(Closed) Any recommendations on teas/hot beverages during pregnancy?

posted 6 years ago in Pregnancy
Post # 16
Member
2016 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

I went completely caffeine free during my pregnancy. I only drank decaf coffee and tea that used no chemicals during the decaffination process (is that even a term?).

I also was drinking hot spiced apple juice during the winter months or hot blackcurrant juice. Hot water with honey and lemon was a great one for when i was feeling a little icky. I stayed away from herbal teas but did drink RRL in my 3rd trimester with no ill effects. 

Post # 17
Member
3339 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2013 - Rhode Island

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Bridey77:  White tea is not caffeine free.  It just has very low caffeine compared to green, oolong, and black teas.

Post # 18
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5220 posts
Bee Keeper

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Christy42213:  1%  the amount of coffee might as well be caffiene free. I guess “very low caffiene” would be more accurate.

I wouldn’t drink in the morning, that’s all I know, LOL.

Post # 19
Member
193 posts
Blushing bee

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ChocolateLime:  What brand of tea did you buy that used no chemicals during the decaf process?

Post # 20
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1534 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

I asked a nurse from my OB/GYN’s office about teas yesterday…. she basically said that everything except raspberry leaf tea is fine (though to watch the caffeine, since I drink coffee also).

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Truffle-hunter:  This makes sense…. great way to think about it!  I think I will stock up on Celestial Seasonings this weekend. 

Post # 21
Member
2016 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

 

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SoontobeMrs0831:  Im in the UK and not sure where you are but Clipper teas use a CO2 process to decaffinate and a certain nescafe coffee uses this process also. Try and find one that uses CO2 or water to decaffinate. 

Post # 22
Member
706 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

I was told to stay away from herbal teas, and I just stopped drinking coffee and black tea. But, my midwife suggested peppermint, especially as an aid against nausea. Celestial seasonings has a peppermint tea with nothing else in it. I’m sure there will be some blends now that the holidays are fast approaching.

Post # 23
Member
554 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

I am drinking rooibos tea, including the chai and earl grey versions, with a spot of milk in the evenings. 

I don’t want anything too sweet in the evenings So those work for me.  I refuse to drink warm milk.  Ick!

Post # 24
Member
118 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

I bought a box of the healthy mama pregnancy tea, and am about to start trying it this week.  Up until now? Good ole hot chocolate! 🙂 yum.

Post # 25
Member
3378 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: December 2011

I’ve really been enjoying Trader Joe’s decaf Irish Breakfast tea (TJ’s is one brand that doesn’t use bad chemicals in their decaffienation process) with the juice of half a lemon and some honey.

Post # 26
Member
3339 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2013 - Rhode Island

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NowandLater:  
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Bridey77:  

I have done a lot of research about tea because I absolutely LOVE it!  A really great resource is Steepster.com, which is an online community of tea lovers and bloggers.  The biggest concern with tea is twofold: caffeine and herbals.  I’ll address herbals first ’cause it’s easier.

In general, herbal teas are not teas.  That is, all tea is produced from the same plant: camellia sinensis.  Literally almost all tea comes from this plant: white, green, oolong, black, etc.  The thing that makes tea so awesome, is that it’s the way you treat the leaves before/after picking that makes different types of tea.  There are literally endless kinds of tea, especially once you introduce added flavorings.  So what is herbal tea?  It’s not from camellia sinensis.  There are a couple other bushes used to make tea leaves: honeybush and rooibos.  But some herbal teas don’t even have those types of leaves in them.  They’re just a blend of dried fruit, berries, nuts, and added flavorings.  Honeybush and rooibos are both naturally caffeine free and therefore excellent choices to enjoy during pregnancy.  With other herbal blends, you just want to check the ingredient list to make sure you recognize all the things on it.  Anything you don’t recognize as a fruit, berry, nut, or natural flavoring may be harmful and should be Googled before consuming.  Some common ingredients in herbal teas that should be avoided during pregnancy are: chamomile, dandelion, rose hips aka hibiscus, red raspberry leaf in the first trimester, kava kava, lime blossom, catnip, nettles, alfalfa, and yellow dock.

Now about caffeine.  General guidelines say consuming 200-300mg daily is safe.  However, there is a lot of controversy over caffeine during pregnancy at all because it has been proven that the developing fetus can’t metabolize it the way that an adult can.  So you’ll have to decide for yourself how you feel about it.  Women who consume caffeine have been found to be twice as likely to miscarry, so I’ve avoided it 100% during the first trimester just in case.  But again, you’ll have to decide for yourself what you think is a safe amount.  I definitely would not consume more than 300mg a day though and I also try to spread out my consumption throughout the week.  It can take 48 hours for the fetus to metabolize caffeine, so if I do drink it, I try not to have it every day.

The amount of caffeine released into tea depends on many factors.  First, stay away from crushed or minced tea leaves like those often found in teabags.  Mincing the leaves like this releases a lot more caffeine into the tea.  Instead, go for whole leaf teas.  It is super easy to brew and you can get a lot of different brewing utensils according to what you like.  I recommend a steeping/infuser basket because they are cheap, reusable, don’t affect the flavor of the tea, and are large enough to allow the tea leaves to grow and drift as they steep.

