Highs and Lows of having Tea during Pregnancy

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Disclaimer: This article is not based on any personal experience. It contains information gathered from various sources. It is advisable to consult your obstetrician before trying out any type of tea. Read at your own risk.

Pregnancy is a very crucial phase in each and every woman’s life. The soon to be mother & father try their best to avoid things that could harm their infant. It is natural for the couple to get worried a little about anything & everything. Well then, if you are a tea lover then get ready to know certain shocking facts about tea. How it can turn out to be a boon or a bane for your baby.

In general, tea is considered good for health as it is filled with antioxidants, vitamins, nutrients & whatnot. Tea has been a saviour for many but it might not be suitable in each and every situation. One such situation is of pregnancy. During pregnancy, the mother is eating & drinking for two. So whatever she has it but naturally affects the child too. 

There are so many variants of tea & each has a different characteristic. Some may turn out to be a good choice for a healthy baby, while some may cause harm. Certain herbal tea contains some favourable nutrients that are required by an expecting woman’s body. Herbal tea is a good source of iron, magnesium, calcium, etc. But not all sorts of herbal tea can be consumed during pregnancy. 

Herbal & Non-herbal tea

Herbal tea
Photo by Kimzy Nanney on Unsplash

Before going on to the tea categories in general, it is necessary to understand the difference between herbal and non-herbal tea. Herbal tea is made from the roots, berries, flowers, seeds, and leaves of a variety of plants. However, non-herbal tea is mainly made up of the leaves of tea plants. 

Herbal tea does not contain caffeine and is mostly used as a decoction and for medicinal purpose. Non-herbal tea is loaded with caffeine but also filled with anti-oxidants. Some of the types of herbal tea can be dangerous for pregnancy since no detailed information is available about each and every herb used. 

Most type of tea contains caffeine which is actually a No-No for the mother. Although it has been said that it’s safe to have 200mg of caffeine but even a little amount can harm the baby. So rather than consuming coffee or black tea (which are loaded with caffeine), it’s safer to drink herbal tea. 

Favourable Tea

(Can be consumed during Pregnancy)

1. Rooibos Tea

Rooibos tea is considered safe to drink during the pregnancy period. It is a caffeine-free drink with less amount of tannins. It is loaded with calcium and antioxidants. Rooibos prevents acid reflux and helps to improve digestion. One can have upto three cups of rooibos a day, but it’s better to stick to two cups.  

As every food has some or the other side effects, so does rooibos. However, a cup or two won’t cause any harm to your body. Rooibos is something that tastes good with milk as well. For pregnant ladies, milk is a recommendation. So mixing up milk with rooibos will be extra beneficial. You can even try the rooibos iced tea, probably good for sunny days to chill out your baby a little.

2. Ginger tea

Ginger teaGinger tea is not only good for menstruation cramps but for pregnancy too. It comes under the category of herbal tea & is very good for digestion. Pregnant ladies tend to feel that vomiting sensation throughout the day. At that very moment, ginger tea comes to your rescue. It gives relief from uterus cramps, nausea and morning sickness. However, since it contains heat it shouldn’t be consumed in great amounts. Only one gram per day is considered suitable.

There have been some rare cases wherein women were allergic to ginger, particularly during pregnancy. This was actually caused by exceeding the limit suggested for intake. Ginger is one of the best spices to enhance immunity. In fact, pregnant women tend to get moody at times. Ginger is an anxiety killer & helps to cut down on depression too. Research states that ginger might have properties to fight with ovarian cancer as well. 

3. Raspberry Leaf Tea

Raspberry leaves are full of nutrients and mostly used for medicinal purpose. It has been used since ages for labour pains. It is loaded with antioxidants and vitamins. The earlier generations would know the benefits of raspberry leaves quite well as they were the ones who consumed it first. According to pregnant women, raspberry tea is genuinely beneficial to them. It is actually one of their favourite drinks. 

