You’re pregnant, trying to get pregnant or you’re breastfeeding and wondering if it’s still safe to rise and shine with your usual morning coffee, or if you can still delight in your afternoon tea or savor your comforting bedtime herbal tea?
Here are some facts:
- Coffee and non-herbal tea during childbearing (conception, pregnancy and breastfeeding):
Coffee and non–herbal teas (like black and green tea) contain high amounts of caffeine. There’s still not enough data about the safety of caffeine for an embryo, a fetus and a newborn. Caffeine ingested by a pregnant woman gets to her bloodstream, can reach the placenta and therefore crosses to the fetus’ blood. It can also get to the breast milk. It’s best to avoid caffeine during those periods or to minimize your intake to no more than 300 mg/day, which is about 2 servings of coffee, tea or other caffeine containing drinks like soda (cola), energy drinks and maté. Decaffeinated versions could be an alternative to regular coffee and teas since they contain a low amount of caffeine.
- Herbal teas during childbearing:
Herbal tea or tisane is a tea that generally doesn’t contain caffeine and is made mostly from an herb or could be a blend of different types of herbs, spices and other plants.
Although natural generally rhymes with something good and that’s why a lot of brands try to use that term in marketing their herbal products, it is not a synonym of safe. Natural herbs can sometimes have a drug-like effect on our body. There are so many types of herbs on the market, few of them are scientifically studied and even less are tested for their hazardous effects during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Also herbs sold in pharmacies and health stores are still not regulated by health agencies and so there’s no guarantee of their safety, effectiveness and purity. Hence, it’s best to be cautious when opting for a cup of tisane. Here are some options of herbal teas that are considered safer than others but should also be consumed in moderation (2 cups/day): ginger, bitter orange, citrus peel, echinacea, peppermint, red raspberry leaf, rosemary and rosehips.
In moderation and with a bit of care, keep on relishing your little pleasures!