Pregnancy is a very stressful time, especially if it’s your first time. Most women spend hours agonizing over their diets and making changes to it to accommodate the new life inside them. Who can resist a relieving cup of tea during pregnancy? If you are a chai addict like me, giving up on tea might be something that you cannot really come to terms with.
Most women look forward to delivery, not just because they want to meet their little bundle of joy, but also because they want to finally go back to their normal, beloved diet. But there is one thing that many pregnant women are reluctant to give up: tea.
Many women assume that drinking tea during pregnancy is fine and continue to do it. If you also do this, who can blame you? During pregnancy, a relaxing cup of tea while binge-watching shows on Netflix can do wonders for your anxiety during pregnancy.
But is it safe to drink tea during pregnancy, for both you and your baby? Read to find out.
Is Drinking Tea Safe During Pregnancy?
Unfortunately, the answer to this question is more complicated than preferable. It really depends on several factors like the amount of tea you drink, the caffeine content, and the ingredients used.
There are many types of tea that are safe for pregnancy, beneficial even. Tea contains polyphenols that are good for your heart. It contains anti-oxidants which strengthens your immune system. It even helps you prevent certain kinds of cancer!
Drinking some types of herbal tea is good to keep hydrated, which is very important for a pregnant woman. Many people prefer it as an alternative to just drinking plain old water.
Some women find that tea helps ease the torture of morning sickness and even help shorten the labour. So, it is clear that there are many benefits to drinking tea during pregnancy, but it is important to remember that this is not the case for all teas. There are some types of tea that must be avoided completely.
How Many Cups Of Tea Can I Have During The Day?
Even if you are drinking tea that is safe to drink during pregnancy, it is wise to practice moderation. A cup or two a day should be safe, and also enough to satisfy you. If you wish to drink a higher amount, you must consult your doctor beforehand.
This is mainly because of the caffeine that can be found in tea and the dangers it possesses. So, if you are more sensitive to caffeine’s side effects, it is best if you reduce your consumption of tea during pregnancy even further.
Make sure you find out whether or not the tea you drink is safe for a pregnant woman. A simple Google search can help you avoid terrible repercussions!
Can Drinking Tea Cause Miscarriage?
Drinking unsafe teas and consuming too much of the caffeine in tea can prove to be very detrimental for pregnant mother-to-be’s. It can lead to many complications, including accidental abortion and premature labour. Conversely, it can also cause an extra-long pregnancy.
And yes, many teas can stimulate the uterus and lead to a miscarriage.
You may be asking what about black tea? Can black tea cause miscarriage? Well, despite its innocent reputation, black tea contains a lot of caffeine. So yes, drinking too much of it can be dangerous and possibly cause a miscarriage.
Related Reading: 12 Early Pregnancy Tips To Avoid Miscarriage
According to WHO (World Health Organisation) guidelines, pregnant women should reduce their caffeine consumption to around 200-300mg for each day.
Other Possible Side Effects Of Drinking Tea During Pregnancy
Listed below are some side-effects of drinking tea during pregnancy
- Low birth weight: It has been proven that caffeine can pass through the placenta. So, drinking an abundance of tea can cause the placenta to enter the womb and directly affect the child, who does not have the means to absorb it properly. This can lead to defects. Many children have been born with low and unhealthy weight due to this
- Other unsafe ingredients: there are more dangerous ingredients in many types of tea than just caffeine. Some of the dangerous herbs that are used to make tea are liquorice root, fennel, star anise, and more. These can cause many problems, ranging from miscarriage to premature birth
- Heart issues for baby: A study showed that drinking a lot of chamomile tea during pregnancy causes a reduced blood flow through the baby’s heart. This leads to complications down the line
- Digestive issues: Some teas like eucalyptus can cause issues like diarrhoea and vomiting. It can also increase nausea that pregnant women usually have to suffer through.
- Interference with medication: If you are taking any medications, there may be some herbal teas you need to watch out for, as they can contain compounds that interfere with your medicine. Consult your doctor if you think this might be the case.
