Tea During Pregnancy – Teas To Drink And Teas To Avoid

Tea During Pregnancy - Teas To Drink And Teas To Avoid

What did you last crave? Was it chocolate? Waffles? Upside-down sponge cake? Or was it a craving for a sip of toasty warm, delightedly delicious, mouth-wateringly aromatic tea?

With all of the warnings about consuming caffeinated drinks during pregnancy, many mums-to-be are hesitant to drink their favourite tea. But is drinking tea during pregnancy safe? And if so, what types of tea are safe?

To Sip Or Not To Sip?

BellyBelly’s naturopath, Nicole Tracy of Nurtured By Nature has given the consumption of herbal tea during pregnancy the tick of approval.

“Overall, herbal teas are very safe and beneficial during pregnancy, as long as recommended doses are not exceeded.” Nicole states.


And in fact, according to Nicole, drinking tea while pregnant even has a few extra benefits…

Benefits of Drinking Tea During Pregnancy

“Drinking herbal teas during pregnancy is certainly a wise choice when compared with caffeinated beverages,” Nicole says.

According to Nicole, caffeinated drinks have a diuretic effect, reduce nutrient absorption and deplete the adrenal glands.

Meanwhile, herbal teas hydrate, provide easily assimilated nutrients and feed the body during pregnancy. They are also packed with antioxidants and vitamin C which helps lower your anxiety and stress levels. Various types of herbal teas can also reduce morning sickness symptoms and even prepare the uterus for labour!

Well, you sold us at ‘no more morning sickness’. So which teas are best for pregnant sippers?

The Safe Tea List

1. Ginger Tea

Eases nausea (goodbye, morning sickness!), aids the digestion process and relieves stomach issues . “Just add four or five slices of fresh ginger root to a cup of freshly boiled water and drink a maximum of three cups daily.” Nicole advises.

2. Nettle Tea

Provides high levels of iron, magnesium and calcium and is described by Nicole as being a brilliant nutritive tea to sip whilst pregnant. Stick to one or two cups a day.

3. Raspberry Leaf Tea

One of our favourites at BellyBelly, this tea prepares the uterus for labour and prevents post-partum hemorrhage. According to Tracy, it’s also high in calcium and magnesium and is safe to drink from the second trimester onwards. “I usually recommend that women drink one cup per day from 24 weeks, then build up to two cups at 30 weeks, three cups at 36 and three to four cups from 37 weeks.” Nicole suggests. Interested in finding out more about raspberry leaf tea? Check out our article on raspberry leaf tea.

4. Dandelion Leaf Tea

“This tea is wonderful support in late pregnancy in fluid retention is an issue.” Nicole says. She explains that dandelion leaf tea is high in potassium and has a gentle but effective diuretic effect. She suggests adding dandelion leaf to another tea as it has a slightly bitter, grassy taste.

5. Peppermint Tea

Peppermint tea is great for relaxing your stomach muscles to help settle an upset stomach as well as the nausea and vomiting common in early pregnancy.

6. Rooibos Tea

Rooibos tea is highly recommended in pregnancy. It is caffeine free, contains calcium, magnesium and loads of antioxidants. It also has positive effects on digestion and can ease colic and reflux. Children can also drink Rooibos, and it is lovely with milk and a little honey.

Teas To Avoid During Pregnancy

According to research, caffeine consumption during pregnancy (particularly over has 200mg) has been directly linked with reduced birth weights. According to this study:

“Caffeine is rapidly absorbed and crosses the placenta freely. After ingestion of 200 mg caffeine, intervillous blood flow in the placenta was found to be reduced by 25%. Cytochrome P450 1A2, the principal enzyme involved in caffeine metabolism, is absent in the placenta and the fetus.”

BMC Central has published research this year (2013) which again produced results showing that caffeine is implicated with low birth weight. They found that for a baby expected to be of average birth weight (3.6kg), it equated to a loss of 21-28 grams per 100mg of caffeine consumed per day. Caffeine also extended the length of pregnancy by 5 hours per 100mg of caffeine per day, however if you’re also a coffee drinker the news is even worse! Coffee was associated with an even longer pregnancy – 8 hours longer for every 100mg of caffeine per day.

This research illustrates the importance of keeping an eye on your caffeine consumption during pregnancy. For this reason, teas that are particularly high in caffeine should be restricted while you are pregnant.

