If you want to bring on labour, it seems that raspberry leaf tea is not the way to go. However, if you want to try and shorten the second stage of labour it might be worth a shot, due to its ability to increase the strength of contractions.
Strong evidence does seem to be patchy… but then that seems to be a very common theme with any natural childbirth remedies unfortunately. A combination of difficulty in establishing cause and effect (women consuming raspberry leaf will likely be close to their due date anyway – so who’s to say that the herbs triggered the labour?) – and a lack of much research (researching pregnant ladies is high risk) – makes for very unscientific reasoning.
However, there doesn’t seem to be anything to suggest that consuming raspberry leaf is dangerous – so I say it’s worth a shot.
I’ve gone for the tablet form so that I don’t need to faff around with brewing the tea version. The tablets are also stronger, I believe. Advice seems mixed on when’s best to start taking raspberry leaf – ranging from 32 – 37 weeks. I’ve just started at 36 weeks. I shall report back with any news in a few weeks (if I go into labour before my due date, it’s totally thanks to the tablets, right?)
Have you read any interesting research into the effects of raspberry leaf as a childbirth aid? Have you used it successfully? I’d love to hear any stories – please comment!