Mum claims raspberry tea is the ‘secret’ to giving birth in six minutes — here’s what midwives say

Can you really speed up labour?

Mum claims raspberry tea is the ‘secret’ to giving birth in six minutes — here’s what midwives say
Pregnant woman touching stomach while sitting on bed in hospital
Can you actually speed up labour? (Picture: Getty Images/Cavan Images RF)

Giving birth is no walk in the park, but one mum has claimed her active labour lasted just six minutes – and she only pushed four times.

The secret to such a smooth delivery? Raspberry tea leaf, apparently.

Justine Glenn (@jussyglenn) shared her incredible birth story on TikTok, claiming she also had no tears or grazes.

It’s fair to say people were amazed, with some branding the mum-of-two ‘lucky’. After a lot of interest in her post, Justine shared the ‘secrets’ to her speedy labour, saying there were a few things she’d tried that ‘might’ have helped make things go quickly.

She says she drank raspberry leaf tea (not to be confused with raspberry fruit tea) from the 32nd week of her pregnancy, and ate three to four pineapples each week from her 36th. 

In addition to her daily beverage, she claims she walked at least 10,000 steps every single day while pregnant. She also continued going to the gym three times a week and spent 40 minutes a day using a birth ball from 32 weeks. 

Rasberry leaves, Rubi idaei folium, pregnancy tea in a bowl
Some people swear by raspberry leaf tea to ‘tone’ the womb (Picture: Getty Images/Westend61)

It’s worth pointing out that Justine says she can’t be sure if these ‘secrets’ directly helped her speedy labour – and did admit that she had to endure five hours of contractions before active labour.

Thousands of people have since liked Justine’s TikTok – but can her claims really help birth be so breezy?

Marie Louise AKA The Modern Midwife, who is a qualified midwife with over 12 years of experience, told Metro.co.uk: ‘Whilst the majority of the information this woman advises is usually safe and can be effective (namely exercise and a birth ball) only a very small amount of the information is backed by scientific research. 

‘There is some evidence to support the positive impact exercise, yoga, and a birth ball have.’

However, Marie Louise says there is no scientific evidence that drinking raspberry leaf tea will actually make a difference, despite some people claiming it ‘tones the womb’ (e.g. strengthening the muscles) which in turn can help ‘speed up labour’.

She also doesn’t believe eating pineapples will make a difference. 

‘The bottom line is there is no robust evidence from scientific studies which clearly demonstrates raspberry leaf tea tones the uterus and therefore brings on or speeds up labour. Therefore, the decision to try this home remedy is a personal one,’ she said.

‘Anecdotally, I’ve met hundreds of women who swear by it and equally as many who do not. There are so many variables impacting labour, it can be hard to pinpoint what worked.’

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But Lorna Marsh, the senior editor at BabyCentre.com, which provides expert information on pregnancy, birth and parenting, urged mums-to-be to be cautious when taking herbal supplements like raspberry leaf tea as she warns ‘it’s not safe’ for everyone.

She explained: ‘You should always ask your midwife before taking any herbal supplements like raspberry leaf tea. 

‘Some people do swear by it to tone the muscles of their womb to work harder in labour. But there are strict precautions. 

‘You can’t just take before you go into labour, you have to start gradually from around 32 weeks. And it’s not safe for people with health conditions like high blood pressure. 

‘If you want to try it, chat to your midwife first to make sure it’s safe for you and your baby.’

A previous piece on BabyCentre written by the site’s senior midwife Clare Herbert echoed this warning, telling expectant mums not to take raspberry leaf to try to start labour or to consume it too close to their due date as this could be ‘harmful to the baby’.

It’s also not recommended for anyone who is expecting a breech birth.

Clare adds: ‘Always talk to your midwife.

‘Raspberry leaf contains chemicals which act in exactly the same way as drugs. It may not be safe for you and your growing baby. Even if it is, it’s important to make sure you’re taking or drinking a dose that’s safe for you both.’

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