What is the “Starbucks Labor Drink"? And Does It Work?

What is the “Starbucks Labor Drink"? And Does It Work?

Mamas have been spilling the ‘pregnancy inducing’ tea, lately. 🫖

Apparently, there’s a Starbucks drink that some mamas have claimed helped to induce labor. 🤯

‘Cause, let’s be honest, being pregnant for longer than full term (39-40 weeks) can be exhausting, and you wouldn’t be alone to feel totally over it.

So, what is this drink?

And, more importantly, does it actually work? 🤔

Grab a cup, ladies, ‘cause we’re deep diving into all things ‘Starbucks labor drink’ related. 👇

In this article: 📝

  • What is the “Starbucks labor drink”?
  • Ingredients broken down:
  • Who should avoid the ‘Starbucks labor drink’?
  • What can you get at Starbucks when pregnant?

What is the “Starbucks labor drink”?

Well, for starters, it’s named the Iced Passion Tango® Tea Lemonade (with four pumps of raspberry syrup). 🍋 [1]


So, where did this ‘labor-inducing’ rumor even come from?!

The answer is really no surprise… it’s from TikTok. 😅

And this drink has spiraled in popularity from mamas-to-be who want to avoid being induced whilst they’re waiting for their little babe to make its debut to the world.

But, why?

So, it’s alllllll to do with the ingredients: [1]

  • 🌸 Hibiscus flower extract
  • 🌱 Lemongrass
  • 🍎 Apple
  • 🍰 Sugar
  • 🧊 Ice
  • 🍋 Lemonade
  • 🍊 Citric acid
  • 🖤 Liquorice root
  • 🧃 Fruit juice extract
  • 🌿 Cinnamon
  • ❣️ … and don’t forget, the raspberry syrup!

And, a few of these ingredients have associated links to speeding along the pregnancy process, or even with helping women get pregnant in the first place.

That’s why it’s super important to know what you can and can’t consume when pregnant, as some mamas said they think drinking this drink could’ve put them into early labor. 🤯

So, let’s look at the main ingredients individually to see what’s really going on. 🔍

Ingredients broken down:

Raspberry syrup ❣️

So, this is probably the ingredient that is getting the most attention…

Raspberry actually has some pretty powerful properties. ✨

For one, raspberry leaf tea is thought to prepare your uterus for labor — who knew?! [2]

So, by using four pumps of raspberry syrup in your Starbucks iced drink, you’re certainly getting a decent dosage of raspberry.

It’s also thought to give labor a bit of a helping hand, meaning that the time spent in labor could actually be shorter.

Interestingly, one study also found that women who ingested raspberry leaf may be less likely to require a c-section, forceps, or vacuum birth compared to the women in the control group who didn’t ingest raspberry. [2]

So, a win-win for raspberry then? 🏆

Well, on the other hand, some experts think if you start ingesting raspberry when you’re at term, or overdue, this could cause contractions which are too intense, which might distress baby. [3]

That’s why it’s usually recommended, that if you want to take raspberry leaf in your pregnancy, you do so in the weeks leading up to your due date, and slowly increase the amount over time. [4]

But, raspberry leaf tea may not be safe for you in particular…

That’s why it’s important to always chat with your doctor before you take anything, especially to induce labor, as they’ll be able to advise you on the best steps to deliver baby safely. 🩺


🔍 Get Clued Up: What Are Fertility Teas? 🫖


So, if it’s all about the raspberry syrup anyway, why do you even need the rest of the Starbucks drink?

Well, hibiscus is also about to have its moment in the spotlight, too. 🎤

Some say that hibiscus can be used to induce labor. [5]

It’s thought that it can encourage blood flow to the uterus, causing contractions.

Another ingredient in the list that we can see why it’s got its rep, right?

But, others say you should avoid hibiscus altogether when you’re pregnant, as it could cause premature birth. [6]

But, it is always important to check the sources the information comes from.

In fact, a 2013 review of studies found the findings were concerning enough in animals to strongly discourage the consumption in human pregnancy as well. 😬 [7]

The concerns in these previous studies were around miscarriages and delayed puberty in offspring.

As always, you’re best off speaking to your doctor, as they’ll be able to advise you — but, depending on the quantity of the hibiscus in your Starbucks drink, or how many drinks you’ve had, it may not be safe for you or baby. 👩‍⚕️


Although there’s not as much press about this ingredient, lemongrass also needs to have its moment, too.

As an essential oil, it has some pretty impressive powers — especially in pregnancy. 💫

Rather than inducing labor, lemongrass is thought to more likely support labor, as it may be able to reduce labor pain. [8]

Especially in first-time mothers, pain levels were seen to be lower in women who’d used lemongrass, and it’s thought to have promoted greater comfort during the process.

But, this study looked at the benefits of lemongrass when inhaled rather than consumed.

So, there’s still not much out there on lemongrass tea and its benefits or risks in pregnancy, and there’s conflicting information online. 🤷‍♀️

If you’re not sure, a quick chat with the doc should clear that up for you.


Who should avoid the ‘Starbucks labor drink’?

Well, according to Dr. Victor Feldbaum, M.D. (board-certified OB-GYN and department chair of obstetrics and gynecology at Bayfront Health):

“People that should avoid this would be those with prior C-sections — you don’t want to necessarily go into labor if you have surgery scheduled — and people who have high blood pressure, diabetes, or more complicated pregnancies.”

But, that’s probably not all…

Raspberry leaf in general may not be safe for you if you’ve also had a premature labor in the past, strong Braxton Hicks contractions, you’re carrying multiple babies, you have preeclampsia, or you’ve had a c-section before.

Best bet?

Check in with your doc, or consider avoiding it completely due to there being too many unknowns around the ingredients. 🩺

🔍 Read More: 13 Natural Ways to Induce Labor

What can you get at Starbucks when pregnant?

So, what can you get at Starbucks when you’re carrying your little babe?

Sorry to tell you, mamas-to-be, but best to stay away from anything too caffeinated. 🙅‍♀️

The daily recommended dose is no more than 200mg, so as long as your drink comes in that range, you should be all good. [9]

But, if you would prefer to steer away from caffeine altogether, there are plenty of other choices out there.

  • Decaf options: Tea, or coffee — enjoy the taste but without the buzz. 😵‍💫
  • Size: Switching up your regular order from ‘venti’ to ‘tall’ can be a great way to still get your Starbucks fix, while reducing the caffeine content.
  • Herbal teas: And, of course, Starbucks has a whole bunch of fruity, herbal teas which are low or zero caffeine. Just be careful that the particular herb is suitable for pregnancy (your doctor will be able to give you the best advice here!).

And, of course, if you have certain medical conditions, like gestational diabetes, you should try and avoid high-processed sugar drinks. 🤰

🔍 Read More: Can You Drink Coffee While Pregnant?

You can also ask for advice and tips from mamas who’ve been there before in our Community.

These conversations are always happening — 24/7. 🥜


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