Herbal Teas During Pregnancy

Tea, which continues to be popular around the world, is a beverage that some women can consume during pregnancy to meet their increased fluid needs. Many may believe that tea is probably safe to drink while pregnant because it is natural. In fact, women may benefit from reducing their intake of some teas and avoiding others altogether throughout pregnancy.
There are two main types of tea; herbal and non-herbal. Non-herbal teas are made from the leaves of tea plants. They contain caffeine. Even the decaffeinated form contains some caffeine.
It is generally recommended that pregnant women limit the amount of caffeine they consume each day. This is because a developing baby cannot process caffeine in their system like an adult. This includes all types of caffeine, not just caffeine in tea. Caffeine is found in foods and beverages, including chocolate, coffee and soda.
If you consume more than one source of caffeine per day during pregnancy, the amount of caffeine in your body will increase. For this reason, it is important to be aware of all sources of caffeine.
Caffeine can easily cross the placenta, and the baby’s immature liver has difficulty breaking it down. Therefore, infants are likely to experience side effects from consuming amounts of caffeine that are safe for adults.
Research shows that babies who consume too much caffeine during pregnancy may have an increased risk of premature birth or low birth weight. It may also increase the risk of miscarriage and stillbirth. Pregnant women’s caffeine intake appears to be minimal when limited to a maximum of 300 mg per day.

  • Matcha: 60-80 mg
  • Oolong Tea: 38-58 mg
  • Black Tea: 47-53 mg
  • Chai: 47-53 mg
  • White Tea: 25-50 mg
  • Green Tea: 29-49 mg
    Teas that may increase your risk of miscarriage or premature birth include:
  • Fennel
    • Cemen grass
  • Sage
  • Vervain
  • Borage
  • Sparrow
  • Licorice
    • Oregano
  • Snapdragon
  • lovage
  • Blue snake
  • Frankincense (large quantities)
  • Chamomile (large quantities)
    Teas that may stimulate or increase menstrual bleeding:
  • Snapdragon
  • lovage
  • Frankincense
    Teas that may increase the risk of birth defects:
  • Snapdragon
  • Borage
    In rare cases, eucalyptus tea may cause nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea. One case report suggests that drinking chamomile tea regularly during pregnancy may cause poor blood flow to the baby’s heart.
    Note that due to the limited amount of research regarding the safety of herbal teas, a lack of evidence of negative side effects should not be taken as evidence that tea is safe to drink during pregnancy.
    Until more is known, it may be best for pregnant women to remain cautious and avoid drinking teas that have not yet been shown to be safe during pregnancy.
    However, according to several studies, herbal teas containing the following ingredients may be safe to drink during pregnancy:
    Raspberry Leaf: This tea is considered probably safe and has been used to shorten the duration of labor, help the uterus prepare for birth, strengthen the uterus, and prevent excessive bleeding after birth.
    Peppermint: This tea is considered probably safe and is commonly used to relieve gas, nausea, stomach pain, or heartburn. However, no studies have been found to support these benefits.
    Ginger: It is one of the most studied herbal teas during pregnancy and is considered possibly safe. Research shows that it reduces nausea and vomiting, but when dried and consumed that way, it should not exceed 1 gram per day.
    Lemongrass: This tea is considered probably safe and is commonly used to relieve anxiety, nervousness, and insomnia. However, no studies have been found to support these uses, and their safety has not been studied in pregnancy.
    There is some debate about whether these teas are safe during the first trimester of pregnancy. Therefore, it may be best to avoid drinking these two teas during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.

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