Can Pregnant Women Have Tea?
Tea is a popular, soothing drink that many people look forward to, especially during the colder months. But what if you’re pregnant? Is it safe to drink tea while expecting?
Potential Risks of Tea While Pregnant
The concern with drinking tea in pregnancy is that it’s likely to contain two compounds that can affect your pregnancy: caffeine and an antioxidant called “epigallocatechin gallate” (EGCG):
- Caffeine: High amounts of caffeine can cause complications while pregnant. It can increase your blood pressure levels and cause dehydration.
- EGCG: EGCG is a type of antioxidant found in green and white tea. Too much EGCG can lead to premature labor and low birth weight.
How Much Tea Is Safe?
Now that we know of the potential risks, how much tea is safe for pregnant women to drink? The good news is that the risks are relatively low. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends that pregnant women limit their caffeine intake to 200 mg a day. That’s about one 8-ounce cup of tea a day.
Additionally, it’s important to note that not all teas are the same. Some herbal teas may not contain caffeine, but could contain other compounds that might not be safe for your developing baby. It’s best to avoid any tea that is labeled “herbal” or “natural,” as these have not been tested for safety.
The Bottom Line
In general, consuming up to one 8-ounce cup of tea per day is safe during pregnancy. But, it’s important to use caution and consult with your healthcare provider if you have questions or concerns.