Drinking green tea during pregnancy is safe or risky?

During the pregnancy period, a lady needs to take care of her food, lifestyle and activities. There are many things which a lady cannot do during her motherhood. Green tea is known as one of the healthy tea available in the market which can even stop cancer to attack individually. But, Is it safe for the baby inside the mother’s womb? You may not find any official advice from people around which speaks, a pregnant lady cannot drink green tea. Thus, it is not at all harmful for  the lady who is carrying a baby inside her womb.

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Pregnancy is a crucial period in a woman’s life when a new life is developing in her body. Special care and attention is required for her diet. Green tea is rich in antioxidants and so is a health enhancing drink. The contents in green tea help to prevent the damage of skin cells and protect the body against blood pressure, heart diseases and diabetes.

It is believed that herbal teas during pregnancy help to keep a healthy pregnancy. Herbal teas provide an extra source of nutrients which include iron, magnesium, and calcium.

Types of tea

Herbal and non-herbal are the two different types of tea – Herbal and Non- herbal.

Non- Herbal tea

Most black tea is Non- Herbal tea and contains some amount of caffeine.  It contains different amounts of antioxidants and caffeine. It is a product prepared from the leaves of the tea plant by fermentation.  The caffeine level is higher in leaves that undergo a longer oxidation time.

  • Non-herbal teas have health benefits, but it is advisable that pregnant women must avoid it or consume it in limitation because of the caffeine content in it.
  • Caffeine is not beneficial for the development of the baby in the womb as it cannot be metabolized by the baby.

Herbal Tea

It is made from flowers, fruits, roots, leaves and seeds of different plants. They do not contain any caffeine and are often used as medicines to cure several problems.

Herbal teas on the other hand are natural and do not contain caffeine. There is a controversy over the consumption of herbal tea during pregnancy because the effect of most herbs on the developing baby is not known. People have different opinions about the safety of herbal tea.  Commercially made herbal teas are found to be safe if consumed in moderation. But there can be some danger herbs from which tea is made.

Precautionary measures

Though it is not harmful to consume green tea of one cup or two during the pregnancy period, it is equally important to check its intake frequently. As the green tea includes the least amount of caffeine as compared to other teas available in the market, if you drink it more than twice in a day, the caffeine can harm your child.

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Limitation of caffeine

You can consume caffeine during your pregnancy period, but too much of caffeine will be harmful. Thus, it is important to set up a limit to your caffeine intake. If you can limit it to 200mg in a day, this may not be harmful. But, this 200mg must include all sources of caffeine, such as chocolate, cola, tea as well as an energy drink.

Benefits of green tea

Green tea is very famous among people in all ages, especially those who are quite health conscious. It is promoted as the healthy tea available in the market. Since the particular tea is a rich source of antioxidants, it will easily protect you from the cell damage caused by oxidants. People suffering from diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure must drink this on a regular basis. Green tea is also beneficial for getting healthy teeth and bones. This is also very beneficial to get a healthy immune system.

Result of drinking in large quantity

There are many disadvantages of drinking green tea in larger quantity. A pregnant lady must have folic acid in her body during her first 12 weeks. But, intake of green tea in a larger quantity will prevent a pregnant lady from absorbing the folic acid in her body. This can be very harmful for the baby.

According to a study, due to intake of green tea in larger quantity, the unborn baby can develop defects in neutral tube. It is very important for the mothers to avoid drinking tea unlimitedly.

Mothers develop food craving during the pregnancy period. It may be for chocolates, ice cream or any other type of food. The aromatic tea can also be one of the important item for which the lady might have food craving. There are warnings for the mums to consume the drinks rich in caffeine. It is not at all harmful for the pregnant lady to consume such tea once or twice in a day. But, the negative effect is viewed only if the limit of consumption crosses.

Disadvantages of green tea during pregnancy

  • Green tea can prevent the absorption of folic acid if taken in large amount doting pregnancy. Folic acid is a vital nutrient in the first three months of pregnancy.
  • Studies have shown that drinking green tea when conception takes place can develop neural tube defects.
  • Green tea prevents the absorption of iron from vegetables and so it must be avoided with meals.

