Introduction: overview of tea consumption during pregnancy
According to the UK Tea & Infusions Associations, the British people alone drink 100-million cups of tea every day. That’s almost 36 billion per year
....So it's obvious to say that us Brits enjoy a good cuppa!
A cup of tea is a wonderful thing: a way to unwind after a busy day; the comforting drink that allows you to reconnect with loved ones; a simple pleasure that soothes the stresses of a hectic lifestyle; and perhaps your newfound pregnancy companion.
Many of us enjoy tea as a part of our daily diet and lifestyle, any many women have also found that tea helps to manage stress and ease their pregnancy related symptoms – but what is the safe amount of tea in pregnancy?
In this blog we breakdown the dos and don’ts when it comes to tea consumption during pregnancy, helping to ensure that your pregnancy is comfortable, calm and manageable.
Types of Tea: Categorising teas and their caffeine levels
With so many delicious teas to choose from, the hardest decision you should have to make is which flavour is your favourite. Consider different blends and the varying caffeine levels in your favourite cuppas:
Green tea is a popular and ancient beverage enjoyed for its numerous health benefits and distinctive flavour. It is made from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant, the same plant used to produce black and oolong teas. What sets green tea apart is its minimal oxidation during processing, which helps it retain its natural green-ish colour and a unique set of compounds. Green tea contains caffeine, although in lower amounts than coffee, making it a safe option during pregnancy. It also contains various beneficial compounds, such as antioxidants and polyphenols, which can be healthy for you and your growing bump.
Raspberry leaf tea is often consumed by pregnant women because it is believed to have potential benefits in preparing the uterus for labour and easing childbirth. Raspberry leaf tea itself does not contain caffeine. It is naturally caffeine-free, making it a suitable choice for pregnant women who want to avoid caffeine during pregnancy. The potential benefits of raspberry leaf tea in pregnancy are associated with its high content of vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin C, iron, and magnesium, as well as compounds like tannins and flavonoids. It's recommended that you don't start drinking Raspberry Leaf tea until you are 32 weeks pregnant.
Peppermint tea is a delicious and safe option when it comes to pregnancy and beverages. It is a caffeine-free herbal tea made from the leaves of the peppermint plant, ideal when considering that caffeine intake during pregnancy needs to be reduced. This makes it a suitable choice for pregnant women who wish to avoid caffeine. Peppermint tea is often used to alleviate various pregnancy-related discomforts, such as nausea and digestive issues. It has a pleasant and soothing flavour and is known for its potential to help with morning sickness and indigestion.
Ginger tea is generally considered safe and can be a beneficial choice during pregnancy, especially for managing nausea and vomiting, which are common pregnancy symptoms. Ginger tea is naturally caffeine-free, so you don't need to be concerned about its caffeine content. The active compounds in ginger have been studied for their potential anti-nausea and anti-inflammatory effects, which can make it a helpful remedy for morning sickness and other gastrointestinal discomfort during pregnancy. Some studies have suggested that ginger tea shouldn’t be consumed when a woman is nearing labour as it can increase the risk of bleeding, perhaps meaning it is wise to consume ginger tea during your first trimester.
Myrtle & Maude have the perfect blend if you are looking for Peppermint & Ginger Tea which is formulated to help ease those queasy days.....
Still can’t find a flavour that you fancy?
Be sure to browse our range of Pregnancy Teas, where you are sure to find something that suits your taste and needs perfectly....
Caffeine Limit: Recommended caffeine intake for pregnant women
Many of us rely on caffeine to get through our busy days, and there’s no denying that a cup of coffee, whether made at home or bought from a local coffee cafe, can be a delicious start to your day.
The caffeine limit for pregnant women is a topic of considerable concern and discussion among healthcare professionals. Most experts agree that moderate caffeine consumption while pregnant is generally safe.
The NHS recommends that you can have a cuppa of caffeinated tea or coffee, but no more than 200mg per day.
Excessive caffeine intake during pregnancy has been associated with an increased risk of miscarriage, preterm birth, and low birth weight. Caffeine crosses the placenta and can affect the developing foetus, as it takes longer for the body to eliminate caffeine during pregnancy, leading to higher levels in the bloodstream.
It's important to remain mindful not only of coffee but also other sources of caffeine, such as tea, soft drinks, energy drinks, and certain medications. It's essential to read labels and be aware of hidden sources of caffeine.
Herbal Teas: Are they safe?
Herbal teas can be a safe and soothing choice for pregnant women, but caution is essential because not all herbal teas are created equal. Some herbal teas have been used for centuries to alleviate common pregnancy discomforts, while others may have potential risks. Here are some key points to consider when it comes to herbal teas and pregnancy:
Safe Herbal Teas
Certain herbal teas are generally considered safe during pregnancy. These include ginger tea for nausea, peppermint tea for digestive relief, and raspberry leaf tea in the third trimester to potentially aid in labour preparation. However, it's crucial to use them in moderation.
Avoid Certain Herbs
Some herbs can be harmful during pregnancy. For example, avoid teas containing high levels of caffeine, like tea. Additionally, herbal teas containing liquorice root, Roman chamomile, or certain other herbs should be used with caution and in limited amounts.
Here is a list of herbs to avoid during pregnancy: HERE
Consult Your Healthcare Provider
It's always wise to consult with your healthcare provider before incorporating new herbal teas into your diet during pregnancy. They can provide personalised guidance based on your health, medical history and pregnancy circumstances.
Commercial Herbal Blends
Pre-packaged herbal tea blends may contain a variety of herbs, so it's essential to read the ingredient list carefully. If you're uncertain about the safety of a particular blend, consult your healthcare provider.
Medical Advice: What do experts say?
Generally, medical experts are just concerned about the amount of caffeine in teas when being consumed during pregnancy because of the risks associated with caffeine consumption during pregnancy.
Many professionals recommend that pregnant women should limit their caffeine intake to about 200 milligrams per day, which is roughly equivalent to one 12-ounce cup of coffee.
Various studies and reports have highlighted the negative impact that caffeine can have on the body, as well as your unborn baby, during pregnancy, which is why managing the amount you drink is so crucial.
Risks and Precautions: What to watch out for
Anything you put into your body, especially if it is not something you do not normally consume, should be managed with care during pregnancy. Consuming tea during pregnancy is generally safe, but there are certain things to keep in mind:
1. Are the Herbs in the blend safe
Herbal teas can be beneficial, but not all herbs are safe during pregnancy. Some herbs may have adverse effects on the foetus or cause contractions. It's essential to be cautious and consult with your healthcare provider before consuming herbal teas. Common herbs to avoid or use sparingly include Oregano, Liquorice, Rosemary, Roman chamomile, amongst others.
Staying well-hydrated is crucial during pregnancy, so it's essential to balance tea consumption with water intake. Drinking too much tea, particularly caffeinated varieties, can potentially lead to dehydration.
3. Quality and Safety
Ensure that the tea you consume is of high quality and free from contaminants. Avoid herbal teas from unverified sources or those with added substances that may not be safe during pregnancy. A good sign that a tea is of high quality is if it is certified Organic with a governing body as the brand have to go through strict audits ensuring the herbs are traceable, GMO free and pesticide free.
Tea is one of life’s simple pleasures, and there’s no reason why you shouldn’t enjoy it safely throughout every stage of your pregnancy.
Be mindful of your choices, reach for teas that support your specific pregnancy related issues and manage the amounts of caffeine you consume to ensure your pregnancy is safe from beginning to end.