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“There is no trouble so great or grave that cannot be much diminished by a nice cup of tea”, said the famous philosopher Bernard-Paul Heroux.
A warm cup of aromatic tea is a great way to help you relax and unwind. When you are expecting, you will have some reservations about what drinks to consume. Most women consciously keep away from coffee as it contains high amounts of caffeine. But these reservations dilute in a comforting cup of tea that can ease the morning sickness and uplift your mood. Herbal tea offers multiple health benefits and can ease physical discomfort and mental stress during pregnancy.
Is It Safe to Drink Tea during Pregnancy?
Yes, it is considered safe and even beneficial to drink certain teas during pregnancy. Tea contains polyphenols that protect your heart. Packed with antioxidants, it boosts your immunity and lowers risk of certain cancers. However, pregnant women must exercise moderation and stay away from some teas that can be unsafe at this time.
Herbal teas are a great alternative for expecting mothers to combat anxiety and stress that comes with pregnancy. Herb-infused tea water is a great way to hydrate the body. While most teas are safe to drink during pregnancy, some are best avoided. It is recommended that you consult your doctor before trying something new during pregnancy.
Amount of Caffeine Tea Contains
Caffeine can be too stimulating during pregnancy, and most women avoid caffeinated beverages during this period. It is safe for you to consume about 200 milligrams of caffeine a day during pregnancy.
The percentage of caffeine in your cup of tea can change based on the way it is prepared, the water temperature, steeping period and the size of leaves. In general, a cup of non-herbal options like chai or milk tea, white tea, green tea, and black or oolong tea contains about 40-50 milligrams of caffeine. Herbal teas, on the other hand, contain about 0.4 milligrams of caffeine making them a safer option to consider during pregnancy.
Safe Teas To Consume During Pregnancy
Herbal teas, also known as TISANES, are made by infusing leaves, berries, roots, bark, flowers and seeds of various plants that offer medicinal benefits to the drinker. They are available in many combinations. Some teas that are safe to be consumed during pregnancy are:
- Ginger Tea is a great way to combat morning sickness. It relieves stomach pains, alleviates nausea and aids digestion. A few slices of ginger boiled in hot water and served with honey are good for pregnant woman. You can also prepare milk chai with ginger.
- Peppermint tea helps ease vomiting sensations and nausea. It also helps relax stomach muscles, and eases gas and bloating. It is great for morning sickness and can lift your mood instantly
- Red raspberry leaf tea consumed from the third trimester onwards helps prevent post-partum haemorrhage and tone uterine muscles for efficient contractions during labour. It is high in magnesium and calcium. Please note that it should be avoided in the initial period of pregnancy (first and second trimester)
- Roobios tea is a caffeine-free option packed with zinc, iron, calcium, magnesium and antioxidants. It helps fight free radicals and detoxify the body. It also helps ease acid reflux and aids digestion. It enhances absorption of iron in the body and helps fight allergies, cold and other infections. A cup of this tea is a great way to boost immunity
- Nettle tea is high in vitamins A, C and K, and rich in minerals like iron, magnesium, potassium and calcium. It is recommended to be included in the second and third trimesters. It should be avoided in the first trimester as it can lead to stimulation of uterus and result in miscarriage
- Dandelion tea is high in calcium, iron and potassium. It is a gentle and effective diuretic remedy during pregnancy. It also eases fluid retention
- Chamomile tea is a good source of magnesium and calcium and helps ease inflammation of joints. It prevents insomnia and promotes effective labour contraction. However, avoid chamomile if you have a history of hay fever
- Lemon balm tea offers a calming effect and helps fight insomnia, anxiety and irritability during pregnancy
- Rosehip tea, also termed as ‘Elixir of Youth’, is rich in vitamin C. It helps reduce swelling and fights flu. It can also help reduce the number of trips to the restroom
You can even make your own blend of herbal teas by adding different ingredients like honey, cinnamon, cloves, citrus rinds, and fruit juices to boiling water. You can also consume decaffeinated green or black tea.
Benefits of Drinking Safe Pregnancy Teas
Sipping pregnancy-safe teas provides a host of benefits. Each herb has different medicinal properties and you can choose the best tea based on your requirement and mood. Pregnancy-safe teas are a wise choice to make over caffeinated beverages because they:
- Help ease morning sickness, nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea
- Help lower anxiety and stress levels
- Prepare the uterus for labour
- Provide nutrients in an easy way
- Make water consumption delicious and easy
How to Choose Safe Tea to Drink?
Herbal teas are naturally caffeine-free. This makes them beneficial and safe when compared to non-herbal options. However, not all herbs are safe for consumption during pregnancy. You need to check the ingredients list and consult your healthcare practitioner for the list of safe teas. Read the labels carefully before choosing your chai.
Moderation is the key when it comes to consumption of anything during pregnancy. This applies to your cup of tea as well. You can start with a small amount and see how your body reacts to it before including more quantities to your daily regime.
Do not sip a tea if you are not sure of the ingredients and their benefits. Avoid unfamiliar ingredients as you are not sure of how they will affect your body or the baby.
How Much Tea You Should Drink
It is best to practice moderation during pregnancy. Since it is safe to consume 200 milligrams of caffeine a day, you can sip three to four cups of non-herbal teas without any harm. Note that overdose of caffeine can double the risk of miscarriage.
Teas To Avoid
Prevention is better than cure. In case of doubt about the safety of a certain tea, you should always check with your doctor. Some of the herbal teas to be avoided during pregnancy are:
- Sage tea is linked with high blood pressure and miscarriage
- Parsley tea affects the development of foetus and increases the risk of miscarriage
- Hibiscus tea induces contraction and results in miscarriage
- Lobelia tea contains nicotine
- Poppy Seeds tea needs to be avoided completely
- Senna Leaves tea is a natural laxative
- Aloe tea induces labour and contraction
- Green tea is high in caffeine and reduces absorption of folic acid
- Any diet tea, PMS, detoxification or cleansing tea
- Any tea that includes herbs to induce abortion, contraction and labour
- Any tea that has diuretic effects and contains herbal laxatives such as black cohosh, blue cohosh, cocoa, dong quai, alfalfa, anise, basil, calendula, catnip, fenugreek, fennel, gingko, ginseng, juniper, lemongrass, mistletoe, nutmeg, rhubarb, and yellow dock
Possible Side Effects of Drinking Unsafe Pregnancy Tea
If any herb in your cup of tea is unsafe for consumption during pregnancy, such a drink should be completely avoided. Such teas could contain high levels of caffeine or chemicals that can damage the growth and wellness of the unborn baby. Drinking pregnancy-unsafe teas can lead to multiple complications that can result in miscarriage, abortion or induce premature contraction and labour.
Decaf Your Tea at Home
While regular tea contains 40-50 mg of caffeine, decaffeinated tea contains only about 0.4 milligrams of caffeine. When steeping tea, caffeine is the first substance to release. Decaf can be done easily at home by steeping the tea bag in hot water for 30 seconds, throwing away the water, refilling the cup with hot water, and steeping again. This process removes most of the caffeine from your favourite cup of tea.
It is said that Tea can be good for pregnancy if you select the right tea. If you consume a pregnancy-safe tea and drink in moderation, it can help you lower anxiety and stress. Consult your doctor to understand which tea you can drink during pregnancy and the quantity that is safe for you.