Pregnancy brings with it a lot of unpleasant experiences. If you are an expecting mom, a significant other, even a friend of a pregnant woman, you understand that there are so many things that the condition will require. This includes the limitations on the foods and drinks that you may consume. One of these is coffee since it has a high caffeine content. Some prefers to drink other fluids, such as tea. Though tea, either herbal or non-herbal, has some trace of caffeine in them, what will be the best tea for pregnancy then? Is tea really safe for pregnancy?
Many have continuously enjoyed the benefits of drinking tea. Still, as not every tea is created equal, you may still need know which will be the best for your condition. If still in doubt, you can always consult your primary caregiver.
There are general guidelines that you also need to follow. For instance, some would say that the maximum amount of caffeine to take per day during pregnancy should not be more than 200 mg. This applies to both your coffee and tea consumption. It will depend on the concentration of the coffee that you use in a single serving or the amount of time that you infuse a tea bag into a cup of warm water.
Most pregnant women will not have difficulty avoiding coffee, but drinking tea is another thing for them. To help you get the most benefit from your cup or cups of tea, consider some of the suggestions that will be mentioned as you read through this post. As always, taking tea in moderation is a smart thing to do.
How much caffeine does your cup of tea contain?
It always pay to read the label. Remember that any product that you may buy may have other ingredients added into the pack to create a concoction that will entice your taste buds to want for more. Though herbal ingredients may seem to be safe for intake, take note that not all of them will provide the same effect on a pregnant woman like you.
Caffeine, a mild stimulant found in some plants, is also found in Camellia sinensis the plant that is used to produce tea variants, such as green, black, oolong, and white teas. Caffeine is said to affect a person’s mood, stamina, vascular system, digestive system, as well as other body functions.
Consuming food and drinks that have more than the recommended amount of caffeine can create unpleasant effects, however, such as irritability, anxiety, and insomia. Needless to say, you need to make sure that the amount of caffeine that your cup of tea may provide should just be enough to perk you up instead of wear you down. You can also opt to drink deccaffenieted teas instead for the refreshing taste without the jittery rush at the beginning or the sluggish feeling at the end.
Different cups of tea may have varying amount of caffeine content in them. A six-ounce cup of black tea, for instance, has about 50 milligrams of caffein, in general. This is less than half the amount in a regular cup of brewed coffee. Oolong tea provided in the same sized cup will contain about 30-40 milligrams of caffeine. A similarly-sized cup containing green tea may provide about 20-30 milligrams of caffeine, however. White tea, on the other hand, is said to contain the smallest amount of caffeine.
Take note, however, that the same tea can provide different amounts of caffeine depending on the formulation, the water used in making the tea, as well as the legthof time that the tea is infused in water. As such tea that is steeped in hot water longer is stronger and releases more caffeine. Tea made of smaller leaves also releases more caffeine than tea made of larger leaves.
The best thing that you can do As a general guideline, an 8-ounce cup of brewed tea provides around 47 mg of caffeine, but let’s take a look at the table below for a better understanding.
To identify the amount of caffeine in your favorite tea, check the label, as it should provide this piece of information. Once you know how much caffeine a cup of tea contains, it’s a lot easier to decide whether it’s healthy or not during pregnancy.
For example, if your favorite assortment only provides 20 mg of caffeine, there’s no reason to avoid drinking tea during the nine months, assuming it doesn’t contain other potentially harmful ingredients. And we’ll discuss these immediately, but if you want to make sure your baby health won’t be threatened in any way, check with your health care provider after verifying the amount of caffeine in your favorite beverage.
Unsafe teas during pregnancy
If you want to make sure your health and your baby’s development won’t be affected, it’s better to restrict the consumption of teas that are particularly high in caffeine. This list includes black tea, oolong tea and green tea, with their varieties. Earl grey, Darjeeling or Hong mao should also be avoided unless approved by your health care provider.
Tea assortments containing St. John’s Wort, ginseng, ephedra, yarrow or licorice root should be restricted. Consumption of chai tea should be avoided, and chamomile tea, despite its general health benefits, should also be restricted during pregnancy if you have a history of hay fever. Otherwise, this tea is generally safe.
