Which teas are safe to consume during pregnancy?
As I sit here at my desk at 6.am prepping and compiling this latest post, its dark, its dank and it is raining. Not quite the Monday morning start I had hoped for.
Although yesterday we were incredibly lucky as we headed to Moors Country Park for a day of cycling and some much needed family time as a foursome. To be honest it was exactly what we all needed after a particularly stressful week and so, armed with nothing but our bikes and a map we headed off to enjoy the tranquillity of the forest for a day of serenity and exploration. This morning however, its back to the grind, having just kissed the husband goodbye as he heads out the door for work whilst the kiddies are still wrapped up warm snoozing in their beds. Mayhem will most definitely commence in roughly 60 minutes or so, but for now…. Its mama’s time.
If we’re confessing our sins I’m a bit of a coffee girl throughout the day ( Yes I know I know – I’m trying to ween myself off the black stuff I promise ) but I also love nothing more than curling up in bed with a good read and a cup of herbal tea to send me off to the land of nod. It has, become somewhat of a lock-down ritual in our house. Yes, we live a rock’n’roll kinda lifestyle where the husband and I now relish at the thought of heading to bed at 8.30.pm with a cup of Chai and a good read. So, when you love tea as much as I do, you can imagine my delight when I was gifted with a gorgeous set of herbal teas from Oaka Tea last week. Just one of the perks of writing a blog on pregnancy and motherhood, which I am always eternally grateful for. Thank you, Oaka Tea!
The perfect blend of teas
They are the perfect blend, offering optimum health for us busy mums that never manage to find the time stop. (how is that cold coffee that you made over an hour ago? Still sat on the side in the kitchen?) Oaka Tea obtain their leaves from all over the world, they are organic, they are ethically sourced, and all are free from pesticides and fertilisers. So, being a lover of tea and all things natural, I jumped at the opportunity to start brewing away.
Laura Creane the founder and creator of Oaka Tea made the decision to create her own distinct blends that not only taste amazing but they’re also packed full of health benefits too, and thank goodness she did because these teas are heaven in a mug, beautifully blended and ideal to enjoy at any time throughout the day.
Sweet Baby G
Their Sweet Baby G Tea is flawless in its simplicity, a natural blend of chamomile and fennel and is ideal for those long nights when you are up breastfeeding and need a warming and soothing beverage to hydrate. Chamomile is fantastic at aiding restful sleep and promoting a sense of calm. Its also been shown to ease digestive problems and soothe any tummy troubles you may have. With anything its always best to check with your health practitioner if you have any concerns on the teas to consume whilst breastfeeding. Also, if your baby is six months old, offering them a small amount of unsweetened chamomile tea on top of their milk may also help calm and relax them before bed but again I’ll stress that if you’re in any doubt please consult with your health visitor for a further guidance.
The Monty Python team once declared’ Make Tea, Not War’
Great Advice! I mean who doesn’t love a cup of tea? We are, after all a nation of tea drinks but discovering which teas are safe to drink during pregnancy and which teas should be avoided can be a minefield to navigate when all you want to do is sit back and relax.
Tea is broken down into herbal and non-herbal with the non-herbal variety including the likes of green tea and black tea and these are the ones that are made by fermenting tea leaves, meaning they contain varying amounts of caffeine. Do not be fooled by the decaf versions either, they still contain small levels of caffeine and should be enjoyed sparingly. The existing advice is that pregnant women should limit caffeine intake to less than 200 mg per day.
During pregnancy I found it so frustrating trying to figure out what I can and can’t drink, feverishly googling ingredients to add to my check list of ‘safe teas’ and beating myself up if I’d accidentally drank a tea on the no go list.
So, before I start; if the idea of herbal tea is not for you, and to be fair it’s not everyone’s cup of tea (yes that pun was totally intentional) please remember to consult with your Doctor or Midwife for a professional confirmation about what is a safe quantity of non-herbal tea to consume. Because herbal teas are not regulated by the FDA there is just so much controversy and conflicting information out there, its hard to know what to do. Like anything -moderation is the key even for the teas listed on the safe list and recommendations currently state no more than four cups a day, with variety being the crucial, so just remember to mix it up a little.
In comparison to drinking caffeinated beverages, herbal teas certainly are the better option. They are great at hydrating the body, they are loaded with antioxidants and some are even known to reduce stress and anxiety. A great example is Ginger Tea and Peppermint tea which has been shown to reduce morning sickness. Then there is Raspberry Leaf Tea which has been shown to prepare the uterus for labour and is often recommended by midwives for consumption from the second trimester onward as it is thought to decrease the chances of preterm labour.
My favourite teas to enjoy in “moderation” during pregnancy
Rooibos tea is often suggested for use in pregnancy. Rooibos, meaning ‘red bush’; is a broom-like member of the plant family Fabaceae that grows in South Africa’s fynbos. It is completely caffeine free and has a beneficial effect on your digestive system. I drank this throughout pregnancy and there is also talk that it can also help to settle colic and re-flux as well as containing an abundance of antioxidants and contains calcium and magnesium. I prefer my teas without milk, but this is equally delicious served with milk and if you need your tea sweetened, honey is a great addition without the added refined sugar.
Ginger Tea has been known to ease the digestive system and reduce morning sickness. Less sugar than ginger biscuits too!
Source: Healthline Parenting
Two compounds in ginger help increase stomach emptying and reduce feelings of nausea, suggesting that ginger tea may help relieve morning sickness.
Source: Healthline Parenting
While no studies have analysed the effectiveness of ginger tea in pregnancy, research on ginger supplements suggests it helps reduce episodes of nausea and vomiting.
Source: Healthline Parenting
Up to 1 gram of ginger per day, or 4 cups (950 ml) of ginger tea, appears to be safe for pregnant women. However, women close to labour and those with a history of bleeding or miscarriages should avoid ginger tea.
Peppermint and Mint Teas
Again, this was a lifesaver during the early months of pregnancy, its great at settling a squiffy stomach as it relaxes the stomach muscles, reduces nausea and sickness.
They’re caffeine free and so refreshing, plus there is an abundance of choice. I love fruit teas too as they’re completely sugar free and their delicious sweetness is created naturally which means they’re less intense than the sugary squashes you get and less likely to contain any nasty hidden artificial sweeteners.
The teas to add to your ‘unsafe list’
The following is a list of teas that are considered unsafe to consume during pregnancy, it’s not extensive so if there are teas that you wish to drink that are not listed please consult your midwife or doctor.
|Alfalfa||Fennel (medicinal amounts)||Mayapple|
|Bearberry||Gotu kola||Parsely (medicinal amounts)|
|Celery seed||Guarana (contains caffeine)||Passion flower|
|Chasteberry/ vitex||Hibiscus/rosemallow||Peruvian bark/cinchona|
|Chicory root||Hoodia||Pleurisy root|
|Cinnamon||Horehound||Poppy (avoid completely)|
|Cohosh, blue or black||Hyssop||Pulsatilla|
|Coltsfoot||Juniper berry||Red clover blossom|
|Devil’s claw||Licorice root||Rue|
|Turmeric root||Saw palmetto||Woodruff|
Check out the below video from one of my favourite ladies Charlotte Stirling Reed from SR Nutrition talking about herbal teas during pregnancy
Now, go and put the kettle on, brew yourself a cuppa and take some time to rebalance yourself read for the day.