What can you do to lower the caffeine content in tea?  Lots of things!  Brew it in colder water.  This is called coldbrewing.  You can literally put leaves in cold water and store it in the fridge for 12-24 hours, then remove the leaves and enjoy cold.  This releases less caffeine into the water than traditional hot brewing.  If you want to enjoy a tea hot, I recommend the 1st infusion dump method.  You may not know this, but high quality loose-leaf teas can be brewed over and over again using the same leaves.  Depending on the type of tea, you can get up to 20 infusions from the same leaves.  Talk about cost effective tea drinking!  The easiest way to get rid of the majority of the caffeine in tea is to steep it in boiling water for 30 seconds, then throw away this first infusion, and re-steep the leaves.  This works because most caffeine is released during the first 30 seconds of an infusion.  If you don’t drink that, then the subsequent cups will have much lower amounts of caffeine.

This method isn’t always the best choice though because some teas are too fragile to handle boiling water.  Water temperature is very important for brewing a delicious cup of tea.  Black and oolong teas are fine at boiling.  But green and white teas are too fragile for such hot water.  If you do it anyway, the leaves will scorch and release a lot of bitterness and astringency, which tastes terrible.  For green tea, it’s best to steep the leaves in about 175-180 degrees F.  White tea is best at 155-160 F.  You can get a tea thermometer at Teavana or other tea retailers.  If you don’t want to invest in one (they’re about $20) then you can boil water, pour it into an empty cup, and then wait 1-2 minutes before adding leaves (1-1.5 mins for green and 2-3 mins for white).

Green and white teas are naturally lower in caffeine than blacks.  These are also much better tasting when cold brewed than black tea (in my opinion).  The only exception is matcha, which is a Japanese tea where they pulverize green tea leaves into a powder.  Since you’re actually consuming the whole leaf in matcha, it has much higher caffeine than regular green tea.  I don’t recommend matcha during pregnancy.  Also, in general the more leaf you add to tea, the more caffeine it has.  So try brewing tea using only 1 tsp of leaves in 8 ounces of water.  If you don’t like the flavor and want it to be stronger, then go up to 1.5 or 2 tsp.

Other quick tips: green tea should be avoided during the first trimester as it can inhibit folic acid absorption.  Although Teavana has great brewing equipment, their teas are actually very low quality, extremely overpriced, and generally avoided in the tea community.  My favorite tea companies are: 52teas.com, ButikiTeas.com, DAVIDsTEA.com, Teavivre.com, and VerdantTea.com.

Post # 27
Member
136 posts
Blushing bee

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melisandescott:  i am surprised that peppermint was recommended – we learned in manicure schol not to use peppermint lotion in pedicures if the client was pregnant because it could cause a reaction – gynecological, not dermatological.

Post # 28
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706 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

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henryetta:  That is interesting.  Well, all I can say is that it has definitely helped with the nausea. 

Post # 29
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1534 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

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melisandescott:  Why did they say to stay away from herbal teas?  Due to questions about what’s in them?

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Christy42213:  Wow, what a huge amount of info!  Thanks for typing all of that out.  I had no idea that chamomile was a problem, do you know why?  Also, I’m not sure where your stats came from about women who drink caffeine having twice as many miscarriages, but several providers in my dr’s office all said that it’s fine and has not been proven to cause issues as long as you keep the amount low…. they said to keep it to 200mg or less/day.    That said, of course it’s a personal choice, just like everything is during pregnancy.

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henryetta:  
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melisandescott:  I literally just bought peppermint tea yesterday… that’s weird that it was said to cause a reaction of some sort?  

Post # 30
Member
1534 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

Found this on American Pregnancy… interesting discussion of a few different teas.

  • Red Raspberry Leaf (Likely Safe) – Rich in iron, this herb has helped tone the uterus, increase milk production, decrease nausea, and ease labor pains.  Many of the Pregnancy Teas commonly contain red raspberry leaf to help promote uterine health during pregnancy. There is some controversy about whether this should be used throughout pregnancy or just in the second and third trimester, so many health care providers remain cautious and only recommend using it after the first trimester.
  • Peppermint Leaf (Likely Safe) – Helpful in relieving nausea/morning sickness and flatulence.
  • Lemon Balm (Likely Safe– Has a calming effect and helps relieve irritability, insomnia, and anxiety.
  • Ginger root (Possibly Safe) -Helps relieve nausea and vomiting.
  • Dandelion (Insufficient Reliable Information Available) – Rich in Vitamin A, calcium and iron; dandelion root and leaf can also help relieve mild edema and nourish the liver.
  • Chamomile (German) (Insufficient Reliable Information Available) – High in calcium and magnesium, also helps with sleeplessness and inflammation of joints.
  • Nettles (Stinging Nettles) -(Likely Unsafe-see note High in vitamins A, C, K, calcium, potassium and iron. Used in many Pregnancy Teas because it is a great all-around pregnancy tonic. (*Note on the safety of nettles: Natural Medicines Database gives nettles a rating of Likely Unsafe, even though it is used in countless pregnancy teas and recommended by most midwives and herbalists. This may be in relation to which part of the nettles plant is used, the root or the leaves, and how much is used. According to other sources, the use of nettles is encouraged during pregnancy because of all its health benefits.<sup>2</sup>)
  • Rose Hips (Insufficient Reliable Information Available) – Very good source of Vitamin C and helps boost the immune system.
  • Alfalfa (Possibly Unsafe) – Has Vitamin A, D, E and K; particularly good in later pregnancy to boost Vitamin K, which helps prevent postpartum hemorrhage.
  • Yellow Dock (Possibly Unsafe) – Used to help treat anemia in pregnant women due to the high level of iron. Also contains Vitamins A, C and calcium. *(This may also be used as a laxative–talk with your health care provider about the use of yellow dock during pregnancy).

More here:  http://americanpregnancy.org/pregnancy-health/herbal-tea/ 

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