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Pregnancy is one of the delightful phases a woman may experience in her life yet also one that is filled with so much caution to take heed of. Can Pregnant Women Drink Tea? Every bit that goes into the mother’s mouth may affect pass right through her womb, reaching her unborn baby.
Me, for sure, could relate to being in this situation, trice. A Hattrick I would say.
Even as simple as her favorite drink, as common as a cup of tea, which is the most widely consumed beverage apart from plain water, and can be found in almost any household. One of the usual beverages that can be served hot or chilled, on any occasion and any time of the day.
Can Pregnant Women Drink Tea? Is tea safe?
But is it safe? That’s the question.
Though the immediate answer may seem like it is a ‘No’ there are some merciful ‘loopholes’, in making it generally safe when consumed in moderation. Yes, Moderation is the key here.
So, what are the factors that a pregnant woman needs to take into consideration before sipping that warm, aromatic cup of golden brew?
Well, firstly, teas are usually made by brewing the leaves from an amazing plant commonly known by its scientific name, Camellia sinensis. This plant is also the key ingredient to the many variations of teas available widely. To name a few, they are Black, Green, Oolong, White, and Pu’erh.
Secondly, the term “tea” could be anything that is made from the Camellia sinensis plant. Infusions, on the other hand, that are made from leaves, bark, roots, berries, seeds, and spices are called ‘herbal tea’. Two very common such teas or infusions are mint and chamomile.
What makes tea unsafe and why?
Well, the answer is Caffeine. Tea leaves contain approximately about three percent caffeine content by weight. That is 11mg in every 100 grams of tea leaves. Now, does that seem quite a lot?
So, what is caffeine exactly that makes such a soothing drink to be so unsafe?
It is a form of drug that promotes an increased level of the activity of your brain and nervous system. Although it can be found in many drinks such as coffee, tea, soft drinks, and energy drinks, it is likely unsafe when used in very high content as it can result in irregular heartbeat and even death.
Other side effects may include insomnia, nervousness, restlessness, nausea, headache, anxiety, and chest pain. Considering the many difficulties from being able to sleep in a good position to having a deep sleep, and all the discomforts, I’m sure you would not want the additional issues that you may have to face derived from an overdose of caffeine.
What is the safe amount of tea for pregnant women?
Can Pregnant Women Drink Tea? in a moderate amount while pregnant, as long as you take some precautions? When comparing a cup of black tea to a cup of green tea of its caffeine content, the black tea has about 50 milligrams of caffeine while green tea has 25 milligrams of caffeine.
Given the fact that black, green, and white teas all contain caffeine, it can be easily exceeded especially if one simply enjoys it and it gives a form of relief or is the go-to remedy drink that eases the many pregnancy discomforts a pregnant woman may be facing.
It has been advised (Healthxchange, Singhealth- Singapore) that pregnant women take close monitoring of their caffeine intake to not be than 200 milligrams per day. Changes can be made to a daily routine of caffeine consumption, while being pregnant, adjusting it to only 2 cups per day.
When consuming other foods and drinks it is important to know if they may contain any amount of caffeine. This is because some carbonated drinks and those beverages containing chocolate may have small amounts of caffeine in them. Hence, these food and drinks are to be consumed with care. A wise treat I would say.
Which tea is safe during pregnancy?
Most caffeinated teas, be black, white, or green teas in moderation are safe during pregnancy as long as they do not cause the pregnant woman’s total daily caffeine intake to exceed 200mg. However, those who are particularly sensitive to caffeine may benefit from aiming for a maximum of 100 mg of caffeine per day.
So be mindful of the amount of tea you sip to be within the recommended limit, for pregnant women.
Another very important matter to always lookout is that if it is regulated by the authorities hence to be used with caution, especially with herbal teas,
- Ginger tea: This makes an excellent herbal tea for pregnancy as it is naturally caffeine-free. Personally, it was one I could drink easily and it help the flatulence reduce. Ginger has calming properties and is soothing for the stomach, It helps to alleviate and provide relief for women who are feeling nauseous and vomiting as well as uterine cramping in early pregnancy.
- Peppermint tea: Peppermint is a very commonly used herbal medicine in pregnancy. It does not harm the mother or the unborn baby, as proven by studies that have been conducted. However, large amounts are to be avoided and also in the first trimester because it can stimulate menstruation.
- Green tea: It is generally safe for pregnant women, but one still has to be mindful when it comes to caffeine content. Though green tea may have lesser caffeine compared to coffee or black tea, the same is not applied in the case of brewed green tea. About 28 mg of caffeine may be found in a cup of brewed green tea. Herbal teas would make a better option as it contains only about 0.4 milligrams of caffeine per cup. While on the other hand, about 40 to 50 milligrams of caffeine can be found per cup of non-herbal teas like black tea, green tea, and oolong tea.
- chamomile tea: A cup of warm, aromatic chamomile tea just before bed could melt away all the stress and relax you! One I could hardly resist especially after a very tiring day feeling all sore, and all you need is a relaxing and good sleep. But again, stick to having it in small amounts, like 1-2 cups a day. However, due to the lack of supporting data and facts concerning its long-term safety, chamomile is not recommended for pregnant women, especially for long-term use. Ensure that you check with your doctor before including it in your diet for long-term usage.
- Red raspberry leaf tea: This tasty tangy tea is well known to be the labor including tea as it helps in preparing the uterus for birth. It stimulates uterine contractions and shortens the overall length of labor. Though some experts do recommend it, and some studies to showing that it can stimulate contractions, there’s little to no evidence that it works.
So be cautious to avoid it during the first trimester but recommended in the third trimester to help with labor. Based on my personal experience, I fall into the category of those women who drank it and yet sadly did not have any of the above-said effects. But yes, the tea was nice.
To sum up, ginger tea and peppermint tea are considered the safest, however, some herbal teas have been highlighted to be avoided totally as they have been linked to pregnancy complications.
What teas should you avoid when pregnant?
Although some teas such as black, green, matcha, oolong, white, and chai may be generally safe when consumed within the limits, as it still contains caffeine, there are other teas to avoid, as they can have harmful effects that could lead to preterm birth and miscarriage.
Teas such as the black and blue cohosh and Dong Quai tea can cause uterine contraction leading to a miscarriage or preterm birth. It is also strongly advised to avoid ginseng tea as it can cause birth defects and growth impairment.
Don’t risk it, stay away from these!
Teas which has insufficient information about safety
Lemon balm: This is a minty, refreshing and citrusy tea that is possibly safe and commonly used to alleviate anxiety, stress, insomnia, and prevent infections. However, studies supporting these uses, and their safety hasn’t been demonstrated in pregnancy
Dandelion tea / Rosehip tea: There is not much-supporting information on them yet to know if it’s safe in pregnancy
So, how now?
So, before you drink tea, make sure you are aware of its caffeine content, and always seek your healthcare provider’s advice before you brew to make sure your favorite teas are safe for both you and the precious little ones you are carrying in you.
And remember, while some teas might be safe and soothing for a pregnant person, others have too much caffeine or other dangerous ingredients. Herbal teas, though maybe healthy, aren’t always safe for pregnancy. Be safe, make wise choices that suit your palate, and if possible without compromising on what’s best for you and your baby.
See you on the next read on another topic for discussion, as I rest my keyboard, for now, reaching out for my cuppa.