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Can You Drink Herbal Tea While Pregnant?

Drinks to avoid during pregnancy include coffee, soda and many varieties of tea; but can you drink herbal tea while pregnant? Unfortunately, not all herbal teas have been extensively tested on pregnant women; there may be evidence suggesting some could cause harm, while others might help reduce nausea or ease discomfort. It’s wise to consult your midwife or doctor regarding which herbal tea varieties may be appropriate during this stage.

Caffeinated non-herbal teas such as black, oolong, green, white, matcha and chai should only be consumed in moderation during pregnancy as they contain caffeine. Most experts advise limiting consumption to 200 milligrams daily. If you regularly indulge in caffeinated varieties it may be beneficial to switch over to decaf versions in order to limit exposure to caffeine.

Peppermint and ginger teas are considered safe during pregnancy. Studies suggest they may help relieve nausea and vomiting. Lemon balm tea might also provide relief, helping with anxiety or irritability while aiding sleep; but their true effects have yet to be fully researched in pregnant women.

Nonherbal teas contain more caffeine than herbal ones due to being made with roots, berries, flowers, seeds and leaves that haven’t been grown into tea plants. Their caffeine levels vary depending on brand – to stay safe it’s best to check labels regularly and consume no more than two cups per day of these non-herbal varieties.

Some herbs that may be safe in small doses when consumed as food may not be appropriate during pregnancy if consumed in tea form at large quantities, due to higher concentration levels than with food and more likely negative side effects than otherwise. Parsley and St John’s Wort are two such herbs with potential miscarriage-causing properties and should be consumed sparingly during gestation.

Early pregnancy should be avoided because nettle leaf tea can stimulate the uterus, potentially leading to miscarriage. Later pregnancy it should generally be safe, though with supervision from healthcare professionals. Also avoid herbal teas containing alcohol as its chemicals can cross the placenta while high levels of caffeine could potentially cause fetal distress as well as premature labor and low birth weight – it would be best if decaf versions of nonherbal teas are consumed during gestation.