When pregnant, whatever is consumed of course, must be considered because it can affect the fetus that is being conceived. Some pregnant women who habitually drink tea may begin to doubt it is safe to do so? There are some critical things about drinking tea during pregnancy that you should know.
Is it safe to drink tea while pregnant?
Tea contains less caffeine than coffee and is generally considered safe to drink while pregnant. However, pregnant women must limit the amount and choose the right type of tea. Non-herbal teas such as matcha, black tea, green tea, white tea, and oolong are usually high in caffeine.
Caffeine can easily cross the placenta and is difficult to break down by a baby’s generally immature liver. Research shows that babies exposed to a lot of caffeine during pregnancy have a higher risk of preterm birth, low birth weight, or congenital disabilities. Even high caffeine intake during pregnancy can also increase the risk of stillbirth.
However, this risk is lower if pregnant women limit their caffeine intake to a maximum of 200 mg per day. A study in 2012 showed that consuming more than three cups of tea per day can interfere with folic acid absorption, which functions to prevent neural tube defects in the fetus. Therefore, pregnant women are advised to only consume one or two cups of tea a day, especially during the first trimester.
On the other hand, even if it contains only a little caffeine, however, some herbal teas also contain other compounds that are considered unsafe during pregnancy because they can put you at risk of miscarriage or preterm birth. The herbal teas include fennel, fenugreek, sage, borage, licorice, thyme, pennyroyal, etc. So, you need to choose the right type of tea.
Tea that is safe to drink during pregnancy
Several studies have shown that herbal teas containing the following ingredients are safe to consume during pregnancy:
1. Raspberry leaf tea
Raspberry leaf tea is considered safe and is believed to shorten labor time and help prepare the mother’s uterus for childbirth. Research has also found that this tea can shorten the second stage of labor by about 10 minutes. Consume this tea in the second and third trimesters of pregnancy.
2. Peppermint tea
Peppermint tea is considered safe and is commonly used to help relieve bloating, nausea, upset stomach, or heartburn. This tea is very appropriate for consumption by pregnant women who experience symptoms of morning sickness.
3. Ginger tea
Ginger tea is one of the most widely used herbal medicines because of its properties. This tea is safe for consumption and can reduce nausea and vomiting in pregnant women. However, still, make sure not to overeat.
4. Rooibos tea
Rooibos tea is a good tea to consume during pregnancy because it is caffeine-free and has antioxidant properties. Antioxidants have been linked to various health functions, one of which is boosting the immune system.
5. Chamomile tea
If you have trouble sleeping, which is common in pregnant women, drinking one cup of Chamomile tea can help with insomnia, anxiety and make the body more relaxed. However, if consumed in excess, it can actually keep you awake. Also, make sure you are not allergic to pollen before consuming this tea.
How to drink tea that is safe for pregnant women
Consuming tea in reasonable amounts can help pregnant women meet fluid needs, relieve pregnancy symptoms, and provide important pregnancy nutrients such as calcium, magnesium, and iron. However, don’t add excess sugar to the tea.
Sugar contains a high glycemic index so that it can increase blood sugar quickly. This puts the mother at risk for gestational diabetes, which is diabetes that is common in pregnant women.
Gestational diabetes is often characterized by thirst, fatigue, dry mouth, frequent urination, and blurry vision. Also, it would be better if you reduce or eliminate the caffeine content in the tea first.
You do this by soaking a tea leaf or tea bag for 30 seconds, then discarding the soaking water. Next, refill the cup with warm water and brew it again until the tea is ready to drink. Consult your doctor if you still have questions about drinking tea while pregnant.