Sunday, May 19, 2013

Pregnancy Tea

Herbal Pregnancy Tea is an awesome way to get nutrients throughout pregnancy and prevent some common pregnancy complaints. When I was pregnant with Scarlett I did drink some nettle, dandelion, and red raspberry leaf  tea at the suggestion of my midwife, but I did not realize you could make your own loose leaf pregnancy tea. This time around starting in the second trimester I started making this tea. The first thing I did was to order herbs. I ordered mine from Mountain Rose Herbs which is a very reputable herb company, although I know there are others out there too. I choose Red Raspberry Leaf, Nettle Leaf, Alfalfa Leaf, Oatstraw, and Dandelion root as the herbs I wanted to include in my tea. 



Here is the recipe I have made up based on a recipe by Aviva Romm in The Natural Pregnancy Book:

2 cups Red Raspberry Leaf
2 cups Nettle Leaf
1/2 - 1 cup Alfalfa Leaf
1/2 cup Oatstraw
1/4 - 1/2 cup Dandelion Root

I mix all the ingredients in a big air tight container and mix them up. Then I take a handful and put it in a quart sized jar and fill with boiling water. I let mine sit for 1-2 hours than strain out the herbs and store in the fridge.

What it looks like all mixed up in the container

In the jar ready to steep for a couple of hours
According to The Natural Pregnancy Book written by midwife and herbalist Aviva Romm Red Raspberry leaf, one of the main ingredients in the tea is "rich in vitamins (C, A, B complex) and minerals (phosphorus, potassium  iron and calcium) as well as a substance known as fragarine, which tones the uterus muscles". She also goes on to say " this herb is said to nourish the muscles and prevent hemorrhage due to its high iron content and its astringent qualitites". She recommends this throughout pregnancy. I choose to start drinking it my second trimester due to the uterine toning qualities. Surprisingly though for me it has decreased my braxton hicks contractions so far. My midwife recommends to start this herb in small amounts and see how you react. She has only had one woman in  all her experience who had increased braxton hicks contractions and chose to stop drinking it. I think as my midwife has said many times,  it is all about listening and being attuned to your body.

The second herb included is Nettle Leaf. Nettle is a great source highly useable vitamins and minerals. Again Aviva Romm writes that nettle "promotes healthy kidney function, strengthens the blood vessels preventing varicose veins and hemorrhoids, and decreases likelihood of hemorrhage at birth". 

The third herb I chose to include was alfalfa. Alfalfa is an awesome source of protein, vitamins A, D, K, E, and B6, calcium, iron, magnisieum, phosporus, trace minerals, and digestive enzymes. It also contains a large amount of chorophyll (which is actually what you can take if your iron is low to bring it up without causing constipation). 

Oatstraw was also included because it is a great source of calcium and magnesium. It helps to prevent leg cramps, insomnia and other related pregnancy discomforts.

Lastly, I included Dandelion root. I love dandelion root and drink the tea even when I am not pregnant. It is great for liver support (which we greatly need when pregnant with the increase in the amount of hormones our body has to process). It is also good for the kidneys and bladder and supports the digestive process. Because it is a mild diuretic it also helps with excess fluid retention.  In addition, it supports healthy blood sugar and blood pressure. 

Aviva also suggests adding spearmint and rosehips to your tea. I think this helps with the flavor. The tea does take some getting used to but I have come to enjoy it. You can also add things like honey to make it more palatable. 

With all this said you should also seek the advice of a qualified herbalist or your midwife before consuming any herbs. 

Have you ever made pregnancy tea or taken herbs during pregnancy?


(Edit: I did include oatstraw and was wondering why my stomach was so upset all the time. Now I know oatstraw contains gluten (hence the stomach issues) and have decided not to include it in the tea anymore)

4 comments:

  1. You're so smart! :) You have been such an excellent source of information for me since Ivy's birth, not to mention a wonderful source of encouragement and empathy.
    I was wondering about tailoring my own "nursing tea" and it seems like many of these same herbs would support that, too.
    I'll have to pick your brain on that sometime. :)

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  2. Thanks Melissa! I think all of these herbs would be great for a nursing especially the alfalfa, nettle, and red raspberry. If you want to try these I can give you some. Other herbs you could possibly add in would be fenugreek, goats rue, and fennel. I have a book called "motherfood" which address milk supply and all the ways to increase it. I just wish I hadn't gotten in on my ipad now so I could borrow it out. It has been a great resource for me and I am already planning all the things I am going to do and take to help my supply this time.

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  3. I'm not sure if you are planning a homebirth but I truly believe that the tea that my herbalist blended , (her pregnancy tea) was the reason my little boy was ALMOST born in the CAUL, my bags of waters still had not broken in transition and my midwife (with my permission ) actually broke it for me to "move things along" , anyways I hope you have a wonderful birth with this little boy!!!

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    1. That's interesting!!I have never heard of that before. Thanks for visiting my blog though and for the well wishes. Hoping for a great homebirth this time around :)

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