My pregnancies have all been fairly easy so far. Not a lot of morning sickness, and I really feel pretty good the entire time, other than some bad attitudes towards the end because I go “overdue” every single time. Up until now, I really had taken advantage of this luxury and assumed it was just luck of the draw or good genes.
Until this pregnancy.
I have never felt so terrible in my life! For the first 3 weeks I almost felt as if I had the flu and the nausea and exhaustion were literally ruining my life. I wasn’t sure what I was doing differently with this pregnancy until about a week ago. It occurred to me that I hadn’t started on my pregnancy tea yet.
I always liked to think that my easy pregnancies were because I worked hard to follow my midwife’s demands of a gallon of water a day, a regime of preventative herbs and exercises, and avoidance of processed foods (as much as cravings allow!). A healthy pregnancy requires personal responsibility and hard work. When you home birth, you don’t have the luxury of a doctor on hand to fix those things that could have been prevented in the first place. It demands that you purposefully take top notch care of yourself and your baby. I have really taken this for granted since my last pregnancy!
This pregnancy tea is my life blood. I adore it more than coffee, people. Evidently the tea makes more of a difference than I thought! A week ago, my order of bulk herbs arrived and I quickly whipped up a batch. As I took the first few sips, relief flooded through my body and, I’m not kidding you, I could literally feel my strength returning! Eureka!
I’ve made this tea for my pregnant friends, and some have even attempted to pay me for it. I get a lot…and I mean A LOT of question about, so here it is:
The Pregnancy Tea Tutorial you’ve all been waiting for
Now, you can buy those pre packaged pregnancy teas, but you won’t get anywhere near the quality of a fresh batch, and you’ll also spend quite a bit more money since it is ideal to drink 3-4 glasses of the stuff a day!
I get my bulk herbs from The Bulk Herb Store. Their prices are great and their quality is exceptional. The original recipe I started with is called “Nourishment Tea” and can be found in Aviva Jill Romm’s book, The Natural Pregnancy Book. Buy the book and look up the recipe, you won’t regret it!
In my tea, I use the following herbs:
Red Raspberry Leaf : Tones the uterus, prevents hemorrhage, high in iron, high in Vit. C, Vit B1 (thiamin)
Nettle (as in Stinging Nettle): Promotes healthy kidneys, strengthens the blood vessels, prevents anemia, Vit D, Calcium, tones uterus, Vitamin K
Oatstraw: Calcium, Magnesium, gentle nervine, great remedy for cramping or insomnia
Alfalfa: Vit D, Vit K, chlorophyll
Spearmint: aids Digestion
Milk Thistle Seed, ground: gently supports the liver and is a remedy for morning sickness
Fennel: aids digestion
Rose Hips: Vit C
I eyeball it as I add each herb to the jar, using mostly Red Raspberry and Nettle, and decreasing in amount of each herb used as I go down the list. None of these are contraindicated for use during pregnancy and you would have to be trying hard to overdose on them, so exact measurements are not necessary.
Here’s my Ball jar full of mixed herbs. (Sorry, I can't find that photo!)
I stuff a large tea bag (about five heaping tablespoons), fold over the edge, and staple it shut.
Toss it in a quart jar- I use an old mayo jar, and cover with boiling water. It is really important to keep a lid on this, as some of the useful properties of these herbs can escape in the steam! I painted this jar when I was pregnant with Charis. It was pretty at one time. (Lost that photo too)
One mistake that people often make with herbal tea preparations, in addition to not covering it, is not letting it steep long enough. If you think you can just pour some hot water over some herbs and let it sit for three minutes, you are only getting flavored water, and very little benefit. (Except with delicate herbs and flowers, such as chamomile, but it still needs to be covered.
Pregnancy tea needs to brew for at least 20 minutes. I let mine brew over night, at which point it actually becomes an infusion. Then I add some stevia and sip on it all day long. I start this regimen (usually) as soon as I find out I am pregnant. These herbs are truthfully the cornerstone and secret to a healthy, comfortable pregnancy!
Pregnancy Tea is actually great for the entire family. Even Brent enjoys a glass of it, iced, at dinner sometimes!