- Menstruation: There are some teas, herbal teas in particular that are used to increase or stimulate menstruation. So, obviously, these should be avoided during pregnancy as they can be detrimental for your unborn little one
Related Reading: 11 Simple Ways To Boost Immunity During Pregnancy
Drinking Indian Chai During Pregnancy
You might be worried about a kind of tea in particular. You might be wondering whether you can drink Indian chai or Indian milk tea during pregnancy. If so, you are not the only one. Many Indians and even many foreigners all hold chai close to their hearts.
Long story short, generally speaking, chai is safe to drink during pregnancy. It really follows the same rules as drinking other types of tea during pregnancy. There some herbs, that if added, is dangerous for both mother and child. But drinking a couple of cups per day is usually okay.
Remember, it is important to note that this is only the case most of the time. There are exceptions. Normal chai is made up of milk, sugar and black tea. This is safe to drink in moderation.
So you don’t need to worry about drinking regular chai during pregnancy!
Safe Teas For Pregnant Women
Here is a list of kinds of tea that are considered safe for pregnant women most of the time. You can refer to this when deciding which tea to drink. Make sure you do not consume more than 300mg of caffeine.
- Red raspberry leaf tea – It is believed to make for a shorter labour. It also helps prepare the uterus for delivery
- Ginger tea – It is known to reduce nausea and the effects of morning sickness, like vomiting
- Lemon balm tea – Can help you to relax and is used as a stress-reliever. It can also help prevent insomnia
- Peppermint tea – Used to relieve issues related to digestion, like gas, stomach aches, etc. Also helps relieve heartburn
- Black Tea
- Indian Chai
- White Tea
- Green Tea
- Oolong Tea
[NOTE: the above five is only safe in moderation, and if the caffeine content is under the daily limit]
- Rooibos tea – It is caffeine-free and loaded with important nutrients and anti-oxidants. It detoxifies the body and helps digestion. It also boosts your immunity.
- Nettle leaf tea – It is rich in vitamins and minerals. It is recommended that it is only drunk in the second and third trimester and avoided for the duration of the first trimester. Make sure the ingredient used is Nettle Leaf, and not Nettle Root.
- Dandelion tea – It contains many nutrients like calcium and iron. It helps ease fluid retention.
- Rosehip tea – It is a rich source of Vitamin C. It strengthens your immune system and fights off illnesses like the flu.
Unsafe Teas For Pregnant Women
Some of the unsafe teas during pregnancy are listed below-
- Fennel tea – It can increase the production of urine. It also can cause miscarriage or premature labour
- Fenugreek tea – It can cause pre-term labour or miscarriage as it is a uterine stimulator
- Motherwort tea – It can cause miscarriage or premature labour. There are also cases that show that it can be a cause for birth defects in the baby. It can stimulate menstruation
- Frankincense tea – It can increase the risk of miscarriage
- Blue Cohosh tea – It can cause severe birth defects in the baby. Consuming it during the later months of pregnancy have been known to cause heart problems for the newborn
- Black Cohosh tea – It is a uterine stimulator and can cause a miscarriage or premature labour
- Sage tea – it contains Thujone, which is known to cause miscarriages and also high blood pressure
- Licorice tea – Licorice is estrogenic and can cause premature birth or miscarriage
- Lovage tea – It is a uterine stimulator and could cause menstruation or miscarriage
- Thyme tea – If taken in large amounts, it can cause a miscarriage
- Borage tea – It might contain pyrrolizidine alkaloids, which can cause liver diseases
- Vervain tea – It can cause birth defects for the baby and might result in the child being born with low weight
- Dong Quai tea – It can stimulate the uterus and cause a miscarriage
- Parsley tea – This is unsafe in large amounts as it can cause an accidental abortion and encourage menstruation
- Lobelia tea – It contains nicotine and might be dangerous to the baby
- Hibiscus tea – It induces contractions and can cause miscarriage
- Lychee tea – Lychees can cause haemorrhages and infections. This can be very dangerous for your little one
So you can be safe and enjoy your cup of two of chai during pregnancy, without any guilt.