An interesting article, although take it with a grain of salt. Enjoy. :)
"The Raspberry Leaf Tea Story
Tea made from raspberry leaves is the best-known herbal aid in pregnancy. Rather than go into all the traditional lore about this herb, we present the following lengthy account, because it is both contemporaneous and highly specific.
"My mother was born and raised in Scotland, coming to america at the age of 26. Whenever a member of her family became ill or had a health problem, her mother had consulted an herbalist or herb doctor. As a result of this, I was treated with herbs as a child.
"Mother had always told me that red raspberry leaf tea would prevent miscarriage and was excellent for pregnany and chilbirth. When I became pregnant, I immediately sent for some raspberry leaf tea and began taking one cup of it each day, made from one teaspoon of dried leaves added to one cup of boiling water and steeped for 15 minutes. I had a very normal pregnancy. Then I went into labor, I truly expected to have an easy labor and delivery because I had faithfully taken the tea. While it is true that I did not have a complicated or extremely difficult time, it was not by any means easy. The tea had not lived up to my expectations.
"It was not until sometimes after the birth of my daughter that I read a book my mother had brought with her from Scotland entitled Dragged to Light by W.H. Box of Plymouth, England. In it I found the secret of just how to take the tea so it would truly work wonders during labor and delivery. Box said, 'On one ounce of raspberry leaves pour one pint of boiling water, cover and let steep for 30 minutes. Strain, and when the time for delivery is approaching drink the whole as hot as possible.'
"There were a number of testimonials in the book written by women who had used this herb. Several took the strong solution over a period of time before going into labor. They were instructed in that case to take a wineglassful three times a day. They had 'only two stiff pains and it was all over' or 'no after pains and very slight before.' They never made it out of the house. Box's instructions were, 'But those who take the tea considerably before the time should not leave the house when the time is approaching as many mothers are delivered almost suddenly when at their work, to the great veaxtion of doctors and nurses.'
"When I became pregnant again I was determined to try it that way. I still took a cup a day as I had before. but this time when I went into labor I made a strong solution of it as I had read in the book. I put it in a container and took it to the hospital with me. I wasn't sure how quickly it would work and I didn't want to have the baby in the car. I didn't think they'd allow me to drink it in the hospital so I drank half of it in the parking lot. I was afraid to drink all of it as it was so strong and I didn't personally know anyone who had taken it this strong before. I had been having strong contractions but by the time I registered and was taken up to the labor room the contractions were so mild I hardly felt them. Upon examination they said I was ready to deliver and would not even give me an enema. In the delivery room I was quite comfortable and hardly felt anything. One hour after entering the hospital my son was born." End quote.
I will say that i'm a HUGE believer in red raspberry leaf tea, along with nettles, alfalfa and peppermint. I have drank it faithfully the last couple of pregnancies and i don't have a doubt that it plays a big part in my healthy pregnancies. In the first trimester it eases my nausea and i know it helps to strengthen my uterus for carrying all these babies. Since we don't see an end in the near future to having these small humans, i want to take care of my insides as well as possible. Do i think it makes for easier labors? I don't really know, although i do want to try the infusion when labor kicks in. I have been making my tea very strong the last couple of months so we'll see. I realize the fact is that labor hurts, at least for most of us. My midwife did tell me about a woman whose baby they just delivered who has very little pain during childbirth. Her babies come fast and are relatively easy to deliver. I asked her what i can do to have the same experience and she said it's simply the way God makes some women. She also said that the person is calm and controlled. I started laughing and said i have a feeling my personality works against me. She agreed (that's one reason i like her, she's not afraid to be real)but hey, while i might have to literally tell myself to be calm, at least my personality is a plus in other situations. :)
I promise i'll start posting something other than pregnancy and childbirth in the future. Obviously it's a big part of my life right now but that will soon change to baby, nursing, and everything else that goes along with it. Can't wait.