Tea can have not only positive but also negative effects on pregnancy and the fetus. Generally, it is safe to drink tea during pregnancy. When choosing tea, it is important to pay attention to the composition of the tea you buy. In this article, we will present a specific amount of teas that you can consume while pregnant and the teas which should be avoided during pregnancy generally.

 

What is a safe amount of tea during pregnancy?

Camellia sinensis is one of the most popular herbs found in teas. It is a source of black, green, white, matcha, chai, and oolong teas. Camellia sinensis has a natural stimulant caffeine. Caffeine works by blocking the effects of adenosine, a neurotransmitter that relaxes the brain and makes you feel tired.

Caffeinated teas should be used with caution at the beginning of pregnancy – the first trimester. If you have found out what you are expecting, determine your due date with a calculator. Knowing the time of pregnancy helps to understand how the baby is developing, and allows you to plan the necessary tests and doctor visits. The pregnancy tracker will help you track pregnancy, the development of the child, and the changes in your body. In the first trimester, it is recommended to either completely give up caffeinated drinks or limit yourself to 1 cup of weak caffeinated tea.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) gives recommendations for pregnant women to consume caffeinated products of about 200-300 milligrams per day. Caffeinated products include coffee, chocolate, certain medications, and tea.

Different types of Camellia sinensis teas have approximately the following amount of caffeine per cup (240 mL):

  • matcha: 60–80 mg
  • oolong tea: 38–58 mg
  • black tea: 47–53 mg
  • chai: 47–53 mg
  • white tea: 25–50 mg
  • green tea: 29–49 mg

It should be noted that caffeine, phenol, and tannic acid in green tea are classified as risk factors during pregnancy. More than two cups of this tea a day can increase the risk of miscarriage. Also, caffeine transmitted through breast milk can have adverse health effects on the baby.

 

What are the main side effects of teas?

Here are some potential side effects of tea:

Caffeine-related side effects

Some teas contain caffeine, which can cause side effects including:

  • Insomnia or difficulty sleeping
  • Nervousness or restlessness
  • Increased heart rate
  • Shaking and tremor
  • Digestive issues
  • Headaches

Anxiety and Irritability

Caffeine is a stimulant that weakens the adrenal glands, which help regulate stress in the body. The bigger stimulation is, the more stress, anxiety, and irritability we experience.

Bone Health

Excessive consumption of tea, particularly strong black tea, may interfere with calcium absorption and potentially affect bone health.

Iron Absorption

Do not drink black and green tea at least two hours before and after taking iron or eating foods high in iron. Drinking tea with meals might reduce iron absorption, which could be a concern for pregnant women with iron deficiency or anemia.

Teeth Staining

Regular consumption of tea, especially black tea, can contribute to teeth staining due to its natural pigments and tannins.

Pregnancy Concerns

As mentioned earlier, excessive caffeine intake during pregnancy can be harmful to the developing fetus. Pregnant women should limit their caffeinated tea to avoid potential adverse effects.

Gastrointestinal Distress

 Some people may experience gastrointestinal discomfort, such as bloating or gas, after drinking tea. During pregnancy, it is natural to experience bloating. Tea can increase gastrointestinal discomfort.

 

Which herbs you should avoid during pregnancy?

Various herbs have different types of chemical compounds that can harm the fetus and pregnancy. Due to this reason, it is recommended to pay attention to compounds that are in every herb. However, some herbs should be avoided. Here is the list of herbs that should be avoided during pregnancy:

Breckland thyme (lat. Thymus serpyllum).

Rosemary (lat. Rosmarinus officinalis).

Purple trillium (lat. Trillium erectum).

Black snakeroot (lat. Actaea racemosa)

Blue cohosh (lat. Caulophyllum thalictroides).

Cascara (coffee cherry (berry) tea) (lat. Frangula purshiana)

Abraham‘s balm (lat. Vitex agnus-castus)

Angelica sinensis

Cinchona sp.

Asiatic cotton (lat. Gossypium herbaceum)

Feverfew (lat. Tanacetum parthenium)

Asiatic ginseng (lat. Panax ginseng)

Goldenseal (lat. Hydrastis canadensis)

Juniperus sp.

Kava pepper bush (lat. Piper methysticum)

Licorice (lat. Glycyrrhiza glabra)

Autumn crocus (lat. Colchicum autumnale)

Pennyroyal mint (lat. Metha pulegium)

Phytolacca sp.

Rue (lat. Ruta graveolens)

The important note

It should be noted that every pregnancy is unique and depends on various factors including the mother’s health, habits, pregnancy complications, features of fetal development, etc. Talk to your healthcare provider about your diet and any specific concerns you have during pregnancy to ensure the well-being of the fetus. Healthcare providers ensure personalized guidance based on your individual health status and pregnancy needs.

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