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Pregnancy® Tea is a product made by the Traditional Medicinals company, as of 2011. It is a tea that contains a variety of natural products, ranging from lemon verbena to rose hips. Central to the specific marketing of the tea is the raspberry leaf component, which historically has been part of herbal medicine for pregnant and laboring women. Raspberry leaf, as of 2011, has not been definitively proven effective for the traditional uses of improving uterine muscle tone and reducing labor length.
Traditional Medicinals is a company that manufactures natural products like teas and pastilles that contain substances historically used in herbal medicine. Commonly, herbal products like Pregnancy® Tea are not checked and approved by regulatory agencies such as those that approve conventional medicines. A pregnant woman must weigh the potential risks against the claimed benefits of the tea.
As well as the main active component of raspberry leaf in Pregnancy® Tea, strawberry leaf and nettle are also included, which have also been historically used as a treatment for pregnant women. The tea also contains other ingredients to give the tea more aromatic and flavor characteristics. These characteristics are primarily derived from the leaves of a variety of plants, and the tea also contains rose hips and seeds from the fennel plant. A minty taste is given by the spearmint leaf, aromas of lemon from the lemon verbena leaf, and a lemongrass aroma from the leaf of that plant. Other ingredients are strawberry leaves, nettles and alfalfa leaves, and the entire product has a dry and spicy flavor.
Herbal remedies such as raspberry leaf are sometimes seen as less risky than conventional medicines. In the case of raspberry leaf, as of 2011, not enough research has been performed on its effects and on its risks. Given that unborn children may be more vulnerable to the effects of medications, and that labor may potentially be altered from the ingestion of Pregnancy® Tea, conventional medicine does not typicallyrecommend the use of the raspberry leaf or other unproven medicines.
On the other hand, serious side effects have not yet been identified, as of 2011, from raspberry leaf use. Women who are pregnant and who wish to swap caffeinated teas for herbal teas may be able to get advice from a doctor as to which teas are suitable to drink. Some midwives may recommend raspberry leaf in forms like the Pregnancy® Tea to some patients.
@ElizaBennett - A friend of mine tried to push this on me, but I felt that it just wasn't for me. I'm not really all that crunchy, if you know what I mean! I didn't really see the point in taking something that is proven neither safe nor effective.
But I didn't know about the iron. If it made you feel less tired, well, that's definitely worth something! I wonder if the iron is maybe less constipating, too, than what you get in regular iron supplements. I had a little trouble with that myself.
I took a variation of this tea - my midwife's own mixture - during my pregnancy. Red raspberry leaf has been used for generations by pregnant women and it's also a good source of iron. Probably for that reason, I found that it helped my energy levels.
The tea I drank also contained nettles, like the Pregnancy (r) Tea, but these are a little more controversial because they're a diuretic and these days, most docs advise against diuretics for pregnant women.
On the other hand, the effect is quite mild and it can help with swelling. As always, ask your doctor or midwife and drink plenty of water!