Teas and Pregnancy – Teas to Avoid During Pregnancy and Teas to Enjoy!
It’s no secret that soon-to-be-moms always want the very best experience from their months of pregnancy. This is why they are usually very cautious about the things they can or cannot consume. It’s not just about the occasional foods and beverages; when it comes down to teas and pregnancy, it’s also about the ones they enjoy on a regular basis, like all of those delicious cups of tea!
While tea certainly does have its benefits, one can’t help but wonder whether teas and pregnancy are a good mix and if regularly drinking your favorite cup of tea is okay when you are expecting.
Can you continue to drink green tea during pregnancy? Are herbal teas (tisanes) safe during pregnancy? These are two of the more common concerns, but there are more.
Read on and find out which ones are good, which teas to avoid during pregnancy, and how some teas can help you through your pregnancy, labor, and even postpartum. Let’s take a look at some myths and facts!
Teas and Pregnancy – Myths and Facts: Drinking Teas During and After Your Pregnancy
Myth or Fact: Drinking teas such as green tea when you are expecting can be dangerous because of the caffeine content.
According to research, caffeine in tea affects the fetus as well as the mother during pregnancy. While this means that drinking coffee is generally a no-no (and you’d probably be better off staying away from it), many kinds of herbal teas have zero to just a small amount of caffeine in them.
Choosing herbal teas (tisanes) will assure you that you can still get the soothing benefits of tea without being concerned about consuming too much caffeine.
Plus, herbal teas are so beneficial in providing our bodies (pregnant or not) with hydration and wonderful nutrients that we can effortlessly absorb.
And what about all of the Vitamin C and marvelous antioxidants in herbals? These teas are full of it! Such a marvelous way to reduce anxiety and stress in our lives on a regular basis, but especially during pregnancy when you need to be as stress-free as possible.
If you can’t stay away from non-herbal teas like your green teas, then try to limit your weekly tea drinking to just several cups a week and/or purchase a good quality decaffeinated tea to drink.
You may have heard that it is possible to decaffeinate your tea at home. The usual recommendation you might run across out there is to boil your water, pour the water over your leaves (or tea bag), steep for twenty to forty-five minutes and dispose of this water.
Then you prepare your brew again, and by doing this, supposedly, you took out anywhere from fifty to ninety percent of the caffeine, but miraculously you still have the lovely flavor and almost all of the antioxidant benefits.
DO NOT FALL FOR THIS! It doesn’t make much sense if you think about it and it’s just not true. It’s unfortunate because this would have been such a fantastic, easy way of getting good decaf tea.
I’m sure there were and probably still are hundreds of people doing this, but science has shown us that by following this method, many of the antioxidants disappear while most of the caffeine remains.
Now, tea decaffeination is an intense and complicated subject, and I’m not getting into that here, but if you would like to educate yourself more about it you can click here: https://chadao.blogspot.com/2008/02/caffeine-and-tea-myth-and-reality.html to read the article by Nigel Melican who is one of the world’s top authorities on tea.
Verdict: It’s a fact. You can still enjoy your teas such as herbals (and reap their benefits) as long as you know which ones are good for you and which ones to avoid. If you can’t give up your green tea or other caffeinated teas, simply try to reduce your caffeinated tea drinking frequency.
Myth or Fact (Herbal teas and pregnancy): Herbal teas have toxins that make them unsafe for consumption during and after pregnancy.
On the one hand, it’s true that certain herbal teas could have unwanted effects on the pregnancy. Steer clear of herbal teas used for PMS, cleansing, slimming, and detoxification. Avoid these at all times when you are pregnant.
But then, you also have access to a lot of herbs and herbal teas whose consumption is encouraged when you are pregnant. Many herbal teas contain needed nutrition, have many other benefits, and relieve unwanted symptoms for women during and after pregnancy.
We will be discussing this topic further.
Verdict: It’s a Fact both ways! There are certain herbal teas that you should NEVER drink while you are pregnant or breastfeeding, but there are others that you can continue to enjoy and some of these are even quite good for you during this magical time.