Is tea safe in pregnant women or notOther herbs that lack sufficient scientific arguments in order to be allowed during pregnancy include lime blossom, comfrey, rose hip, anise and catnip. Rose hip tea for example is a great immunity enhancer and a good source of vitamin C, but there isn’t sufficient reliable information available, regarding its potential side-effects in pregnant women, so it’s better to avoid it.
Yellow dock and alfalfa tea are possibly unsafe, so despite their health benefits for non-pregnant women (high amounts of vitamin E, D, A and K, positive effects in preventing anemia and postpartum hemorrhage), they still need some strong scientific arguments to support their safety during the gestation period. Hibiscus, rosemary, mistletoe and sage tea should be consumed in limited amounts if approved by your health care provider.
A tip for reducing the amount of caffeine in your tea: generally, nearly 80% of the caffeine in tea leaves is extracted within the first 30 seconds of steeping, but you can reduce the final amount of this ingredient by following this method. First, steep the tea in hot water for 45 seconds, then discard the liquid and add fresh water to the leaves, brewing for the typical amount of time that’s recommended for your tea.
Safe teas and their benefits during pregnancy
As long as you stick with teas on the safe list, you shouldn’t experience any unpleasant symptom. On the contrary, these teas provide several health benefits, so it’s actually indicated to add them to your regular pregnancy menu, as both you and your baby can experience positive effects.
Ginger tea for example relieves stomach issues, eases nausea and morning sickness and ensures a healthier digestion. Raspberry leaf tea provides high amounts of magnesium and calcium, preventing post-partum hemorrhage and preparing the uterus for labor. It’s generally considered safe for pregnant women, although some health care providers only recommend using it after the first trimester.
Peppermint tea relaxes the stomach and relieves nausea and flatulence, being considered safe and good during pregnancy. Dandelion leaf tea is rich in vitamin A, iron and calcium, prevents excessive water retention, keeps the liver healthy and it’s usually considered safe. Lemon balm tea is recommended to pregnant women thanks to its calming effects and ability to relieve anxiety and irritability.
Nettle tea is typically considered a health enhancer, as it provides high amounts of calcium, vitamin A, K, C, iron and potassium. It’s widely used in “pregnancy teas”, but the Natural Medicines Database rates this as likely unsafe during pregnancy, as its health effects depend on the part of the plant that is used for preparing the tea. Overall nettle tea is a good pregnancy tonic, BUT make sure to check with your health care provider and to carefully read the label before consuming it.
Roiboos tea safe in pregnancyRooibos tea is perhaps the best for pregnant women, containing lots of calcium and magnesium and high amounts of antioxidants. It’s completely caffeine free and helps with digestion, prevents acid reflux, soothes the body’s reactions to allergens and prevents constipation.
Also, rooibos has beneficial effects relating to depression, the oscillating blood sugar levels during pregnancy, to skin problems, vomiting, heartburn and liver’s function. Still, make sure to always check labels, as some tea blends containing rooibos also incorporate not so safe ingredients.
In general, the herbs considered safe as foods during pregnancy are also allowed for tea preparation, but it’s better to check for any contraindication on the label, even when purchasing a tea that’s otherwise considered safe. No FDA regulation specifically addresses herbal teas, hence the health concerns regarding some of these teas.
As a conclusion, tea may or may not be safe during pregnancy, depending on the type you choose and on how you prepare it. But as long as you stick with the safe teas, this beverage provides important health benefits, as it’s high in polyphenols that protect the heart, in antioxidants that enhance immunity and lower the risk of inflammations, and loaded with vitamins and minerals that ensure and overall healthier body.
Teas can relieve morning sickness, abdominal cramps, swelling of legs due to excessive water retention, and even back pain and migraines that often accompany pregnancy. Make sure to check with your health care provider and get his or her approval to enjoy your favorite beverage, then go ahead and brew a flavorful cup of hot tea, for you and your coming bab