Herbs for the third trimester
I'm trying something new this pregnancy and taking herbs during my third trimester. I've never felt the need to do that before as my labors have normally been about 3-5 hours of hard labour, and then I deliver. We won't talk about the days of contractions leading up to that hard labour. :) Overall, I think I've been pretty blessed in my labors though.
I did lots of research this pregnancy and decided (with my midwife's OK) to take some things starting at 32 weeks to gently prepare my body for labour.
Red Raspberry - This herb is well known for being an aid for females! In leading up to delivery, Red Raspberry works to strengthen the uterus, thereby making the uterus more effective when labour starts. It is also supposed to help with afterbirth pains. I started drinking the Mama's Red Raspberry Brew tea from The Bulk Herb Store, which is a combination of red raspberry, alfalfa, nettle, and peppermint. This tea tastes so much better than just the little boxes of red raspberry tea I have bought at the health food store before. I'm not a tea lover, but I actually enjoy drinking this tea!
Mama's Red Raspberry Tea
Here is an easy way to make the tea and also get the most nutrients out of it. Take a quart jar and put a good handful of dried herbs at the bottom. 1/2-1 cup dried herbs is what I have been doing for a stronger tea. Fill it with hot water, put the lid on and let it sit on your counter for 2-4 hours. Strain the herbs out but don't throw them away! I instantly boil some more water, add about a Tablespoon more of fresh dry herbs to the used herbs and make one more batch out of the same herbs. I then add a little bit extra water to the tea, and fill up a gallon jar about 3/4 full. It is a little strong, but I don't have to drink as much then. :)
Evening Primrose Oil - This oil has long been known for helping the cervix to soften and be prepared for labour. Normally midwives say to start it at 37 weeks-the actual dosage seems to vary greatly online though. If you insert them internally the important part is to get the pill up high by your cervix. Evening Primrose oil contains substances that are very similar to prostaglandins-which help ripen and soften the cervix. That is the reasoning behind why it helps. I've heard anywhere from 1-3 pills inserted at night can be helpful, but definitely talk to your midwife or health care provider if you decide to try it. From what I've heard and read, if your body is not ready to go into labour than simply inserting the oil will not make you go into labour. It's just another tool to slowly prepare you for when your body is ready.
Liquid Chlorophyll - A lot of women struggle with keeping their iron up towards the end of pregnancy and I have always been one of them! I'm taking a liquid chlorophyll this pregnancy, which actually doesn't taste terrible if you get the mint flavored kind. :) When we last tested my iron level was 10.9, which is not outstanding but it's much better than it normally is at this point in my pregnancies. So I'm going to keep chugging that down until the baby comes. Low iron at the time of birth can lead to a greater chance of excess bleeding after the birth. Chlorophyll is high in Vitamin K which helps clotting and preventing the excess bleeding afterwards. It is also great for your overall health.
I'm terrible at taking pills, but when I get close to giving birth the thought of labour pains makes me more motivated to chug down my pills each day. :) I'm curious to see if my labour is any different this time around, if not I still know my end result will be an adorable baby to snuggle!