Tea for two? If you’re pregnant, every sip you take might have an impact on your growing baby, so you’re never drinking alone. Because many teas are brewed from herbal leaves that also can be used for medicinal effects, you do need to think carefully about what’s in your cuppa’. Here is a list of teas that are safe during pregnancy””and ones you should avoid until after baby arrives.
5 Teas to Enjoy During Pregnancy
- Peppermint tea. Great if you have morning sickness or heartburn, too. Ginger tea also has this effect, but some studies suggest it can have a negative impact on the fetus.
- Rooibos tea. With no caffeine and plenty of antioxidants, this is tea is also delicious!
- Lemon balm. Like the popular chamomile tea, lemon balm is thought to be calming and supportive of healthy sleeping habits””but chamomile doesn’t have reliable evidence documenting its safety for pregnant women.
- Red raspberry leaf tea. Midwives and doulas routinely recommend this herbal beverage to maintain health during pregnancy, delivery and postpartum period.
- Any decaffeinated non-herbal tea. No herbs, no caffeine, no worries! My personal pick: Celestial Seasonings Decaffeinated India Spice Chai Black Tea. Such a fragrant flavor.
5 Teas to Avoid During Pregnancy
- Kombucha. This is a wonderful tea for energy and detoxification, but it is created by fermentation and contains raw, unpasteurized elements””so if you want to be safe rather than sorry, skip it, don’t sip it.
- Ginseng. Some evidence suggests this herb can be dangerous to the developing baby””until studies suggest otherwise, you’d probably be better off drinking something else.
- Black teas. Unless they are labeled decaffeinated, you do need to worry about caffeine levels when you’re pregnant. If your doctor asked you to limit your caffeine intake, be careful about teas just as you would be about coffee or colas.
- Licorice root. Not considered safe; the U.S. National Institute of Health says consuming licorice by mouth during pregnancy can lead to miscarriage or early delivery.
- St. John’s wort. A 2006 study by the Canadian Journal of Clinical Pharmacology suggested that this herb can have negative effects on both the mother and the developing child during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
If you’re a tea addict the way I’ve always been, it is hard to cut out so many teas””but I personally believe the blandest, plainest tea tastes absolutely delicious when you’ve swirled in some raw honey and vanilla almond milk!
Jorie Mark is Vitacost.com’s Director of Marketing Communications and mom to three kids, ages 3 to 10.