Teas are the most consumed beverage worldwide, and many women continue to drink them during pregnancy.
Herbal tea has been used as a natural remedy for a variety of ailments for hundreds of years.
Drinks are simply consumed due to a variety of reasons including fulfilling your daily fluid intake during pregnancy.
Tea has a stimulating effect on the human body due to its caffeine content.
There are several beliefs that tea is safe while pregnant because it is natural, and contains many health benefits, especially herbal tea.
- Lower risks of coronary heart disease (5)
- prevent cancer risk
- reduce the chance of stroke (6)
- prevent bone loss (7)
- care for your dental health
So this post will explain – Is teas are safe during pregnancy? – which teas are recommended or which are not.
What Teas Are Considered Safe During Pregnancy?
Its belief is that teas (whether it is herbal or caffeinated) are natural so it is safe, and frequently popular during pregnancy.
Caffeinated teas are a rich natural source of caffeine that starts your day with good freshness and a good mood.
Most caffeinated teas are safe during pregnancy, however, their side effect is seen mostly when you overdose on them.
Here are common caffeinated teas which considered safe include:
Isbrucker et al. showed that the EGCG (unique plant compound) in green tea plays a vital role in fetal development (10).
But no adverse effects on reproduction or fertility.
A study on black tea showed that a highly fermented version of BT is allied with the development of fetal toxicity at a high concentration.
Pregnant women should consume oolong tea but again – in a limited amount.
In terms of flavor, long-time oxidization in Oolong tea lies between green tea and black tea (11).
Drinking more than 4 cups is unsafe even in normal people, so make sure during pregnancy to take less amount of it.
However, studies revealed that a high intake of oolong tea is allied with a low serum folate level during pregnancy.
And low folate levels during pregnancy can result in birth irregularities.
A study shows that women’s who drank more intake of green herbal teas in 1st trimester had a 6-14% higher blood level, than those who drank less.
Just make sure don’t overdo it.
It is safe during pregnancy but in a moderate amount.
In addition, it has several benefits including:
- Fully loaded with antioxidants (high antioxidant levels in the body reduce the risk of cancer)
- reduce the chance of heart disease
- help in losing weight
- lower the risk of insulin resistance
- protect teeth from bacteria
- may protect against bone disease
- rich in good skin-related agents
White, black, and green tea are made up of the same plant – Camellia sinensis, but different processing methods give them their unique flavors and aromas.
It’s commonly used during pregnancy, (hot water extract and dried herbs) have the lowest concentration and less amount of compounds.
Herbal tea is made from various spices, herbs, fruits, and flowers, so it is generally considered safe.
A study in Istanbul found that fennel, linden, and cinnamon are the most recommended herbal tea while pregnant.
Here are other commonly used herbal teas include:
Ginger is usually used for nausea in pregnant women, especially during 1st trimester (14)
A systematic 24-trial study revealed that ginger (35-500 mg) and vitamin B6 have shown relief against nausea and vomiting during pregnancy.
Ginger tea has also been associated with bleeding, or spotting dry mouth, nausea, and dehydration during 1st trimester (15).
In addition, ginger tea is a good choice during pregnancy, and also a spiced drink for warming up on cold days.
The study showed peppermint oil can decrease the effect of nausea and vomiting during the first half of pregnancy.
Also, not any harmful effect of peppermint tea on the mother or fetus has been shown (16).
Pregnant women used peppermint to manage various issues such as flue, heartburn, stomach pain, nausea, and vomiting.
However, high doses should be avoided, because it could trigger menstruation and cause abortion.
A 2015 study indicates that nettle tea is generally safe, but may affect your menstrual cycle and lead to miscarriage.
However, there is no hard evidence showing nettle safety during pregnancy (17).
In addition, evidence shows that oral or topical use of nettle leaf extract might improve symptoms of pain in patients with osteoarthritis.
Despite lemon being a common natural herb, there is no evidence of its use and safety for pregnant mothers.
A study from 2014 reports that lemon inhalation therapy could help reduce nausea and vomiting during pregnancy.
Lemon contains folate which is an essential nutrient for neural development in the growing fetus and also keeps you hydrated.
However, a drink of bottled lemon tea, including sugar, and frequent intake of sugary drinks during pregnancy can risk gestational diabetes.
Diabetes makes the body’s ability to produce insulin completely stopped – insulin is a hormone made in our pancreas, which helps the body to maintain body sugar levels.
Rooibos herbal tea is free of caffeine, so it is widely considered to be safe during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
Its intake can bring various health benefits including:
- Improve bone health
- rich in antioxidants
- reduce bad cholesterol level
- boost cardiovascular health
- maybe helpful in type II diabetes
- reduce the risk of cancer
Rooibos tea is made from dried parts of a plant harvested from the South African red bush shrub (18).
It is used for the relief of gastrointestinal irritation, insomnia, and joint irritation.
Chamomile tea contains anti-inflammatory properties, which may be risky during pregnancy, but it depends on your health.
There are many factors that can influence it like – a medical condition, history, how much you consume, medicine intake, etc.
So make sure, first consult your healthcare provider, before taking chamomile tea or oil.
Other herbal teas
- Red raspberry
A study conducted in Turkey found that Linden, peppermint, lemon, and ginger are the most commonly used herbal products during 1st and 2nd trimesters.
When you should avoid it?
In addition, those people sensitive to caffeine may experience anxiety, irritability, upset stomach, and insomnia.
A bundle of studies has shown that teas are safe, but, there are some teas that should be avoided due to their content agents.
Especially during pregnancy time, because during this fetus, cells growth, and division can be directly influenced.
However, there are certain teas that should be avoided during pregnancy including:
- Avoid licorice tea
- dong Quai te
- ginseng tea
- frankincense (in high dose)
- borage ( this both teas consider can increase the risk of birth defect) (17)
Studies tell that dried herbs’ alcohol extract should be avoided in pregnancy because of high concentration compounds and alcohol extract.
Several factors can affect the safety of pregnant women and fetuses, like herbs purity, and timing of use during pregnancy.
Teas may lead to certain side effects
It showed that high caffeine taken while pregnant may increase the chance of miscarriage or stillbirth.
Also, with regular use, a higher chance of preterm labor or miscarriage has been reported.
Yes, excessive use of contraindicated in early pregnancy due to its emmenagogue effects.
A study shows that chamomile tea with regular use increases the risk of preterm labor or miscarriage (19).
Teas that contribute to low serum folate levels during pregnancy, may increase the risk of preterm birth (20).
Apart from this, most teas are considered safe during pregnancy, only when their intake is in a moderate amount.
Drinking tea is the most common beverage after water, with several health benefits – fills with antioxidants, reduces the risk of heart disease, etc.
Women also use chamomile, and peppermint oil, but should avoid it during 1st trimester because its absorption is an unknown mechanism.