Tea During Pregnancy | What Teas to Avoid

Pregnancy is a difficult and confusing time for many with countless do’s and don'ts, it’s hard to know what to do for the best in any situation. And the discussion over tea is no different. Here is a selection of the most commonly asked questions including; what herbs are safe during pregnancy and is tea actually safe? Plus what’s not safe and what herbal tisanes should be avoided?

Here’s all about tea, herbs and infusions during those precious nine and a half months…

Is Tea ok During Pregnancy?

What teas and herbs are safe plus what to avoid


Common Pregnancy Tea Questions

Here are some commonly asked questions about tea and pregnancy:

Can we Drink Tea During Pregnancy?

Tea from the Camellia sinensis plant naturally contains caffeine. We are advised that is it safe to consume up to 400mg of caffeine per day and up to 200mg of caffeine for pregnant women is safe.

All teas including green, black, white and oolong contains caffeine of varying amounts. It’s difficult to calculate the exact amount of caffeine in tea. Varying factors include types of tea used, amount of tea leaves used, steeping time and brewing temperatures. Generally, matcha green tea contains the highest concentration of caffeine, followed by black tea, oolong tea, green tea and white tea. Caffeine in tea will range from around 20-80mg of caffeine per cup.

Apparently pregnant women process caffeine slower than non pregnant women. Studies show that caffeine can cross the placenta and high amounts can cause harm to an unborn baby. Research suggests that the risks include preterm labour, low birth weight and birth defects.

Read More: Caffeine in Tea vs Coffee

Is Decaf ok When Pregnant?

Decaf tea is also an option for those wishing to restrict their caffeine intake. Some people react negatively to the chemicals found in decaf tea and coffee. Caffeine is found naturally in many plants, to remove the caffeine, the plant has to go through a chemical treatment process, these include adding carbon dioxide, ethyl acetate and methylene chloride. These chemicals are known to cause headaches, dizziness, itching and fainting.

How Much Herbal Tea is ok During Pregnancy?

The American Pregnancy Association states that most commercial brands of herbal teas are thought to be safe during pregnancy if consumed in reasonable amounts (no more than 1-2 cups per day). Drinking excessive amounts of any herbal tea may cause pregnancy complications. It is always best to consult your healthcare provider when using herbal teas and supplements.

What Herbs and Herbal Teas to Avoid During Pregnancy

While most commercially made herbal teas are considered safe in moderation (1-2 cups per day) during pregnancy, there are still quite a few herbs that are best avoided completely. Here’s a few of those to avoid:

  • Hibiscus tea is known for affecting estrogen and can cause pregnancy complications and has even been linked to premature birth.

  • Cohosh tea is commonly used to relieve the symptoms of menopause and to soothe away period pain. It is, however, considered unsafe for pregnancy. Studies show that there is a link between taking cohosh and having a higher risk of miscarriage and birth defects.

  • Lemongrass tea is a highly beneficial herb, but it can have a negative effect on pregnant women. Lemongrass contains mycrene. Mycrene is known to affect developing bones and is linked to a higher risk of miscarriage.

  • Ginseng tea is another health boosting tea that can have a negative effect in pregnant women. Ginseng is known to affect blood pressure, cause vaginal bleeding, diarrhea and can even affect sleep.

  • Liquorice root tea sometimes contains glycyrrhizin. Excessive consumption can cause a hormonal issue called pseudoaldosteronism. Pseudoaldosteronism causes symptoms such as fatigue, swelling of limbs, headaches and high blood pressure.

  • Senna leaf tea is often used as a laxative and should be avoided during pregnancy. Senna can cause pain, cramping, diarrhea, electrolyte imbalance and dehydration.


What Herbal Teas are Safe During Pregnancy

There are so many herbal remedies available for pregnant and nursing mums and it’s all a little confusing when there are so many restrictions. When I was pregnant I liked these herbal teas the most:

  • Ginger tea is great for soothing digestion and is an age old remedy for morning sickness. Prepare ginger tea bags or infuse fresh ginger in freshly boiled water for 5-10 minutes before enjoying. You can always add a squeeze of honey or sprinkle of sugar if you prefer something a little sweeter.

