Tea time: Is it safe to drink tea during pregnancy?

Tea has become very popular these days. With more and more teas filling up the supermarket shelves and menus on coffee and tea shops it can become tricky to know if they are safe to consume while pregnant. For starters, you must know that there are two types of teas: caffeinated and herbal. Caffeinated teas include green tea, black tea, English breakfast tea and all other teas containing caffeine. Herbal teas, on the other hand, are free of caffeine. Most herbal teas are safe to consume during pregnancy and some caffeinated teas are too. If you are drinking tea with caffeine make sure not to exceed the maximum of 200 – 300 mg of caffeine permitted per day. If you are a big tea and coffee drinker, try to cut down and choose herbal options instead.

Benefits of drinking herbal teas

We have some great news! Some herbal teas can be beneficial during gestation because they help with relaxation and contain vitamins and minerals. But since there are hundreds of herbal teas on the market, it’s important to talk with your doctor about what you like so you can choose safe and regulated tea brands. Also, keep in mind that, although it’s natural and beneficial, it’s important consume tea within the recommended amounts.

Aside from water – the best beverage- herbal tea is way better than a caffeinated drink or worse, soda. Caffeinated drinks have a diuretic effect and cause dehydration in the body, while herbal teas do not usually have this effect. In fact, most herbal teas can be full of antioxidants, have a calming effect and might even reduce nausea and prepare the uterus for labor.

So… which teas are safe?

• Ginger tea: great for diminishing nausea and aiding in digestion.
• Nettle tea: Contains iron, magnesium and calcium
• Raspberry leaf tea: Might prepare the uterus for labor and prevent postpartum hemorrhage.
• Peppermint tea: Great for decreasing nausea and settling an upset stomach.
• Rooibos tea: Full of antioxidants and can ease reflux, a common symptom during pregnancy.
• Dandelion leaf tea: This tea can have a gentle diuretic effect, helpful for late pregnancy fluid retention.

Teas to avoid
• Caffeinated teas such as: green, black, Oolong, Earl Grey
• Herbal teas such as: St John’ Wort, ginseng, yarrow, licorice root, chamomile (only if you have a history of hayfever).

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