These teas include:

  • Black
  • Green
  • Oolong
  • LiChee
  • Lapsang souchong
  • Hong mao
  • Golden monkey black
  • Quinshola clonal
  • Nilgiris
  • Earl grey
  • Darjeeling

Teas and herbs to avoid during pregnancy due to their risk of side effects include:

  • St John’s Wort
  • Don Quai
  • Ginseng
  • Yarrow
  • Pennyroyal (known to cause miscarriage)
  • Ephedra
  • Licorice Root

You would have noticed that green tea is on the restriction list. This is because there is still some discussion concerning how safe green tea is for pregnant women.

Green tea contains high amounts of caffeine and is said to reduce folic acid absorption. So if you are a green tea addict consider limiting yourself to maximum one cup a day and use that as your caffeine allowance, or try sourcing a caffeine-free green tea.

Chai tea contains caffeine, but 1-2 per week is okay. You can purchase dandelion chai at organic shops and healthy cafes, which is caffeine free and great for your liver.

Chamomile tea is fine as long as there is no history of hayfever. Its from the same family as feverfew which isn’t recommended during pregnancy. You’d need to drink a huge amount of chamomile to have any issues.

Nicole also advises to steer clear of rosemary, oregano and majoram in large amounts.

Otherwise, stick to the safe tea list and feel free to sip away and spend your pregnancy days in a tea-ensconced bliss! If you’re a coffee drinker and wondering how much you can have, check out our article here.

BellyBelly and Nicole Tracy advise you to speak to your naturopath or herbalist if you have any concerns about which teas are safe to drink during pregnancy.

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  1. I’m 8 week’s pregnant going to my 9th week on Thursday. and since I’ve conceived I noticed I drink a lot of tea so is it okay to drink JOKO?
    And why shouldn’t I drink acid?

  2. I tried rooibos and every time I drink it I get sick so I bought de-caffeinated five roses. Is it bad or good.

    1. Decaffienated teas may contain traces of the chemicals which were used to remove the caffeine. You’re far better drinking naturally caffeine free teas. How many weeks are you? You may find that it gets easier to drink the Rooibos once you get past 12 weeks. Good luck.

    1. Spearmint is not recommended during pregnancy. But peppermint is okay. It was one of my big concerns as well because I have a huge bag of natural spearmint and really hate peppermint. 🙁
      Sorry to be the bearer of bad news!

  3. This is just fear mongering about caffeine unless there is some perspective. One cup of black Earl Grey tea steeped 5 minutes is at or less than 40 mg of caffeine. I drink 1-2 cups a few times a week and my MD said that is fine. 1 cup of starbucks coffee is also ok. Just know that caffeine is also in chocolate and some other places like Coke so it adds up.

    1. I agree – tea of any kind tends to have considerably less caffeine than coffee. I try to just have 0-140 mg caffeine per day.

  4. Does anyone know about Tetley Tea? I’m 12week pregnant and kind of addicted to tea. I crave for tea but after reading these all, i’m scared. Please kindly response about the Tetly tea. Is it highly caffeinated?

    1. Terkel tea is just a standard black tea, and black tea is addressed in the article. Short answer…it is high in caffeine so moderate.

  5. Do your research. What the F.D.A. and most western doctors say to do are not always in our best interest. I am an M.D. and have practiced for over 20 years. Unfortunately our western society is known to cave under fear and pressure that isn’t always backed by science. Anything in moderation… I know plenty of women who drank moderate amounts of coffee, green tea, oolong tea and other types of tea during their pregnancy and were fine. Just keep a balanced mind and approach to your diet. Get plenty of good, non-flouride and chlorine free water, plenty of organic vegetables and sleep.

  6. So does earl grey tea have lots of caffeine. Like can I drink a cup a day or what. Just curious because I love ❤ earl grey tea.

  7. I recently visited our local tea shop to buy some ginger tea for morning sickness. During our chat she was advising me on teas to drink once the baby is born and said to steer clear of peppermint tea as it inhibits milk production. Can you comment on this?

  8. What about cinnamon tea? I make it homemade with ginger and clove. I also add apple cider vinager and honey. Is this all safe for me to consume? I just recently got pregnant. Thank you! 🙂

  9. Your article states that:

    “Teas and herbs to avoid during pregnancy due to their risk of side effects include:

    St John’s Wort
    Don Quai
    Pennyroyal (known to cause miscarriage)
    Licorice Root”

    What are the side effects (of liquorice tea)?

  10. Can I drink Bamboo tea? I have oolong ans green tea but since I can’t drink those I only Bamboo as my last option before I buy the teas I can drink.

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