Tea, also called chai in India, is an essential drink in our daily routine. Our day starts with tea, which keeps us refreshed throughout the day. For most people, tea is a stress buster. Some people have become more addicted to tea that they consume at least 7-8 teas per day, depending on the work stress. Pregnancy is such a period in the life of a woman where you have different types of emotions and mood swings, those which you cannot express. At such a time you crave a drink which relaxes you. Tea is one medicine that can help you during pregnancy. Try other alternatives if you do not have the habit of drinking tea.
Is it Safe to Drink Tea During Pregnancy?
The study says that drinking certain herbal teas during pregnancy is one way to improve pregnancy health and is considered absolutely safe when taken in limited amounts. The intake of the optimum quantity of non-herbal tea daily is also regarded as safe for pregnant women. Only 1-2 cups of non-herbal tea should be consumed during pregnancy as it contains caffeine, which is harmful to the unborn baby.
Benefits of Tea During Pregnancy:
The ritual of making and consuming tea has been continuing for thousands of years, obviously for good reasons. Tea contains antioxidants that fight the free radicals that cause cancer, and it boosts the immune system. When it comes to pregnant women consuming tea has some excellent benefits.
- Pregnant ladies often have morning sickness and nausea. Tea helps in relieving morning sickness.
- Pregnant women regularly have insomnia. Drinking the right amount of tea will help to prevent insomnia.
- Nettle leaf is a herbal tea that is a source of iron, Vitamin A, C, and K and potassium, which are essential for the mother to be and the unborn baby.
- Red raspberry leaf is a type of tea that helps in effective contractions and tones the uterine muscles.
- Herbal teas ease the discomfort, anxiety, and mental stress caused during pregnancy.
- Pregnant women should always stay hydrated, and herbal teas help in keeping your body hydrated.
See More: decaf coffee during pregnancy
Side Effects of Tea During Pregnancy:
Apart from the benefits, the consumption of tea also has side effects during pregnancy. Here are some of the side effects.
- Drinking too many non-herbal teas is dangerous to pregnant ladies as these teas contain caffeine. Caffeine is a substance that directly passes through the placenta and reaches the baby, which will be difficult for the baby to digest.
- Excessive tea consumption sometimes leads to miscarriage.
- Commercially available and FDA-approved herbal teas should only be consumed because some of the non-commercial herbal teas may be toxic.
- Consumption of excessive caffeine content tea leads to delivery of Low Birthweight babies and Premature delivery.
Kinds of Teas to Drink:
Generally, teas are of two types Herbal teas and Non-herbal teas.
1. Non-Herbal Teas:
Non-herbal teas are the ones that are made from the leaves of the tea plants. These contain varying amounts of caffeine and antioxidants. The caffeine level in non-herbal tea increases with the increase in the fermentation process or oxidation time of the leaves. The size of the leaf, brewing time and type of the leaf also influences the caffeine content in the tea. Even the decaf versions of non-herbal teas contain some percentage of caffeine in it.
There are three types of non-herbal teas available: Green Tea, Black Tea, and Oolong tea.
2. Herbal Teas:
These are the ones that are made from the flowers, seeds, barks, leaves, and roots of a variety of plants, not the ones from the actual tea plants. Real and pure herbal teas do not contain caffeine in them, and hence these are very safe to consume during pregnancy. The only glitch with this type is that the source of the plant from where the seeds or flowers or barks or roots are picked is unknown and may be toxic. This is why herbal teas should be bought from commercially acclaimed, and FDA-approved stores.
3. Normal Teas:
Apart from both the above teas, normal teas are also consumed. Normal teas are the most commonly consumed tea on a daily basis. The barks and leaves of the tea plants are collected and dried in an oven, and some preservatives and aromatic agents are added, to market their product and attract customers. We can also find some instant teas that are commercially available in the market. These teas contain only a small amount of actual tea and contain plenty of sugar and artificial sweeteners in them.
Safe and Best Indian Teas During Pregnancy:
As we have seen earlier, there are non-herbal and herbal teas. Here we list out different types of both herbal and non-herbal teas to consume during pregnancy.
1. Peppermint Tea:
- Mint is one of the famous herbs used in our daily cooking. It adds flavour to our food, and it even smells good.
- Mint tea, on the other hand, eases morning sickness and prevents headaches for pregnant ladies.
- This tea also helps in relaxing the stomach muscles and reduces gas and bloating.
- This mint tea should be consumed in a very little quantity as this may lead to miscarriage, hence avoid consuming it if you had a risky pregnancy in the past.
- It is better to prevent mint tea even after the delivery since it adversely affects the production of breast milk.
2. Green Tea:
- Green tea, a famous one these days, is being consumed by most people for weight loss.
- For pregnant women, this is very beneficial. It is an antioxidant that neutralizes free radicals.
- Green tea can be consumed once per day, and it doesn’t harm the mother-to-be or the unborn baby even though it contains caffeine in it.
- Excessive consumption of green tea should, however, be avoided.
3. Ginger Tea:
- In moderate quantities, ginger tea is extremely beneficial for pregnant women, especially during the first trimester.
- Ginger tea is known for controlling morning sickness and nausea during pregnancy.
- Ginger tea helps ease digestion and fortifies the body’s digestive functions during pregnancy.
- This tea helps in maintaining sugar levels in the blood and prevents gestational diabetes, and also it controls cholesterol levels during pregnancy.
- Even though it has its own benefits, ginger tea should be consumed in moderate quantities because it contains caffeine content in it. It is recommended to consume less than 1gm of ginger per day during pregnancy as it causes allergy in some pregnant women.
