After sharing my birth story I have received a lot of requests to go into more detail about the herbs I took. I love to research things that could potentially help my labors go a little easier, and this pregnancy was no exception to that!
My midwives (all three of them!) haven’t ever been enthusiastic about me trying the six week labour formulas out there, so I’ve never done that. This pregnancy is actually the first time I have taken herbs specifically to prepare my body for labour, and I’m so glad I did!
After doing some research, here is what I ended up taking:
I honestly think this is the most important thing I took, if I were to choose just one thing to take in preparation for labor, this would be it. It prepares your uterus for labour and can help make your contractions much more effective. My contractions were not nearly as painful this time, which I can only attribute to God’s blessing and the Red Raspberry I took. The herb also has helpful vitamins in it and an abundant supply of calcium, iron, magnesium, and manganese. It is reported to increase fertility, help relieve morning sickness (I haven’t tried it for that yet), reduce pain before, during, and after the birth, and even aid in milk supply!
My recovery has been far better this time around as well. I delivered the placenta just minutes after giving birth, my uterus clamped down and worked perfect, requiring very little massaging. My midwife was impressed with how well my uterus was working! I always have postpartum bleeding for six weeks afterwards, but this time it was only a little over two weeks. I did still have after pains that were hard, but they didn’t last the full three days like normal. I’m a firm believer now in the benefits of Red Raspberry. Writing all this out reminds me I need to stop and go make a cup of tea to drink!
Based on information I read from a study done by Blackmore you can take up to 4500 mg of Red Raspberry a day. I just used the Nature’s Way brand of Red Raspberry found at the health food store. Next time around I plan on getting the Beeyoutiful’s Red Raspberry capsules as they are all organic. I started taking the capsules at 32 weeks, taking 4 a day which was 2000 mg. When I hit 36 weeks I started taking 8 a day, which would be 4000 mg. I wasn’t religious about it, there were a few days I missed but for the most part I was faithful as I wanted to give this a good try. The thought of labour pains makes you more motivated to take a supplement as well. I plan on doing the same routine if the Lord blesses us with another child.
I also drank the Mamas Red Raspberry Brew from the Bulk Herb Store. I am not a tea lover at all, but I could tolerate this tea and actually enjoy it depending on how I made it. Sometimes I made the tea quite strong, so it was more medicinal tasting. Other times I made it according to the directions and it was more mild, and I didn’t mind drinking it. I drank it both cold and hot with honey in it. I did not drink the tea every day, which is why I went to the capsules. I think the tea is actually a better choice if you drink a lot of it. Knowing myself I went with the capsules for my main source of the herb.
The following recommendations are commonly found online:
Tablets: Take up to 4500mg spread throughout the day-for me I took four in the morning and four at night when I was taking the 4000mg dosage.
Teabags: 1st Trimester- one cup per day (it is controversial if the tea is safe to drink in the first trimester so I never have), 2nd trimester – two cups per day, 3rd trimester – up to 4 to 5 cups a day.
Tincture- The dosage depends on the strength of the tincture.
Evening Primrose Oil
Evening Primrose Oil has a history of helping ladies become pregnant, and also greatly assisting in the third trimester. The essential fatty acid found in this oil is converted by the female into a substance known as prostaglandin. This substance is similar to a hormone which you actually get during that special time with your husband. My midwife told me to start using this oil from 37 weeks on. It is recommended to insert the oil vaginally, as well as take it orally. My midwife said to insert 3 pills at night at 37 weeks, and then at 38 1/2 weeks start swallowing 3 pills as well. I used the NOW brand which I highly recommend.
To help my anemia I took quite a bit of chlorophyll at the end of my pregnancy. The bottle said to take a teaspoon a day, but I probably took a tablespoon each day, sometimes more. I just took the bottle and squirted it in my mouth straight, without adding in water. I had mint flavored chlorophyll, and it still didn’t taste great but at least I knew that I was getting it in.
While ultimately I feel like God watched over me and blessed me, I also feel grateful that He has given us herbs, and knowledge in how to use them.
An excellent resource on herbs and pregnancy that I refer to often is: