Thursday, January 11, 2007

Tea and Pregnancy

There was a comment on the last post about tea and pregnancy. I thought I'd just do a posting on what I've found. I am not a medical person, so definitely ask your health care provider. Here's just my thoughts on it.

Red Raspberry Leaf Tea is recommended for pregnancy. It's not really a tea, but an herbal infusion. Theoretically, it's to strengthen the uterus. Personally, I struggled to swallow the stuff with Pumpkin! And this morning, my friend who had her son last week was carrying a box of it to pass on to someone else. She had been told it would get her contractions going. It didn't help her at all. (Can I just say that in spite of my great love of tea, it was the last thing I was thinking of when I was in labor?!) Health food stores also sell Pregnancy Tea, which list the raspberry leaf as a main ingredient. I tried mixing it with other herbal teas to alter the taste, but still didn't like it. I don't plan on buying any more.

I would think you'd be okay with any decaf tea, in moderate amounts. Tea in and of itself is good for you. It contains antioxidents and all sorts of good stuff. Even black teas, like English/Irish Breakfasts, Earl Grey and Lipton, contain less caffeine than coffee. I personally think it's got to be healthier to have a little caffeine in a natural drink of tea, even with the caffeine, than to be loading up on decaf sodas. Most black teas come in decaf as well, if you look.

Also, since most of the caffeine is released in the first 30-60 seconds, you can cover your tea leaves, or bag with boiling water, let it sit for 30-60 seconds, pour off the water and then fill your cup or pot with boiling water to steep for 3-5 more minutes. You'll still have all the flavor, but with considerably less caffeine.

Most herbal teas are okay, but there are herbs pregnant women should avoid because they can cause your uterus to begin to contract! These herbs include autumn crocus, barberry, golden seal, juniper, male fern, mandrake, pennyroyal, poke root, rue, sage, southernwood, tansy, thuja, and wormwood. (From: http://www.vitaminstohealth.com/herb-pregnancy.html) I know I use sage in cooking on occasion. I've also seen golden seal, tansy, and pennyroyal in herbal teas, so be sure to read the label before brewing that cuppa!

While writing this, I took a quick tour around the internet looking up "tea and pregnancy". One site will say to avoid green teas, and the next site says green teas are fine! One site said tea can disrupt your body's ability to absorb iron, the next site up to three cups (of tea or coffee) a day should be just fine! Hmm. All the information at our fingertips is amazing, isn't it? And overwhelming, and contradictory!

I think, like most things in pregnancy and life in general, moderation and common sense are essential. People will always have their advice and it will usually contradict what the last person told you! What to do? I don't know, but I'll think about it while I go brew a cup of (decaf) tea myself. Then, I'll ask my midwife at my first appointment what she thinks. Let's hope it's not to drink the Red Raspberry Leaf Tea...

4 comments:

Sheila in Seattle said...

Hi Kimberly

I drank quite a bit of raspberry leaf tea during my last pregnancy. Nasty stuff! :) I mixed it with apple juice and that helped the taste quite a bit.

I think it helped. I had a very quick labour and delivery. 25 minutes after I arrived at the hospital I gave birth. I also had accupuncture the day before to induce labour. I was a week overdue and sick of false contractions.

All the best to you!

Julieann said...

Cute post Kimberly, and thank you:) Yes, I have done the same thing as you--I have looked up teas and one site will say a certain tea is safe while another one will say avoid it--I just have not drank any just to be safe, but I do miss a cup once in awhile, so I am going to compile a little list to take to my Doctor's and ask him---I just kept forgetting in the the past--PG brain;) Anyway, thank you so much for your help.

And, also, I agree, getting help on the internet is great, but always check with your doctor too:)

Julieann:)

Jodi said...

This is not a comment -- just a note to you.

Kimberly -

This is not a comment to your post -- I'm emailing to check on you and see if you're alright. I came to do this and then realized you had a shoutbox. When I saw your message from 1/11, I decided to go ahead and communicate this way this time. [Those boxes are just so little :o)].

You've been on my heart, and I've been praying for you. Now that I see your 1/11 note -- I'm even more concerned. I will continue to pray that all be well and that the Lord will hold you safe in His hands. Take care of yourself!

In Him who loves us most -

Jodi
jcdeputy@comcast.net

Tammy said...

My mom always drank a lot of raspberry tea at the end of her pregnancies. I believe it tones the uterus. Or something. It is quite icky though. She doesn't drink it just to drink it!

I have heard that if you get raspberry extract pills, it helps with morning sickness. I knew a gal who used it with her pregnancy, and she said that after she started taking the extract, it was a difference of night and day!

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