Tea during pregnancy
If you’re a tea drinker, you’re most likely curious if it’s safe to drink tea during pregnancy.
You probably want to know if there are any teas you need to avoid too.
With all of the warnings about consuming caffeinated drinks during pregnancy, many pregnant mamas-to-be can be a bit hesitant to consume their favourite tea.
So, is tea safe during pregnancy? And if so, what teas are safe?
No matter if you’d like to enjoy an occasional cup of herbal tea during pregnancy, or your usual English Breakfast tea, we have the answers for you.
Pregnancy safe tea
Nicole Tracy, a naturopath from Nurtured By Nature has given the consumption of most herbal tea during pregnancy the safe-tea tick of approval!
“Overall, herbal teas are generally very safe to consume, and most often beneficial during pregnancy. This is as long as recommended doses are not exceeded. Because you’re drinking an infusion or decoction of the leaves, flowers or roots of a plant, it’s not as potent as consuming the plant in its entirety,” Nicole states.
And in fact, according to Nicole, drinking tea while pregnant even has a few additional benefits!
But of course, there are some teas which are best avoided during pregnancy too.
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’re 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. There are even special teas for pregnancy!
Well, you sold us at ‘no more morning sickness’.
So which teas are best for pregnant sippers?
What teas are safe during pregnancy?
Here’s a pregnancy safe tea list, so you know which teas are safe to drink during pregnancy.
#1: Ginger tea during pregnancy
Drinking ginger tea while pregnant helps to ease nausea (goodbye morning sickness!), aids the digestion process and relieves stomach issues.
Ginger is a warming digestive herb, a circulatory stimulant, anti-nausea and great source of zinc.
#2: Nettle tea during pregnancy
Nettle leaf tea is described by Nicole as being a brilliant nutritive tea to sip whilst pregnant, especially as you near the end of your pregnancy.
It provides high levels of water-soluble iron, magnesium and calcium.
Stick to one or two cups a day, or drink in a blend with other herbs.
#3: Raspberry leaf tea during pregnancy
Raspberry leaf tea during pregnancy prepares the uterus for labour due to its rich mineral content. That’s why it’s one of our favourites at BellyBelly!
It also helps to prevent post-partum haemorrhage due to its gentle astringent effect.
Raspberry leaf tea was traditionally used in late pregnancy to prepare for birth and breastfeeding.
Raspberry leaf is also a galactagogue, so it supports breast milk production.
According to Nicole, this herb is also high in calcium, magnesium and iron.
Raspberry leaf tea is safe to drink from the second trimester onwards.
“I usually recommend women drink one cup per day from 26 weeks. Then they can build up to two cups at 30 weeks, three cups at 36 weeks and 3-4 cups from 37 weeks.” Nicole suggests.
See some popular, top-rated raspberry leaf tea here.
#4: Dandelion leaf tea during pregnancy
“Dandelion leaf tea is a wonderful support in late pregnancy when 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.
It’s also considered to be a kidney tonic and gentle digestive, and is alkalising.
Nicole suggests adding dandelion leaf to another tea such as spearmint or chamomile, as it has a slightly bitter, grassy taste.
#5: Spearmint and peppermint tea during pregnancy
Spearmint and peppermint tea during pregnancy is great for relaxing your stomach muscles.
They’re great to help settle an upset stomach. These mint teas also help with nausea and vomiting, which is common in early pregnancy.
Spearmint is preferred to peppermint tea as it doesn’t increase reflux (as peppermint can).
Both are pregnancy safe teas, and are fine alone or in blends.
#6: Rooibos tea during pregnancy
Rooibos tea is highly recommended in pregnancy!
Nicole thinks this is the best tea for pregnancy, and switches most of her die-hard tea drinkers to rooibos during their pregnancies.
Of all the herbal teas, its taste is most similar to traditional black tea.
Rooibos is caffeine-free, contains calcium, magnesium and loads of antioxidants.
It also has positive effects on digestion, and can ease colic and reflux.
Unlike black tea, rooibos is not high in tannins, which reduce nutrient absorption.
Children can also drink rooibos.
It’s lovely with milk of your choice and a little honey.
Rooibos is also a great base for caffeine-free chai or iced tea.
You can now purchase special blends of pregnancy tea!
Pukka’s Motherkind Pregnancy Tea is a delicious blend of sustainably sourced, supportive herbs traditionally used during pregnancy, including Raspberry Leaf, Nettle, Chamomile, Peppermint and Shatavari.
Pregnant mothers-to-be give Motherkind Pregnancy Tea the big thumbs up, rating it a 4.7 out of 5.
Some reviewers have said:
“This tea is delicious and affordable. Used throughout my pregnancy.”
“I’m 28 weeks pregnant just bought this tea, and the flavour is great! Really tasty!”
Order some here.
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.”
Caffeine and low birth weight
Later, BMC Central also published research which again found caffeine to be implicated with low birth weight.
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.
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 caffeine consumption during pregnancy. For this reason, teas which are particularly high in caffeine should be restricted while you are pregnant.
Teas to avoid during pregnancy include:
- Black, e.g. english breakfast, earl grey, ceylon etc. (due to caffeine content)
- Green / matcha
- Lapsang souchong
- Hong mao
- Golden monkey black
- Quinshola clonal
Green tea during pregnancy
Wondering why it’s probably not a good idea to drink green tea during pregnancy?
Green tea contains high amounts of caffeine, and is said to reduce folate absorption.
If you’re a green tea lover, consider limiting yourself to maximum one cup a day, or try sourcing a caffeine-free green tea.
There is still some discussion concerning how safe green tea is for pregnant women.
Chai tea during pregnancy
Chai tea contains caffeine, but 1-2 cups per week is okay.
You can purchase dandelion chai at organic shops and healthy cafes, which is caffeine-free and great for your liver.
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)
- Liquorice Root
Nicole also advises to steer clear of rosemary, oregano and majoram in large amounts.
Otherwise, stick to the pregnancy safe tea list and feel free to sip away.
If you’re a coffee drinker and wondering how much you can have, check out our article here.
Please speak to your naturopath or herbalist if you have any concerns about which teas are safe to drink during pregnancy.
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A: If drinking tea is something you enjoy and you’re currently pregnant, you might want to know if it’s safe to continue drinking it. Well, in general, you can continue drinking safe herbal teas within the recommended doses. However, caffeinated teas such as green tea and black tea should be avoided.