Many women reduce their intake of coffee and other caffeinated beverages during pregnancy because of the associated risks (this post discusses the caffeine and pregnancy controversy). Unfortunately switching to herbal tea as an alternative isn’t as straightforward as you may think. Some teas are considered to be dangerous during pregnancy and should be avoided (these teas). See this post for herbs generally considered safe during pregnancy.
We asked Dr. Beverly Huang, ND and Dr. Pamela Smith, ND for some options for teas to drink during pregnancy. Here are a few of their suggestions:
1. Mint is a natural remedy for morning sickness. Steep fresh, whole leaves in hot water.
2. Ginger is also a natural remedy for morning sickness. Grate fresh ginger (with peel removed) into hot water. According to Dr. Pam, ginger has been scientifically studied to be effective and safe during pregnancy, but do not exceed one gram of ginger per day. Also, if you have a history of miscarriage, Dr. Pam suggests considering an alternative to ginger because it can stimulate menstrual flow if taken in excess.
3. Lemon, freshly sliced or squeezed into hot water, adding honey to taste.
4. Ginger, chamomile and lemon balm tea - Dr. Pam recommends preparing this tea blend ahead of time to enjoy warm or cold.
Instructions: 1 tsp of dried herb per cup with 0.5-1 inch chunk of fresh ginger, adding a squeeze of lemon.
Dr. Beverly's list of teas that provide good support to women during the third trimester of pregnancy includes:
5. Alfalfa which contains protein vitamin A, vitamin B1, vitamin B6, vitamin C, vitamin E, and vitamin, and nutrient analysis demonstrates the presence of calcium, potassium, iron and zinc
6. Stinging nettle leaf is rich in the minerals calcium and iron, and is a mild diuretic. It also enriches breast milk and helps to restore energy following delivery.
7. Red raspberry leaf contains a rich concentration of vitamin C, vitamin E, calcium and iron. It also contains vitamins A and B complex and many minerals, including phosphorus and potassium. Red raspberry leaf helps tone the uterus, and prevents miscarriage and postpartum hemorrhaging from a relaxed or atonic uterus. It also aids with the pain of delivery and enriches breast milk.
Instructions: Steep 1 tsp of each in hot water 2-3 times a day.
It’s a good idea to consult with your qualified healthcare provider about drinking tea and other beverages when you are expecting.
Dr. Pam's page on our site can be found here. For more about Dr. Beverly, or to book an appointment, visit the Grassroots Naturopathic Medicine website.