Following on from last week’s blog post on Herbal Teas During Pregnancy – Part 1, where we looked at the safety of herbal teas and current recommendations for how much to consume. This week’s blog post talks about the best herbal tea options to choose during pregnancy and a little about how to stay hydrated too.
What herbal teas and hot drinks are safe to have during pregnancy?
There are lots and lots of teas that are safe to consume during pregnancy. It’s important to be aware of your limits, which mainly include not going over 200mg of caffeine a day and having no more than 4 herbal teas a day too.
From last week’s blog, remember these three rules when it comes to herbal tea consumption:
- Stick to no more than 4 cups of herbal tea a day and
- Opt for a variety of different teas so you’re not having too much of any one kind
- Avoid medicinal or therapeutic doses of herbs and always check with your health professional before taking any.
Black tea and green teas – however, these need to be consumed in moderation due to their caffeine content. One cup of black tea and one cup of green tea are likely include around 100mg of caffeine (your maximum recommendation is 200mg during pregnancy). Remember that caffeine is also found in other foods such as chocolate and cola too.
Red bush tea (also called rooibos) – There is some research on the safety of red bush, but it seems to be deemed safe to consume during pregnancy. This tea is also naturally caffeine free and contains lower levels of tannins (or plant phenolics) than regular or green tea (plant phenolics can reduce some people’s absorption of iron, which is an important nutrient during pregnancy.)
Lemon and ginger tea – Although there is some question concerning ginger during pregnancy, most research highlights the benefits of consuming it for nausea. In a number of studies and randomised controlled trials, ginger was shown to reduce nausea in pregnant women. The National Institute of Clinical Excellence recommends ginger as a natural remedy for nausea during pregnancy and consuming it in moderate amounts and in those amounts found in herbal teas, is fine to do.
Mint and peppermint – this appears to be another popular and refreshing tea option, with anecdotal research suggesting that pregnant women take this to try and ease symptoms of nausea too. Again, it’s important not to use higher doses and peppermint oil use is advised against during pregnancy too.
Echinacea, Rosehip and Chamomile – these teas are all generally considered safe for consumption during pregnancy.
Fruit teas – most fruit teas should be fine to consume during pregnancy. As with anything though, it’s a good idea to consume most foods in moderation and vary the teas that you’re having day to day. Stick with fruit infusions, as some fruit teas are blended with black or green tea, and some powdered instant fruit teas contain both black tea and large amounts of sugar – which if continually sipped is not good for your teeth.
The best way to stay hydrated during pregnancy
Staying hydrated is vital during pregnancy and you’ll need around 7-10 glasses of fluid a day, possibly more if you’re active or if the weather is very warm. The best thing to do is to try and get your fluid intake from a variety of sources throughout the day – black tea, green tea, decaf teas and coffees, herbal teas, fruit teas, water, milk and fresh juice. Remember your limits with each type and try to avoid consuming too many sugary drinks during pregnancy as flavour preferences can be developed in the womb.
Disclaimer: The Tea Advisory Panel have kindly helped me with writing this article and checking the facts and stats but I have received NO endorsements or payment of any kind for this post and was not asked to write it for them.