5 Best Teas for Pregnancy and Teas To Avoid

If you are a tea lover, you must wonder if it is safe to have tea during pregnancy. The answer is that after identifying its caffeine value, you can have it in moderation. Moreover, many safe teas for pregnant women have numerous health benefits.

So many options can help you relish the incredible taste of teas. Also, you will get to know about what teas to avoid. So, keep reading about these rejuvenating teas and some important factors.

Let’s have a look!

Is tea safe during pregnancy?

Drinking herbal tea is generally safe during pregnancy. But, it should be made from natural herbs and spices. Also, you must check the ingredients to see if they are pregnancy-safe or don’t cause an allergic reaction. In moderation, some of the best teas are ginger, peppermint, rooibos, stinging nettle, and red raspberry leaf.

Pregnant females also love to sip caffeinated drinks like black, green, white, matcha, chai, and oolong teas. All of these are made from the Camellia sinensis plant.

However, you must read its caffeine content and have it in moderation. Several studies have shown that very high caffeine consumption has bad effects on the baby (1, 2).

According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), caffeine intake must be less than 200 mg daily for pregnant females (3). 

But, certain herbal teas have great benefits when consumed in moderate doses. For example, peppermint is good for the first trimester as it elevates the overall mood and makes you less nauseous (4). Also, red raspberry leaf tea is good in the third trimester; it helps to have better labor (5).

Risks of drinking tea during pregnancy

Drinking tea while pregnant is safe if you have the proper knowledge. Also, the intake must be in moderation. But, if you increase the tea intake too much, you can welcome some risks like:

Important note: You should only have tea in moderation during pregnancy. Also, reading the ingredients, their safety and assessing food allergy and caffeine content are important. 

Risk of miscarriage or preterm labor

Certain teas have compounds that can elevate the risk of miscarriage (6, 7, 8). For example, motherwort, lovage, and frankincense can initiate the menstrual cycle in expecting women.

Some of these teas which may lead to miss carriage are:

  • fennel
  • fenugreek
  • sage
  • vervain
  • borage
  • pennyroyal
  • licorice
  • thyme
  • motherwort
  • lovage
  • blue cohosh
  • black cohosh
  • frankincense (in large quantities)
  • Chamomile (in large quantities)

Birth Defects

Many teas mess with the blood flow to the baby, medication effects, and other body functions that support the baby’s growth (9). Some of these teas are motherwort and borage teas.

Contamination in tea

You must know that the ingredients in herbal tea are not regulated (10, 11). Therefore, it can have contamination in the form of unwanted compounds. So, buying tea from the most trusted source is advisable.

How to drink tea safely during pregnancy?

You must avoid drinking tea if your caffeine exceeds 200 mg per day. To do this, you must keep track of the caffeine content of the teas. Also, check the tea ingredients, if they are safe or not. Then, you can have it in moderation by having exact knowledge of tea, its components, and caffeine.

Teas you can drink while pregnant

Here is the list of teas you can drink while pregnant:

Note: You must check the ingredients and caffeine amount before consuming them.

Caffeinated teas:

All the caffeinated teas are sourced from the Camellia sinensis plant. But, their fermentation, aging, etc., makes them possess different properties. Some of the teas you can drink during pregnancy are:

Black tea

Black tea is safe as long as you take it in moderate quantities. It has good antioxidant properties, which makes it refreshing and best (12). However, it has 20 mg of caffeine in 100 g of tea (13). So, you should have at most three cups a day.

White tea

White tea has polyphenols which are good for rejuvenation (14). But, consume it in small quantities as the caffeine can have side effects on the baby. Also, white tea has 6–55 mg of caffeine per cup (250 mL)(14). So, having 2 to 3 cups is good.

Green tea

Green tea has less caffeine than traditional teas, and you can enjoy a cup or two. So having refreshing and antioxidant-rich tea helps you relax (14). But you should know that 100g of tea has 12 mg of caffeine (13). So you should drink at least two or three cups of green tea daily.

Matcha tea

Matcha tea is delicious and full of antioxidants and nutrients(15). It’s great for pregnant women if you take it in moderation. However, it has around 38 and 89 mg/g per cup (250 mL)(15). So, having 1 – 2 cups is okay daily.

Oolong tea

Oolong teas are refreshing and very delicious. It has antioxidants and polyphenols, which have great benefits (16). However, the caffeine content is comparable to green teas (16). 

Non Caffeinated teas

Here are some best safe teas for pregnant women when consumed in moderation:

Raspberry leaf

The red raspberry leaf tea seems to be beneficial for women who are in the third trimester. The leaf itself may affect the uterus muscles and help facilitate labor and delivery (17, 18). In addition, it probably has labor-shortening properties, which make it beneficial. You can have 2.4mg/day, equivalent to around 2 cups of tea/day.

Ginger tea

Nausea, vomiting, and morning sickness are the common symptoms of pregnancy (19). To help with this, ginger may be recommended in the first trimester (20, 21). However, it should be taken in moderate quantities and recommended to be within 1-1.5 g in the dry state per day (22).