  • Peppermint tea is a wonderfully uplifting tea that can also soothe and relax digestion which can aid in the relief of nausea and troublesome trapped wind. However, if you are suffering from acid reflux or heartburn it should be avoided.

  • Chamomile tea is also known for soothing digestion and creating calmness. It has properties that can aid in relieving muscle aches and pain and can be enjoyed by infusion or even applied topically. Studies show that excessive amounts of Chamomile tea can cause contractions and so some people wish to avoid it.

  • Raspberry leaf tea is said to be safe during pregnancy. There are some studies that suggest that raspberry leaf tea can cause contractions and induce labour so should be avoided in the early stages of pregnancy.. There are also studies that show that this herb can help prepare the uterus for birth in the third trimester.

  • Dandelion leaf tea is growing in popularity for its ability to help prevent water retention, relieve that bloating feeling and flush out the body keeping it healthy. The taste of dandelion leaf tea can be somewhat astringent and so I loved adding mint leaves and honey for a more balanced finish.

  • Lemon balm tea is known for its calming properties. It contains rosmarinic acid, this is a strong antioxidant that is commonly used to aid in the relief of stress and anxiety.

Pregnancy Tea Time Recipes

Here are some fabulous recipes that you may like to try during or even after pregnancy:

How to Make a Chamomile Spritzer

I love making this refreshing spritzer and have enjoyed this even when not pregnant. The chamomile and ginger is really soothing and settles the digestion. Pasteurised apple cider vinegar is also known to be beneficial during pregnancy, aiding in the relief of sickness, acid reflux and helping digestion. If you are suffering from heartburn or acid reflux, omit the mint sprigs. Mint can relax digestion and heighten acid reflux and heartburn. Whilst Chamomile tea is thought to be safe during pregnancy, studies suggest that drinking excessive amounts can cause uterine cramps.

INGREDIENTS (Serves 2)

  • 2 Teaspoons of Chamomile Tea/2 Chamomile Tea Bags

  • 1 Inch Piece of Ginger - Grated

  • 4 Tablespoons of Honey

  • 2 Tablespoon of Apple Cider Vinegar

  • Mint Sprigs

  • Sparkling Water

  • Ice

METHOD

Firstly, brew the chamomile tea in 1/2 cup of freshly boiled water and add the grated ginger. Allow to steep for 5-10 minutes before removing the chamomile and ginger using a fine mesh strainer. Add the honey and whisk until the honey is dissolved. Next, whisk in the apple cider vinegar. Pour the mixture over large glasses of ice and top up with sparkling water. Add mint sprigs to serve.

Read More: How to Make Sparkling Iced Tea


How to Make Chai Spiced Lemonade

Another recipe that’s great for digestion and also great for stuffy noses which can be a bit of a pregnancy pain. However, the spice isn’t great if you have a bout of heartburn. Skip the chai and enjoy with just the infused ginger and serve with slices of lemon and cinnamon sticks.

INGREDIENTS (Serves 2)

  • 2 Teaspoon of Masala Chai/ 2 Masala Chai Tea Bags

  • 2 Cups (16fl oz) of Old Fashioned Cloudy Lemonade

  • 1 Inch Piece of Fresh Ginger - Grated

  • Slices of Lemon - to Serve

  • Cinnamon Sticks - to Serve

METHOD

In a small saucepan gently heat the lemonade, remove from the heat and add the masala chai and grated ginger. Allow to steep for around 5 minutes before removing the tea and ginger using a fine mesh strainer. Serve hot in mugs with slices of lemon and cinnamon sticks. Alternatively, pour over large glasses of ice and add the slices of lemon and cinnamon sticks.

Read More: How to Make a Coconut Chai Latte


How to Make a Moroccan Mint Tea Mojito

Here’s how to make Moroccan Mint Tea Mojitos, sans alcohol of course. The green tea and mint adds the extra punchiness needed as a replacement for the rum.