Benefits of herbal tea

  • Herbal teas help to hydrate the body when water intake is not sufficient Herbal tea also provides some important nutrients like magnesium iron and calcium which are required during pregnancy.
  • Some green teas like Rooibos tea is caffeine free and contains antioxidant properties which are good for pregnancy
  • Some other herbal teas like ginger, chamomile, red raspberry leaf and mint give relief from morning sickness, help in sleeplessness and help in childbirth by promoting effective contractions during labor.
  • Nettle leaf is an herb that is a good source of vitamins A, C, and K, Minerals, iron, and potassium. The tea made from dried nettle leaf is more beneficial during pregnancy than the tea made from the root of the plant.  This tea must be avoided during the first three months of pregnancy as it prepares the uterus for labor.

Teas to Avoid during pregnancy

Some herbal teas have cleansing and detoxifying qualities which are unsafe during pregnancy. Some laxative herbal teas increase the flow of urine or develop diarrhea, which can lead to dehydration in a pregnant woman. Such teas must be avoided completely during the pregnancy period.

Caffeine consumption during pregnancy must be carefully observed.  Excess of caffeine can lead to low birth weight. It also leads to a longer pregnancy, which is estimated at 5-8 hours of 100 mg of caffeine per day.

Teas that are high in caffeine include green, black, and Oolong tea which should be taken in moderation during pregnancy. The family members and the spouse must be really concerned about it.

Side effects of green tea during pregnancy

The most important time to check your health during pregnancy to keep you healthy and baby. The various changes in your body sometimes keep you quite anxious. It is recommended to follow proper diet that is safe for both of you. Try to avoid foods that cause problems or complications. Drinking too much of green tea during pregnancy is not good for health. This is because the known fact of green tea contains caffeine. So, caffeine intake causes harm to your baby and leads to certain side effects. As it has some health benefits such as aids digestion, dental health, lower blood sugar, immune system, lowers cholesterol, but it is not advisable to drink green tea.

Green tea contains EGCG, which is known as epigallocatechins that affects the use of folate in the body. Folate is very important during pregnancy. Thus, green tea prevents birth defects that occurs in the neural tube. The EGCG is harmful as and when the green tea resembles its structure of methotrexate. The green tea helps to prevent cancer cells by simply bonding a DHFR enzyme or dihydrofolate reductase.

The enzyme is inactivated when the folate pathway contains these enzymes, and  EGCG is similar to methotrexate that binds with the enzyme. If once the enzymes are inactivated, then the body can’t use folate effectively. It hasn’t been any conclusion which shows how much green tea a pregnant woman should consume. It can be much affected by them with the folate.

Doctors recommend that pregnant women can drink moderate amount of tea as well as coffee. Green tea contains caffeine and is good to drink a lot of beverages that contain caffeine. Because, caffeine causes miscarriage and can lower birth weight among babies. Drink six cups of coffee per day will not affect your baby’s weight at birth. You can have a cup of coffee a day, but caffeine content in green tea is lower than coffee. So, drinking more than one cup will not harm you. Instead, all you can drink tea as many times as you like. So try to satisfy your thirst with a small cup of green tea but not more.

Safe teas during pregnancy

Some teas are labelled safe and are known as pregnancy teas. There are some herbal teas like red raspberry leaf tea, which are believed to prevent the complications during pregnancy, which include preterm labor, preeclampsia, and hamorrage after delivery and long labor.

The safe teas are

  • Ginger tea helps in giving relief from morning sickness and helping in the digestive process.
  • Nettle tea gives a good amount of calcium, iron and magnesium if taken in moderation.
  • Raspberry Leaf Tea is helpful in stimulating the uterus and preparing it for labor and prevents heavy bleeding after delivery.
  • Dandelion Leaf Tea is high in potassium and has a mild diuretic effect.
  • Peppermint Tea helps with nausea, vomiting and upset stomach. It also helps in relaxing the stomach muscles.
  • Rooibos Tea is caffeine free and it contains calcium, magnesium and high amounts of antioxidants. It helps in digestion and gives relief from acidity and heartburn.

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