This is the first in a mini-series of posts on what I will be doing to prepare for a natural childbirth/post-partum period. I desire to give birth and heal as naturally as possible, with minimum medical intervention. I will be giving birth in the hospital, as there are not any midwives available here where I live for homebirth:(
My first preparatory herb I would like to share with you is Red Raspberry Leaf. I am currently using this herb in tea form, drinking about 3 cups daily of Traditional Medicinals Organic Pregnancy Tea. Red Raspberry Leaf has been used by pregnant women for years as an aid in toning the uterus, thus producing stronger, more effective contractions. I used this same tea during my second pregnancy and noticed a HUGE difference than with my first. Brett was much smaller at birth than Henry, but the labor was significantly more difficult with Brett. Of course, this could be because he was my first, but I was a lot younger and in better shape, so I feel like the tea had something to do with it! I definitely felt that my contractions were more productive, and a lot less painful.
Red Raspberry Leaf is also available in a supplement form. I've never tried it this way, only in tea form. I would suggest the Traditional Medicinals Organic Pregnancy Tea, as it has a lovely, herbal-sweet flavor, kind of like spearamint. I do know that you can also buy the leaves in bulk at http://www.mountainroseherbs.com/ to make your own tea. I suppose that this would be a more frugal option, though I've never tried it. I find the TM tea a bit on the pricey side (about $5 per box of 16 tea bags) but I like the taste and the results.