Is it safe to drink tea during pregnancy?
Created by Chayanika Sen Updated on Dec 15, 2017
When you are pregnant you become conscious about each and every morsel you take or every sip you drink. So what do you do when it comes to your favourite beverage – tea – a cuppa you have always enjoyed no matter what. Do you have to let go of it for the rest of your pregnancy or can you still enjoy it but moderately.
Before you make your choices, it would be advisable to discuss with one's medical expert as to what should be restricted or curbed during pregnancy. Tea is one such beverage which is debated about. Its consumption has its own set of pros and cons and its brand, type, quantity and timings should be well discussed for consumption during pregnancy.
Consumption Of Different Tea Types During Pregnancy
In India drinking tea generally marks the beginning of the day. It may be summarized that tea consumption though not completely prohibited should be in moderation during pregnancy. Teas such as lemon tea, peppermint tea or ginger tea which are commonly available are considered to be completely safe during pregnancy if not consumed in substantial amounts.
Ginger tea, raspberry leaf tea, peppermint tea and the very own traditional Indian milk chai tea are all considered completely safe during pregnancy. It is however suggested that the ingredients section are checked thoroughly before selection of tea. Green tea, black tea and chamomile tea have higher contents of caffeine and its consumption should be avoided as far as possible.
Herbal Tea VS. Non Herbal Teas During Pregnancy
Herbal teas are generally allowed in pregnancy because of its make and qualities whereas non-herbal teas are restricted or allowed in moderation only. A few factors supporting herbal teas during pregnancy are as follows.
- Non- herbal teas are made of leaves of tea plants whereas herbal teas are made of berries, roots, seeds, flowers of a variety of plants
- The size and type of the tea leaf, brewing time and oxidation or fermenting time of leaves impact the quantum of caffeine in the team type. Herbal teas have zero caffeine content
- Non herbal teas may be black, green or oolong variants and even the decaf versions contain minimum amount of caffeine. Non verbal teas have medicinal properties
Quantity Of Caffeine Present In Tea
In general, a cup of tea measuring 8 ounces contains about 47 mg of caffeine. However, the content varies depending on the type of tea. The label on any packet of tea will be able to precisely provide information regarding caffeine content and will be an important determinant as to whether the particular tea is healthy or not during pregnancy.
What Are The Benefits Of Drinking Tea During Pregnancy?
Here are some of the benefits of drinking tea during pregnancy.
- Eases morning sickness and nausea
- Hydrating effect on the pregnant woman's body
- Providing easily assimilated nutrients
- Antioxidants lower stress levels and anxiety
- Uterus preparation for labour, toning of uterine muscles resulting in effective contractions
- Rich source of important pregnancy nutrients like magnesium, iron and calcium
- Rich source of Vitamins like Vitamin A, Vitamin C and Vitamin K
- Prevents insomnia
- Aids process of digestion
- Relief from stomach issues
- Prevention of post partum haemorrhage
- Acting as a laxative
- Helps in managing glucose levels
- Improves blood circulation. Improved circulation further leads to reduced pregnancy pains
- Improved immunity and better ability to fight infections during pregnancy
Why Should You Avoid Tea During Pregnancy?
Here are some of the reasons why you should avoid drinking tea during pregnancy. Just like anything else if you have not been a tea drinker before you conceived it is not necessary that you should start drinking now.
- Caffeine content:Certain teas contain caffeine. Intake of caffeine is strictly restricted during pregnancy because of its effects. It is suggested that its intake during pregnancy should be restricted to 200 mg per day.
- Consumption of caffeine during pregnancy may result in miscarriages, low birth weight and pre-mature birth.
- Caffeine is said to cross and to be absorbed by placenta. Excess intake of caffeine results in reduction of intervillous blood flowing in the placenta. The principle enzyme involved in metabolism of caffeine named “Cytochrome P4501A2” is completely absent in placenta and the foetus.
- Elongating the pregnancy length. It is believed that consumption of tea containing high content of caffeine extends pregnancy commensurate the intake
- It is also known to be associated with reducing absorption of folic acid during pregnancy
- Being a stimulant, caffeine may create trouble in sleeping or increase heart rate and blood pressure
- It acts as a diuretic and leads to water loss in the body. Consumption of more than 6 to 8 cups of tea is strictly prohibited during pregnancy
- Detoxifying Teas: Certain teas are specially designed for cleansing, dieting, detoxification, etc. and can result in change of electrolytes. These should also be avoided strictly during pregnancy
- Tea with star anise or fennel: A few varieties of tea also contain herbs like star anise or fennel known for containing estrogenic compounds which improve menstruation and are known for promoting labour induction
- Flavoured teas: Variants like peppermint tea may relax the uterus thereby increasing chances of miscarriage. It may also induce allergies or result in a negative impact when clubbed with other medications taken during pregnancy
Is It Safe To Drink Tea During Pregnancy?
Yes, it is safe to drink tea during pregnancy but if in moderation. Also, post reading all the facts discussed earlier, it would be better to consider a host of factors while deciding the type, quantity, suitability and variant before selecting and settling down for a blend of tea, you feel like drinking during pregnancy.
While it would be perfectly safe to drink the correct type in correct quantities, over consumption or intake of unsuitable variants may have adverse outcomes.
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