Can You Drink Hot Tea While Pregnant?
For many women, a cup hot tea can be a soothing way to start the day or wind down in the evening. But is it safe to drink while pregnant?
The short answer is that hot tea is generally considered safe during pregnancy, although the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends that pregnant women limit their intake to two or fewer cups a day.
Reasons For Limiting Tea Consumption During Pregnancy
There are several reasons why it’s important to limit hot tea consumption during pregnancy:
- Caffeine: All types of tea contain some amount of caffeine, which can cause problems like insomnia, dehydration and increased heart rate to both you and your baby. Herbal teas are typically the least caffeinated.
- Tannins: Tea contains naturally occurring tannins, which can reduce iron absorption. This can be an issue for pregnant women since they are already at an increased risk of anemia. Black teas have the highest levels of tannins.
- Unknown Effects: The safety of some herbal teas while pregnant is still unclear. Many herbal teas contain herbs like echinacea and goldenseal, which are said to have medicinal benefits but have not been thoroughly tested in pregnant women. Therefore, research on the safety of these herbs is not yet complete.
How to Safely Consume Tea During Pregnancy
If you want to enjoy a cup of hot tea while pregnant, there are some precautions you should take:
- Avoid black tea, as it is the highest in tannins and caffeine. Green, white and herbal teas are generally a better choice.
- Drink no more than two cups of any type of tea per day.
- If choosing herbal teas, make sure that any herbs or plants used are generally considered safe for pregnant women.
- Make sure to stay well hydrated and to get plenty of iron rich foods, as both of these can help to compensate for any tannins present in tea.
When consumed in moderation and with care, hot tea is generally safe for pregnant women. If you have any doubts or questions, be sure to speak to your doctor or midwife for advice.