Lemon Balm tea

It is tea from an herb from the mint family. It has anxiety and stress-relieving properties (23, 24). However, the research on pregnant women drinking lemon balm tea is still quite limited. More evidence is needed. In the meantime, you can have it once in a while in small quantities.

Peppermint tea

Peppermint tea is one of the ancient herbal teas which is very popular for its soothing properties. Moderate amounts of it may help pregnant women to deal with gas, nausea, stomach pain, or heartburn (25, 26). Also, heartburn is common in the second trimester when the baby starts to move. 

Five best teas for pregnancy

Here are some best teas during pregnancy. These are caffeine and non-caffeinated herbal teas:

Note: Moderate quality is always recommended for maximum benefits, whether it’s herbal or non-herbal teas. 

Rooibos tea

Rooibos tea is one of the best herbal teas. It has no caffeine amount which makes it advantageous for pregnant mothers. Also, it’s loaded with calcium, magnesium, and loads of antioxidants (27). With less tannin quantity, it could be good for digestion, too (28). 

Dandelion root tea

Dandelion root tea has no caffeine content and can be consumed in pregnancy(29). Also, it has potassium and diuretic content, which makes it good overall (30, 31). You can have it in moderate quantities to feel energetic and refreshed.

Nettle tea

Nettle tea is a wonderful tea that can be consumed during pregnancy. It has a great punch on nutrition which may be helpful for expecting mothers (32, 33). An animal study has shown that it has several benefits for the mother and baby’s body (34). You can mix it with other herbs and have this herbal tea once a day.

Green tea

Green tea tops among herbal teas due to its antioxidant content. But, you must know that overconsumption of green tea inhibits the absorption of folic acid, which is an important component for carrying on a healthy pregnancy (35).

Also, it has an amount of caffeine. So, it is better to limit yourself to one or two cups (200-550mL) per day. On the other hand, non-fermented green teas have high nutrient properties, which are good for overall health (36). 

Ginger tea

Ginger tea and its active compounds have overall benefits for pregnancy discomforts. For example, it manages nausea, morning sickness, digestive issues, and more (37). But keep it in moderation.

You can use (1 inch) of sliced or grated raw ginger. Then, add it to water and boil it. Also, you can add additional ingredients to elevate the taste of this herbal tea. 

Are herbal teas safe during pregnancy?

Herbal teas during pregnancy are safe if you consume them in moderation. However, caffeine and certain compounds can be harmful to both the mother and developing baby. 

Also, pregnant women with specific medical conditions should avoid certain herbal teas. It is always recommended to consult with your healthcare advisor before consuming any herbal teas.

Additionally, reading the ingredients and keeping track of consumption can help. 

You can drink herbal teas like ginger, lemongrass, spearmint, peppermint, green, red raspberry leaf, and lemon balm tea. 

But first, you must read its caffeine content, if there’s any. Also, drinking more than 2-3 cups is not advisable.

You should also check the authenticity and ingredient list as a pregnant woman. For example, you may be allergic to a few herbs or ingredients. 

According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), caffeine intake must be less than 200 mg daily for pregnant women (3). So, you should track all the caffeine sources and include them in your diet.

Certain compounds and caffeine can be harmful if taken in more quantities. So, enjoy herbal teas’ health benefits but ensure you have them in fewer amounts.

Teas to avoid during pregnancy

The tea during pregnancy must avoid teas with very high caffeine content. Also, read to see if the ingredients are pregnancy-safe.

Remember to have tea in moderate quantities if it meets all the conditions. However, some of the teas are not best for pregnant women. Some of them are:

Hibiscus tea

Drinking hibiscus tea during pregnancy means you may experience its anti-implantation properties (38). So, avoiding it is a better option.

Rosemary tea

A very high dose of rosemary can lead to miscarriage (39). So although it might be okay in small quantities. Generally, its use is not recommended.

Licorice tea

Licorice tea is a big no for pregnancy. It increases blood pressure, which may cause further problems in pregnant women (40). So, avoid licorice tea.

Chamomile tea

Chamomile tea is refreshing and very delicious. But, it can stimulate the uterus, which may affect the labor time in many ways(41). So, avoiding it during pregnancy is advisable.

The herbal teas have many exotic, rare, and exceptional herbs. However, certain compounds in them affect the body in different ways. When you are pregnant, that can have some effects on the body. So, having a pregnant-safe ingredient is always advisable.

Summary

Pregnancy is a magical journey that has its phases. As you expect, you may crave some things. But having information about what you are eating can help you avoid many problems.

So, yes, it is safe to drink some types of teas during pregnancy but in moderation. Also, checking ingredients and caffeine percentage is important. So, go through all the points and opt for moderation in all ways. Well, who doesn’t love a warm sip of a refreshing drink? So, be aware, choose the right food, and check out the above-mentioned list to make the best choice.

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Peifen Chou RD

Medical reviewed by Peifen Chou, RD

Obstetrics and gynecology, lactation instructor, integrative medicine, aromatherapist, holistic nutritional consulting, functional medicine, and pet nutrition.

Peifen Chou RD

Medical reviewed by Peifen Chou, RD

Obstetrics and gynecology, lactation instructor, integrative medicine, aromatherapist, holistic nutritional consulting, functional medicine, and pet nutrition.

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