Editor’s note: This article first appeared in the book Wisdom of the Midwives: Tricks of the Trade Volume Two. Subscribe to Midwifery Today Magazine Although Mary wasn’t severely anemic, I knew the kinds of problems we could encounter during her birth if we didn’t help her build up her hemoglobin. She had previously taken iron pills that left her extremely constipated. I recommended an herbal tea consisting of nettles, alfalfa, hibiscus, rose hips, lemon grass, red raspberry leaf, and stevia (mix equal parts of each with half a gallon of water). This tea is an excellent blood-builder and has the added advantage of tasting great! Mary drank a quart a day and her blood slowly became richer in iron. Sometimes, black cohosh tincture (Cimicifuga racemosa) is an invaluable aid during labor when the woman is tired and her contractions are painful. It will smooth the contractions out so they aren’t so gripping. This can allow the uterus to work much more effectively to an easier completion of labor. Homeopathic pulsatilla (Anemone pulsatilla) can also keep a slow labor progressing so that the woman doesn’t tire so much. I have also recommended black cohosh for women who have cramps during menstruation.