4. Red Raspberry Leaf Tea:
- This is a herbal tea, which is rich in iron content. This herb helps in toning the uterus during pregnancy.
- This tea is well known for decreasing nausea for pregnant women, and it eases labour pains.
- It is said that this tea should be consumed during late pregnancy, i.e., after 32 weeks of the gestational period. For effective contractions during labour, have one cup of this tea daily.
See More: Pregnancy-Safe Protein Powders
5. Lemon Balm Tea:
- This tea is famous for fighting the insomnia effect on pregnant women. Pregnant women often spend sleepless nights due to discomfort and a variety of mood swings. This tea, when consumed during the night, gives you a perfect sleep.
- Drinking lemon Balm tea also controls anxiety and irritation in pregnant women.
- This tea provides a calming effect and soothes mental depression in pregnant women.
6. Nettle Leaf Tea:
- This tea has rich contents of vitamins A, C, and K, along with iron, magnesium, potassium, and calcium. These nutrients help in the development of the unborn baby.
- Doctors generally advise pregnant women to drink this tea only after the first trimester as it may lead to stimulation of the uterus causing miscarriage.
7. Roobios Tea:
- Roobios tea is a caffeine-free product that has iron, magnesium, zinc, calcium, and antioxidants.
- These antioxidants help in fighting free radicals and detoxify the body. This tea also helps in controlling acid refluxes or generally called heartburn during pregnancy.
- Roobios tea enhances the absorption of iron in the body, which helps in fighting colds, allergies, and other infections.
- This tea boosts the immunity of pregnant women.
See More: rooibos tea while pregnant
8. Dandelion Tea:
- This tea has a good content of iron, magnesium, and calcium in it.
- The dandelion root and leaf will help in relieving mild oedema and nourishes the liver.
- This tea is gentle and is considered an effective diuretic remedy for pregnant women. It eases fluid retention in the body during pregnancy.
- This tea should be consumed in a limited quantity because excessive calcium intake affects the bones.
9. Chamomile Tea:
- This is a herbal tea that contains calcium and magnesium. It is antioxidant and anti-inflammatory.
- Due to its antioxidant property, it neutralizes the free radicals which are harmful to the body.
- This tea is well known to have a calming effect and also prevents colds and other infections. Drinking this tea keeps you hydrated.
- This is another tea that prevents insomnia and accelerates active labour contractions.
- Avoid drinking this tea during the first trimester as it causes miscarriage and avoids this tea if you are prone to hay fever.
10. Rosehip Tea:
- This tea is also called the Elixir of Youth. It is high in Vitamin C. This is an essential nutrient for the mother-to-be and even for the unborn baby.
- Drinking this tea avoids any kind of flu and avoids unnecessary swellings.
- This tea helps in boosting the immune system of the pregnant lady, and it reduces the number of trips to the restroom.
11. Yellow Dock Tea:
- This tea is recommended for pregnant women who suffer from anaemia because this tea contains the right amount of iron in it.
- Yellow dock tea contains calcium, and vitamins A, and C, which makes it an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory.
- This tea may also be used as a laxative, which increases bowel movements. Pregnant women suffering from constipation can drink this tea to improve bowel movements.
- This is an excellent herb to drink for all women irrespective of pregnancy or not. This tea is used as the best remedy for irregular menstrual cycles, aches, cramps, and painful periods.
- Drinking this tea can alleviate morning sickness, reduce anxiety, and relieve stress. This tea can also be consumed for preventing insomnia.
- Drink only 1-2 cups a day for a week to experience the results.
13. Sage Tea:
- This is a herbal tea that has some essential nutrients such as calcium, magnesium, and iron in it.
- Sage is being used as a herbal remedy for many ailments. Consuming this spice during pregnancy is generally safe. This herbal tea works as a gargle for cough.
- Drinking this tea can relieve anxiety in pregnant women, and also it prevents excessive sweating.
- A concentrated amount of this spice is found in tea, and hence it is advisable to avoid this tea during pregnancy.
See More: dandelion tea during pregnancy
14. Parsley Tea:
- It is one of the famous herbs, which adds flavour to any dish we cook. Parsley leaves can change any recipe with their aromatic flavour. However, this can be consumed in the form of tea also.
- Drinking parsley tea, which is a diuretic, helps in getting rid of pregnancy-related swellings.
- Parsley herb is rich in vitamins B and C, which help in increasing the immunity of the pregnant woman. It is also an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent.
- However, parsley tea has to be consumed in less quantity as it may lead to health complications during pregnancy.
Teas That Can Be Consumed:
- Green Tea
- Red Raspberry Tea
- Lemon Balm Tea
- Nettle Leaf Tea
- Roobios Tea
- Rosehip Tea
Teas That Can Be Consumed in Moderate Quantities:
- Ginger Tea
- Dandelion Tea
- Yellow Dock Tea
- Parsley Tea
Teas That Have To be Avoided:
- Peppermint tea
- Chamomile Tea
- Sage Tea
So, does drinking a cup or two of tea harm your pregnancy? Not at all Well, your normal healthy diet is upheld with its usual share of drinks. However, you need to make sure that it’s well within limits. Drinking a cup or two per day of tea does not lead to a miscarriage, but the bleeding and contractions do- which only happen when you intake excessive caffeine tea and certain herbal teas in the first trimester. If you get an affirmative nod from your doctor, there is absolutely no harm in including tea in your daily routine.
Disclaimer: The above information provided is solely for information purposes only. This should not be construed as medical advice. Take the advice of your doctor before drinking or consuming anything during pregnancy.