Starbucks, The Savior

Three iced Starbucks teas, in a story about the Starbucks order to induce labor.
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This Starbucks Order Is Trending Because People Say It Can Induce Labor

Bottoms up.

by Kristina Johnson and Katie McPherson
Originally Published: 

Let’s be honest: 40 weeks is a really long time to be pregnant. Even if you have a dream pregnancy with no complications, at some point along the way, you’re bound to feel totally over it. As your due date approaches, and you become more physically uncomfortable and impatient to meet your baby, trying different ways to induce labor becomes more and more appealing. If you’re desperate to jump start the process, there’s actually a Starbucks order to induce labor trending on social media right now, and it users say it’s worth the hype. Might as well grab yourself a refreshing iced tea and get to curb walking, right?

The supposedly labor-inducing drink in question is Starbucks’ iced passion tango tea, a delicious-looking dark red beverage, with four pumps of raspberry syrup added in. Most parents-to-be on Tik Tok are pictured drinking a venti (which they deserve), though it’s not totally clear if the size of the drink matters for this whole induction hack to work.

In 2017, Romper reported on another supposed labor-inducing Starbucks order, the Pineapple Kona Pop brewed tea. While it’s not available to order anymore, it made the rounds as the first induction drink of choice because pineapple has been rumored for years to help induce labor.

The new passion tango tea includes a blend of lemongrass, apple, and hisbicus, according to Starbucks, but it’s probably the four pumps of raspberry syrup pregnant people should be most interested in. Once you’re at term, you’ll probably start hearing recommendations from friends or folks online to drink raspberry leaf tea to induce labor. There’s not much data about how effective raspberries, or raspberry teas and extracts are at inducing you, Romper reports. Experts recommended speaking with your doctor before trying anything to induce yourself at home, but all in all, seemed to agree that raspberry products aren’t inherently dangerous.

“There are not enough studies on this. Red raspberry leaf tea, that’s been around for a long time in terms of people using it to try to start labor,” says Dr. Victor Feldbaum, M.D., board-certified OB-GYN and department chair of obstetrics and gynecology at Bayfront Health. “Studies have not shown that it decreases [the length of] the first stage of labor, but there has been a little proof it limits the second stage of labor. The thought is it helps with the tone of the uterine muscles. As far as whether it induces labor, it’s questionable, but people have done it for years.”

He tried the drink himself and reports, “It’s a great drink; I enjoyed it.” He notes that because a barista makes it for you (as opposed to a raspberry leaf tea you might make at home), it’s hard to control how much raspberry syrup is being added, and harder still to know how many of those potentially labor-inducing compounds are even in the syrup to begin with. To be safe, there are a few types of people who should steer clear of this trendy tea:

“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,” Feldbaum says.

He recommends anyone interested in trying the Starbucks labor drink (or any method of inducing labor at home) wait until they’re full-term. “Thirty-seven weeks and up is considered full-term pregnancy. The standard modes of inducing labor are still what’s advised and best.”

According to Feldbaum, those three methods are:

  1. Lots of walking
  2. Sex
  3. Nipple stimulation

“People try any of those three, and generally get what they’re looking for. Obviously if it’s not working, if you want to try red raspberry, you can,” he says.

However you choose to get baby moving, just make sure you run it by your doctor first so your little one arrives happy, healthy, and exactly when they’re supposed to.


Dr. Victor Feldbaum, M.D., board-certified OB-GYN and department chair of obstetrics and gynecology at Bayfront Health

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