INGREDIENTS (Serves 2)

  • 2 Heaped Teaspoons of Moroccan Mint Tea/2 Moroccan Mint Tea Bags

  • Juice of 1/2 Lime Plus Lime Wedges to Serve

  • 4 Tablespoons of White Sugar

  • Sparking Water

  • Ice

  • Fresh Mint Sprigs to Serve

METHOD

Firstly, brew the Moroccan mint tea in 1/2 cup (4fl oz) of water that has been boiled and cooled to around 80*C/175*F. Allow to infuse for 3-5 minutes before removing the leaves with a fine mesh strainer. Add the sugar and stir until it has dissolved. Next add the lime juice and combine. In large glasses, add the ice and pour in the tea mixture. Top up with sparkling water and add the mint sprigs and lime wedges to serve.

Read More: How to Make a Fresh Moroccan Mint Tea



How to Make a Nutty Hot Chocolate Tea

I struggled with chocolate when I was pregnant, however, on the days that I could manage something sweet, this ‘chocola-tea’ was super filling with the added nut butter. It felt indulgent and satisfied cravings too. I make it with rooibos as it is naturally caffeine free and contains lots of goodness.

INGREDIENTS (Serves 2)

  • 2 Heaped Teaspoons of Rooibos/2 Rooibos Tea Bags

  • 2 Cups (8fl oz) of Milk/Almond Milk

  • 4 Tablespoons of Almond Butter

  • 2 Tablespoons of Honey

  • 4 Tablespoons of Dark Chocolate Chips

  • 1 Tablespoons of Cocoa Powder

  • 2 Scoops of Ice Cream

  • Grated Chocolate - to Serve

  • Whipped Cream - to Serve

METHOD

In small saucepan, warm the milk and infuse the rooibos. Allow to steep for 5-10 minutes before removing the leaves. Place the infused milk back on a low heat and add the dark chocolate chips, honey, almond butter and cocoa powder. Whisk the ingredients together until everything is combined. Pour your nutty hot chocolate into cups and top with a scoop of ice cream, whipped cream and some grated chocolate. Here’s how to make your own dairy free whipped cream.



How to Make a Black Tea Sangria

Just because you are pregnant you shouldn’t have to feel left out. Here’s a totally fabulous non alcoholic sangria recipe made with black tea and cranberry juice to keep you cool on warm days. I like to cold brew the tea in this recipe as it allows more time for the tea and fruits to infuse. Cold brewed tea creates a sweeter tasting tea and also extracts less caffeine than hot brewing.

INGREDIENTS (Serves 4)

  • 4 Heaped Teaspoons of Black Tea/4 Black Tea Bags

  • 4 Tablespoons of Simple Syrup

  • 1 Apple - Sliced

  • 1 Orange - Sliced

  • 4 Cups of Cranberry Juice

  • Sparkling Water - to Serve

  • Lots of Ice - to Serve

METHOD

This recipe makes a jug of sangria and will serve 4 so it’s great for when you have friends over. Place the tea, simple syrup, sliced fruit and cranberry juice in a jug and stir to combine. Place in the fridge for around 8 hours or overnight. Remove the tea bags/leaves and pour the sangria over ice and top with sparkling water.



How to Make a Chai Spiced Non Alcoholic Mulled Wine

Just because it’s Christmas, doesn’t mean you have to miss out on the mulled wine. This recipe is very similar to my sangria recipe but I like to use masala chai tea and serve hot with sticks of cinnamon.

INGREDIENTS (Serves 4)

  • 4 Heaped Teaspoons of Masala Chai/4 Masala Chai Tea Bags

  • 4 Tablespoons of Sugar or Honey

  • 1 Cup of Orange Juice

  • 1 Vanilla Pod - Halved Lengthwise

  • 1 Orange - Sliced

  • 4 Cups of Cranberry Juice

  • Cinnamon Sticks - to Serve

METHOD

In a medium saucepan add the cranberry juice, orange juice and sugar or honey. Gently heat and allow the sugar or honey to dissolve. Remove from the heat, add the masala chai, slices of fruit, vanilla pod and allow to infuse for 5-10 minutes. Once the tea has infused, pour into mugs and serve hot with the cinnamon sticks.





Do you have any favourite pregnancy tips you would like to share? I would love to hear from you :)



Read More of my Tea Blog Articles

This blog is for information purposes only. It is not intended to treat, cure or diagnose any medical conditions. Always seek advice from your healthcare provider.

Please note that as an affiliate, I earn a small commission from qualifying purchases made through links in this blog. This is to cover the running costs of the blog and is at no additional cost to you.