Raspberry Leaf Tea and Other Examples of Unnecessary Scare-Mongering


Today I had three tasks to perform.

1.) Write a birth plan.
2.) Put the co-sleeper up in my bedroom.
3.) Tidy the flat.

I have failed at all three.

I did at least attempt number two, but it appears to be beyond my capabilities to piece together any kind of furniture in a secure manner befitting somewhere I will be laying my firstborn down to sleep, so I am going to have to admit defeat and ask my brother to do it.  So much for being an independent woman.

Anyway, I am 37 weeks tomorrow, which is something of a milestone as this means the baby will no longer be considered premature if it was to be born tomorrow, and I will no longer need to call the hospital in panic if I go into labour.  Instead, I can just stay here on my own and deliver the baby myself.  Or something like that.  Anyway, this may well end up being necessary tonight as I am about to go and drink some raspberry leaf tea, which is a drug so allegedly potent that women are advised not to drink it before 32 weeks in case it brings on premature labour.  The NHS-endorsed Emma’s Diary website actually warns that it should not be drunk at all, as its effects are unknown.  Somehow, contrary to what it says on the tin (or at least in old wives’ tale popular folklore), I suspect that these unknown effects do not include spontaneous labour and delivery, given that raspberry leaf tea seems to be strangely absent from the induction protocol of any hospital anywhere.  Even Netmums, that usual haunt of badly written horror stories with appalling grammar where you can usually find hard evidence for pretty much any pregnancy myth ever, appears not to have too many tales of babies born suddenly and quickly after their mothers imbibed herbal tea.

Mercifully I have also not been able to find a shred of evidence for the Story of the Cyclops Baby which the loopy librarian at work decided to tell me shortly before my 20 week scan, after making a tenuous link between my students reading the Odyssey and cyclopses being an actual thing and not fictional monsters.  One does not want to go into labour fretting about what horror might actually come out.  It’s bad enough that I’ve never even slept with the baby’s father.  There could be all sorts of unknowns lurking within without worrying about the baby having the conventionally accepted number of eyes.  Although Loopy Librarian did attempt to soften the blow upon witnessing my horrified visage by explaining “it’s some kind of problem with the brain.  The baby died shortly afterwards anyway,” as though that made it all right and it must have been a great relief to everyone.  Some pregnancy horror stories are just too awful to be shared.

Anyway, I’m off to drink my raspberry leaf tea.  If you don’t hear from me in a while, you can assume I’ve gone into labour.

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