Raspberry leaves are rich in mineral contents which is why it’s good to ease the birth-giving process. Also, it is good for after pregnancy too, as it helps to produce milk for breastfeeding. It also contains huge amount of calcium, iron & magnesium which is beneficial for the mother and child duo. 

This leaf is known as the woman’s herb as it contains all the desired nutrients to make the uterus strong enough for the baby. It proves to be effective for contractions during labour. Today the hormonal imbalance in women is quite common. This tea is considered as a great source to balance the hormones & increase fertility. The most curious thought of a pregnant woman is regarding miscarriage. As I mentioned earlier, it makes the uterus wall strong enough to prevent causing any harm to the baby.  

4. Peppermint Tea

Peppermint is basically a blend of spearmint & watermint. These leaves are used in most of the pregnancy tonics. It helps to relieve from nausea, vomiting, morning sickness & stomach aches. Indigestion is a common symptom seen in pregnant women, this tea is quite effective in dealing with such problems. 

Peppermint tea also helps to soothe respiratory disorders like chest pain & throat aches. During pregnancy, the mother’s immune system tends to get weak a little. This tea boosts the immunity & energize the pregnant women to stay away from viral diseases. There have been certain side effects like allergies, reaction with medicines, etc. 

Other types of tea that can be consumed during pregnancy are:

  • Dandelion leaf tea: It works wonders for the baby. It is filled with potassium and keeps the mother hydrated.
  • Lemon balm tea: It helps to relieve irritability, insomnia, and anxiety.
  • Rosehip tea: It is known as the elixir of youth as it has a huge amount of vitamin C. 

Unfavourable Tea

(Avoid during Pregnancy)

1. Nettle Leaf Tea

Nettle leaf is full of proteins, vitamins, iron, calcium, etc because of which it is taken into consideration for pregnancy. There have been many studies that suggest not to have this tea during pregnancy. But there are also certain articles which state nettle as a brilliant choice for mothers. 

Nettle is rated as unsafe by the Natural Medicines Database. Still, it is used in many types of pregnancy tea & also suggested by the herbalists. Although it seems healthy it’s advisable to stay away from things which have been proved unsafe for the child. 

2. Chamomile Tea

Chamomile is a flowering plant that is used as a herb. Chamomiles are basically small daisy-like flowers that are mixed with tea leaves for greater health benefits. Chamomile tea should be had or not during pregnancy is still a controversy. It depends on one’s personal choice whether to have it or not. 

The chamomile flower has a number of benefits like soothing stomach aches, reducing morning sickness, cures ulcers, increases immunity, prevents heart disease, etc. However excessive consumption can lead to certain side effects like miscarriage, drowsiness, allergies, preterm delivery, etc. 

There are certain other herbal teas which should not be consumed during pregnancy at all. These include Cleansing tea, Detoxification tea, Diet tea, PMS etc. Such type of tea may have many benefits for a normal being in a day to day life. However, they are not considered safe for expecting mothers as it could react with the medication or so. 

Skip having following types of tea 

  • Sage tea: It can cause problems like miscarriage and high blood pressure.
  • Parsley tea: It increases the risk of miscarriage and may affect the growth of the baby.
  • Lobelia tea: It contains nicotine which is not safe for pregnant ladies.
  • Aloe tea: It may induce labour and contractions.
  • Hibiscus tea: It may also induce contractions and lead to miscarriage.

Also avoid having green tea like matcha, oolong, lichee, hong mao, sencha, nilgiris, golden monkey black tea, etc. Green tea has caffeine which is of no good for the baby. However, if you still want to have green tea then don’t exceed than a single cup per day.

In general, herbal tea is considered far safer than caffeinated drinks. Herbal tea keeps the mothers hydrated, reduces morning sickness, helps for effective contractions during labour, calms you down a little.

Caution: Any tea that includes herbs that can cause abortion, contraction and labour or has diuretic effects and contains herbal laxatives should not be consumed. 

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