends different herbs. I also make sure to cover it now, to keep all the oils and steam in. I bought close to a hundred pounds of herbs, hoping to mix pregnancy tea and herbal sitz baths to give as gifts or sell through local health food stores. I’ve yet to get to that point, but would love to get it out there and make it easier for women to find (and better and cheaper than boxed teabags!). Thanks for your post! I’ll refer to it to anyone who is worried about drinking it in the first trimester.

  12. Tara says:

    I drank plain red raspberry tea during my pregnancy and loved it! In fact, I kept drinking it in the early postpartum period because I liked it and enjoyed continuing to drink it. Somewhere along the way I stopped – probably just with busyness and failing to keep up with brewing it. But now I’m wondering if it’s okay to start using it again. My toddler is 16 months, and we’re still breastfeeding. Is there any reason why it wouldn’t be okay to use it now? Would it still benefit me (and my toddler) now? I’d love to get the benefits from it, if it does in fact help at this point. And this turned on a light bulb in my mind, because I’ve been looking for a way to make gummies for my 16-month-old, and all the recipes use gelatin and fruit juice. I’d rather avoid the juices, and I know some (like your recipe) use citrus, but I haven’t been sure if that’s a good idea for him at this point. I saw a post, I think on Holistic Squid, that used hibiscus tea instead, and that got me thinking maybe that’s a good option for my little one. But now that I’m seeing your post today and remembering my container of red raspberry in the pantry, I’m wondering if I can make the tea – either plain red raspberry or your mix above – and drink some of it myself and use some of it to make gummies with gelatin for him (or all of us, really!). Is there any reason why these herbs aren’t appropriate for a little boy? I know the red raspberry is pertinent for women’s health, but is there any reason it would be harmful for boys? I’d like to have a non-sugary liquid to use with gelatin to make the gummies. Also, the other light bulb going on in my head is that these contain iron and Vit C, so that’s another reason I’d like to know about using them for my toddler. I’ve read what you’ve written about iron during this infant/toddler stage, and so I haven’t been alarmed but do notice dark circles under his eyes and wonder if it could be iron-related. He eats lots of meat (LOVES his meat and fats and has little interest in veggies), so the iron is definitely there, but doesn’t it need Vit C to be absorbed? I’ve been thinking about this and wondering how to get more Vit C into him (or *any* vit C – I’m not sure if he’s eating anything that really contains it!). This tea could do the trick, maybe?

  13. Jenna says:

    I drank Red Raspberry Leaf tea in my last trimester. I naturally went into labor at 38 weeks, my membranes ruptured on their own and my entire labor was 12 hours… only about 4 of them being painful! Pushing only lasted 30 minutes, but I also think all the kegels I was doing helped that out!

  14. alina says:

    i was wondering does the raspberry tea has the same effect? or is the red raspberry tea leaf different? Should i use it like all through my pregnancy? Thanks

  15. Marcie says:

    How long do loose tea herbs last?


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  18. Rebecca P says:

    Hi Heather!! I just wanted to send a HUGE Thank you for this post. I had my third child three months ago. I bled so much with my first I almost had to be transfused. Meds were given to help my H&H levels and lots of iron supplements. Then due to retained placenta I started hemmoraghing two months postpartum. With my second the bleeding was better with pitocin, but I still had hemorraghing and retained placenta. The only thing I did differently this pregnancy was drink this tea. I hate tea, so for me this was a serious attempt to avoid bleeding without medical interventions. I kept reminding myself as I gagged it down that it was for my own good. I have had easy pregnancies, all natural drug-free deliveries. But two terrible recoveries. Not this time. My recovery has been wonderful. No pitocin was needed postpartum or meds. I delivered the whole placenta. Three months later and no hemorraghing. I truly cannot thank you enough!! What a blessing to read this post and have such a dramatic change. I was due some goodness. Haha. If you have a moment for a question I would love to know if you drink this postpartum and for how long you continue? If not I totally understand. Thanks again!!

  19. Alyssa R. says:

    Hey Heather!

    I really love your story and recipe for Pregnancy Tea. I am a stay-at-home mom and have recently begun working from home as a Placenta encapsulation specialist. I will also be selling pregnancy tea herbs and after birth herbs and wanted to ask your permission to use your tea recipe (my website is under construction to be published this week). I wouldn’t actually put the recipe on my site, just the ingredients. The recipe and instructions would be on a label for the tea bag. With your permission I would credit your website on my site as well.

    Thanks for a wonderful story and amazing information about these incredible herbs!

  20. Jenee says:

    Hi Heather!

    I just want to confirm its 1 tablespoon per 8 ounces of water? I have read other sites that say 1 teaspoon per cup. Just checking as I started drinking this about a week ago and I am cramping mid cycle..and I typically never ever cramp! Thank you!

    • Heather says:

      Hi Jenee, unlike pharmaceuticals that have exact dosages, this tea is a beverage that can be enjoyed at varying strengths. Since you mentioned your cycle I’m not sure if you are expecting or not, but if you are having cramping I recommend you stop drinking the tea and talk to your healthcare professional before deciding whether you’d like to resume :)

  21. Svetlana Muraviov says:

    During my 3rd semester I drank this tea religiously yet cautiously, and I really loved it! I could feel my uterus “toning” every time I drank it. But now I’m wondering if it was safe because NETTLE can cause pre-term labor because of these uterine contractions (found out through research & my MIL used to be a midwife). I didn’t know that and sure enough, my girl was born at 38 weeks. Of course, that’s not super early but I wonder if it had to do with the nettle. Have you heard of this before? Have any of you ladies experienced that?

    Heather, I could not find a way to private message you so I hope this was OK! :)

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