For the Love of Tea
I used to think I was the only one in the world who didn’t enjoy coffee. My girlfriends are avid coffee drinkers, there's a Starbucks on every corner, and Instagram loves a good coffee snap.
When I was pregnant, everyone and their doctor would remind me to cut back on my coffee intake—which was quite easy since it’s already zero and (fun fact) I've never had a cup of coffee in my life. But, I rely on my tea like most mamas rely on their coffee, which meant that I needed to figure out which of my teas were okay to keep drinking while pregnant and into lactation.
Can pregnant women drink tea?
Since there is so much information out there about cutting back on coffee while pregnant, I expected there to be the same amount of info on tea. But it was really difficult to find concrete facts anywhere.
Personally, I made the decision to avoid any teas that had mixed reviews on the safety for pregnant mothers and their growing babies, but you will want to do your own research. (I've always found Kelly Mom to be a great source of information for anything breastfeeding related, including this article on herbs to avoid.)
Green tea for pregnant mothers
Green tea has dozens of health benefits because its rich in antibiotics. This super tea does everything from fighting bacteria and promoting weight loss to regulating circulation and improving heart health.
Unfortunately, the caffeine level of green tea can be high, and there have been small studies showing that it can prevent your body from absorbing folic acid properly. While it was unlikely that I'd routinely drink enough green tea for this to happen, I ended up saying goodbye to my favorite jasmine green tea while pregnant.
Teas for pregnant and nursing mamas
Raspberry leaf tea
A few weeks before my due date, I'd heard about raspberry leaf tea and how it can help your body prepare for childbirth. It's also caffeine-free, which was a huge bonus in my book.
Since I had to give up green tea, I thought I'd give this a try. The taste was not quite as raspberry as I thought it'd be, and was more bitter than I prefer. (I also am not entirely convinced that it helps with menstruation cramps or birth, but it's really hard to compare those things so it might be worth a try!)
I love a warm cup of camomile tea in the evening, especially if I want a good night of rest—well, as long as a night of rest can be for a third or fourth trimester mama. Camomile is very soothing, and I noticed that it'd increase my milk supply. It can also soothe a teething baby who nurses just before bedtime.
Mother's milk tea
As a breastfeeding mom, I soaked in information about increasing and sustaining my milk supply. One of the tips passed along was to drink Mother's Milk tea, created with a blend of galactagogues herbs. I personally found the original version to be too bitter for my taste but the shatavari and cardamom blend was much more appealing!
My favorite teas at Starbucks
If you find yourself meeting a coworker or a friend for a coffee date at Starbucks, my tea of choice is the Tazo earl grey. It pairs nicely with a bagel and isn't too strong if you remove the tea leaves quickly. If you're pregnant, you'll want to keep your order to a tall because the caffeine is on par with an English breakfast tea.
Now that Starbucks and Teavana are one in the same, you may want to try the white tea. (They even make it in a yummy lemonade blend!) It's great for inflammation and general wellness. A cup of it will just make you feel good!
You'll always find this tea in my home
I can't write a blog post about tea and not include my Sadaf Persian tea. It's a staple in any Persian Armenian household, and it's so delicious that I think everyone should have it in their home. It's comparable to an English breakfast but the cardamom gives it an extra kick that pairs very nicely with a sweet treat or dark chocolate.
Are you a tea or coffee drinker? How are you (or did you) change up your morning cuppa while pregnant?
If you're expecting, join the Happy Mama newsletter to download my free birth plan template. Also, don't forget about my Pampering New Mama giveaway happening right now (details here). The winner will be announced on Thursday!