Teas to Avoid During Pregnancy and Breastfeeding
In general, it’s best to take these non-herbal teas off the menu during pregnancy, mainly because of their higher caffeine content. If you can’t live without them, make sure you cut way back on your consumption. The following are the ones that fall into the “Avoid” category:
- Black Tea
- Green Tea
- Oolong Tea
- LiChee Tea
- Lapsang Souchong Tea
- Hong Mao Tea
- Golden Monkey Black Tea
- Quinshola Clonal Tea
- Nilgiris Tea
- Earl Grey Tea
- Darjeeling Tea
It’s not that caffeine is entirely harmful to you or your (unborn) baby, but it’s probably a wiser choice to limit your caffeine consumption until after the baby is born. And if breastfeeding, until he or she is well into baby foods and not dependent on breast milk anymore.
There are also certain kinds of herbal teas that are not pregnancy friendly and may contain specific herbs that are best avoided by those who are pregnant. These teas may have substances that can cause miscarriage, premature birth, uterine contractions, or even injury to the fetus. The following are some of those to stay away from:
- St. John’s Wort
- Dong Quai
- Pennyroyal (may cause miscarriage)
- Licorice Root
These herbal teas (and herbs) may be beneficial for you, but not while you are
pregnant or breastfeeding.
Which Teas are Good During and After Pregnancy?
Some herbal teas are excellent for you if you are pregnant or have just given birth. These herbs are known to be used in pregnancy teas or breastfeeding teas and help you in many different ways. They have been found to be low in caffeine, and so pose less risk for you and your baby. Here are some of them and their benefits:
– Red Raspberry Leaf: This incredible herbal tea which has a high content of magnesium and calcium assists with getting your uterus ready for labor while also helping to prevent hemorrhaging after delivery (post-partum)
– Ginger Root: Helps alleviate nausea and vomiting (bye-bye morning sickness)
– Peppermint leaf: Great to sip on when your stomach is upset since it helps the muscles relax. Similar to ginger, it also helps relieve the vomiting and nauseousness during your early stages of pregnancy.
– Dandelion Root and Leaf: High in potassium. Provides vitamin A, calcium, and iron. Can relieve edema and nourish the liver. In later stages of pregnancy, it can be a real help when a lot of women experience issues with fluid retention. It acts as a very effective, mild diuretic but its flavor can be somewhat bitter and grassy tasting. If the flavor is too intense for you, try mixing it with one of your more preferred teas.
– German Chamomile: Helps with sleeplessness and joint inflammation, plus it’s an excellent source of calcium and magnesium
– Nettle leaf (not root): Full of nutrition. It provides vitamin A, C, and K, calcium, potassium, and iron
– Alfalfa: Provides vitamin K and prevents postpartum hemorrhage
– Yellow Dock: Provides vitamin A, C, calcium, and iron, and helps to treat anemia
– Rooibos Tea: One of the most recommended teas for pregnant women. Apart from the many antioxidants it has, it is also rich in calcium and magnesium. Even if one is not pregnant, this tea is so helpful to those who suffer from acid reflux. Good for digestion and digestive issues.
Words of Advice When Considering Teas During and After Your Pregnancy;
Before choosing which teas to drink while you are pregnant, always consult your midwife or doctor first about the kind of tea that can be beneficial for your condition.
Doing your research on the different effects of herbs will also help you in deciding which herbal tea is good for you and your soon-to-be-born baby.
Buying commercial herbal pregnancy tea is also a better bet in making sure that the tea you drink is safe. Their ingredients have gone through testing, and the type and ratio of herbs are just right.
Non-commercial herbal teas which are usually self-made aren’t bad; you just need to be sure that the herbs in them are not excessive and that they aren’t full of caffeine.
If you are breastfeeding your baby, then just be aware that breastfeeding teas are completely different and not to be consumed during your pregnancy.
Remember (and it can’t be stressed enough) to always speak with your doctor or midwife first to determine which is the best tea for you and your pregnancy!
Also, if you’d like to read more about the effects of consuming caffeine while pregnant, there is some very useful information for you from BioMed Central. https://bmcmedicine.biomedcentral.com6/articles/10.1186/s12916-014-0174-