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Tea and pregnancy: everything you need to know

Tea While Pregnant. Pregnancy is often synonymous with joy, but it presupposes certain precautions, including food. They begin with tea consumption, which is a stimulating drink like coffee. Can we continue to drink tea during pregnancy and, if so, how?

Tea During Pregnancy

Tea During Pregnancy

Tea, an age-old drink

Tea, an aromatic drink prepared by infusing the dried leaves of the tea plant, has been consumed since antiquity. It is the drunkest beverage in the world, after water. It is highly appreciated for its taste and thirst-quenching character; it is also consumed for its many virtues – slimming, detoxifying, energizing, and relaxing. There is not one tea, but teas, which differ in color: black, green, Oolong (blue-green), yellow, white, post-fermented (or smoked). The color of each tea is due to a different treatment of the leaves, and this treatment will also influence the tannin and theine content of the tea.

The caffeine in tea is called theine. But this is to rectify the common misconception that the two substances are different. The theine in tea and the caffeine in coffee are the same molecules: methyl theobromine. This alkaloid acts as a stimulant of the central nervous and cardiovascular systems. The only difference between coffee and tea is the assimilation of their caffeine by the body. Indeed, the tannins in tea have the effect of delaying this assimilation. This is why tea is said to be less exciting than coffee. In addition, tea also contains theanine, an amino acid with relaxing and anti-stress properties.

Best Tea For Pregnancy

Best Tea For Pregnancy
Finally, tea contains many polyphenols (or tannins). Polyphenols are organic molecules present in plants, which have many positive effects on health. Their antioxidant potential would have a positive impact on inflammatory and cardiovascular diseases but also cancer.

Risks of tea during pregnancy

During pregnancy, excessive tea consumption can lead to inconvenience or even risk for the pregnant woman and the fetus.
  1. Palpitations and increased heart rate of mother and child.
  2. Accentuation of gastric burns and gastroesophageal reflux in pregnant women.
  3. Poor assimilation of certain minerals like iron. The Public Health France site advises to consume tea away from meals; otherwise, you will not absorb the micronutrients provided by food badly and, therefore, suffer from deficiencies, such as anemia.
  4. Increased risk of bone loss in the future, and calcium deficiency in infants, due to the high fluoride content of poor quality tea (less noble or old leaves).
  5. Growth retardation in children.

Benefits of tea during pregnancy

Tea, moreover, is a beneficial drink for pregnant women when consumed in moderation.
  1. Tea is a good source of hydration, which pregnant women need. It is indeed advisable, during pregnancy, to drink 2 to 3 liters per day.
  2. Following hydration, the risk of transit disorders (constipation), urinary tract infections, and water retention are reduced.
  3. Strengthening of the immune system, thanks to the high polyphenols content in tea.
  4. Stimulation of insulin sensitivity and, therefore, preventing gestational diabetes are sometimes present during pregnancy.
  5. Prevention of pregnancy-related hypertension and, consequently, reduce the risk of pre-eclampsia. Pre-eclampsia is a disease of pregnancy-associated rise in blood pressure and proteinuria (protein in urine) after the 20th week of amenorrhea.

Pregnancy Safe Tea

Under what conditions should you continue to drink tea during pregnancy?

If you want to continue drinking tea for the taste and its positive effects on health despite pregnancy, it is a question of looking more closely at your consumption.

Which tea to favor during pregnancy?
Not all teas have the same theine content. Also, it is better to favor teas low in theine, Roobois (nicknamed "red tea," but which is not) devoid of caffeine or even decaffeinated tea. For information :
  1. Black tea and smoked tea are the richest in tannins and theine.
  2. Green tea, which is growing in popularity, is very antioxidant and contains slightly less caffeine than black tea.
  3. White tea, which has not been oxidized, contains very little theine and a few polyphenols.
  4. Oolong is an exquisite tea, low in theine.
Finally, if you want to consume a hot drink similar to tea but avoid any risk associated with theine, you can opt for herbal teas. They contain no tea and, therefore, no stimulating substances. Moreover, certain plants should be avoided: licorice, angelica, Ginkgo biloba, sage, yarrow, ginseng, passionflower.

Pregnancy Safe Tea Quantities and frequency

Tea is allowed during pregnancy, but its consumption must remain moderate. Thus, the World Health Organization advises not to exceed 300 mg of caffeine per day. To better know what this quantity corresponds to, know that:
  • A 250ml cup of black tea contains 50mg of theine
  • A 250ml cup of green tea contains 30mg of theine
In addition, if you consume foods or drinks rich in caffeine, such as cola drinks or energy drinks, coffee (and all foods containing it), maté, or chocolate, alongside your tea, be sure to total caffeine accumulation.