Natural childbirth remedies: raspberry leaf

ImageIf 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!

It’s a marathon

Source: Pinterest

I leave blogging for a few weeks and before I know it, I’m in the third trimester.

Time is now going very fast. This is good because I’m not particularly looking forward to going back to work after the Christmas break (11am lie-ins, don’t go, I need you) – and maternity leave is now firmly on the horizon with just six weeks of work to go.

However, I’m quite happy that at 31 weeks pregnant, I still (probably) have at least nine weeks of organisation (and resting) time to go. Especially since the third trimester fatigue and aches and pains are slowly setting in. Just when I was relishing the excellent second trimester energy boost, bam. So annoyingly predictable.

My pace is gradually being forced down as the baby claims yet more abdominal space. Where my stomach now is, I really have no idea. My lungs on the other hand, just feel like they’re being slowly compressed. By about 3pm every day, my mid-vertebrae feel like they want to pop out and start again tomorrow.

I’m totally aware that I’ve had an excellent pregnancy so far, in the grand scheme of things. I’ve avoided bad back pain, SPD and icky things like piles, constipation and varicose veins – so far. With that in mind, I’m adopting my marathon mindset for the remaining couple of months: just block it all out until you’re near the end. I’m not allowing myself to get in the mindset of slowing down too much or thinking about maternity leave until it’s imminent – perhaps 36 weeks since I finish at 38 weeks.

Don’t get me wrong: the sofa will remain very much my friend. But if I can, there are things I want to do over the coming weeks that starting to wind down mentally won’t help with: getting back to the swimming pool and eating more fruit and veg being just a couple.

And if it all goes t*ts up and I end up knackered and in defeat in a few weeks? Then at least I tried. The first step: getting an earlyish night for my 6:45am back-to-work wakeup tomorrow. Sob.