If you wonder what teas are safe to drink while pregnant and what’s the best tea for breastfeeding period, here is a list of best pregnancy teas mothers can drink from the first trimester all the way to labor and even while nursing.
Herbs are frequently used as teas or infusions during pregnancy. The term herbal tea usually refers to infusions with fruit and fresh or dried flowers, leaves, seeds and/or roots. Some herbal teas have been considered to be safe to drink during pregnancy, while breastfeeding and postpartum in general, if taken in moderation.
A moderate amount would be no more than two to three cups (1 cup = 250 ml) of weak tea a day. It is also a good idea to choose different herbal teas and not drink the same tea every day.
Going through pregnancy, labor and then breastfeeding involves an extra demand of energy and nutrients to nourish and support our own bodies, especially during breastfeeding liquids are essential for a good milk supply, so good quality liquids are a must.
There is a rather short list of safe drinks during pregnancy and breastfeeding. And if you are used to caffeinated drinks like coffee, green and black teas, wine or beer, it will be a challenge do adapt to new habits.
I found that a cup of herbal tea helped tremendously when I experienced abnormal food cravings (I mean quantity – especially after delivery), it curbs the appetite. So instead of having a “not so healthy snack” I reached for a cup of tea instead.
Best Herbal Teas During Pregnancy And Breastfeeding
Among the benefits of having herbal tea in pregnancy is getting small amounts of nutrients and some relief from stress and anxiety plus maintaining good hydration levels.
Here is a list of best pregnancy teas and best tea for breastfeeding that you can enjoy and also benefit from.
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Red Raspberry Leaf Tea (Pregnancy & Breastfeeding)
Red raspberry leaf is known as “the woman’s herb”, it contains the alkaloid, fragrine, which can help strengthen the uterus as well as the pelvic area. A study of efficacy of raspberry leaf on labor indicates that women who ingest raspberry leaf might be less likely to receive an artificial rupture of their membranes, require a caesarean section and fewer obstetric interventions in general.
The uterus needs a lot of vitamins and minerals to function properly (before and after delivery) and red raspberry leaf tea has almost all of them, it is high in Vitamins C, E, A, B. It also has a significant amounts of major minerals like magnesium, potassium, calcium, and phosphorus.
When to drink: It is recommended to start drinking raspberry leaf tea after the first trimester (ideally third trimester) as it may stimulate uterine contractions. This belief comes from a study back in the 1950’s where fractions of the raspberry leaf were isolated and tested in vitro to the uterine tissues of guinea pigs and frogs.
This is common for studies on purified fractions of herbs to find contraindications that may not be a problem with the whole plant. According to more recent studies, its actual role is to increase blood flow to the uterus and aid the uterine muscle fibers in more organized contraction during labor.
Drinking raspberry leaf tea while breastfeeding and raspberry leaf’s efficacy as a galactagogue (milk stimulation) is under debate, though. Some herbalists believe that raspberry leaf stimulates lactation and enriches breast milk, some don’t. However raspberry leaf tea is beneficial during postpartum period because it helps the uterus return to its pre-birth size and prevent excessive bleeding after birth.
I’ve been drinking raspberry leaf tea during my late pregnancy (about 1 cup/day, sometimes 2 cups) and even after delivery without any problems.
The raspberry leaf tea has a really pleasant taste, similar to a fruity black tea. I bought Organic Red Raspberry Leaves in a resealable bag, it lasts longer than those tiny tea packets sold in the stores.
Nettle Tea During Pregnancy & Breastfeeding
Nettle leaf tea is recommend for its rich content of vitamins and minerals, and is excellent for anemic mothers. It is high in chlorophyll and trace minerals including iron, calcium, potassium, vitamins A, C and K, which are essential for the mother and baby.
There are also reports showing that nettle tea increases milk production while breastfeeding, helps with controlling postpartum uterine bleeding, lessen hemorrhoids, reduce muscles spasms and stabilize hormones.
Nettle tea has naturally anti-histamine and anti-inflammatory properties, so it’s great to consume it during allergy season or when you experience certain allergic reactions. As for the use of nettle during pregnancy, there is “insufficient reliable information” available to determine whether it’s safe in pregnancy or not.
Although there is a study that associates the aqueous extract of nettle with possible abortive and uterine-stimulant effects, (keep in mind that teas are weaker than extracts) it is usually recommended by herbalists and midwifes in moderation later in pregnancy just like raspberry leaf tea.
Look for teas without artificial flavors or preservatives like this Organic Nettle Leaf Tea.
Rooibos Tea During Pregnancy & While Breastfeeding
Being a native south African plant, rooibos tea is used by African women during pregnancy mainly to relieve heartburn and nausea. Rooibos is naturally caffeine-free with a low tannin content, the taste is earthy, woody, slightly nutty.
It tastes better when paired with other herbs like rosehips, rose petals or mint. Just make sure to choose a good quality 100% Pure Organic South African Rooibos Tea in order to avoid dangerous contaminants.
So is drinking rooibos tea safe during pregnancy? As there is limited research into the effects of rooibos tea, it is generally considered a pregnancy-safe herbal tea.
Besides being safe it has great health benefits:
- it’s rich in antioxidants with abilities to restore immune function;
- it was discovered by African natives that when administered to colicky babies, it cured the chronic restlessness, vomiting, and stomach cramps;
- the phenolic compounds in rooibos seems to offer anti-inflammatory effects, immune-system modulation, anti-diabetic effects, anti-tumor, antimutagenic and anti-oxidative effect;
- the administration of rooibos provides the liver with an enhanced antioxidant capacity to reduce damage induced by toxicants;
- consumption of rooibos was found to be good for the overall cardiovascular health.
Chamomile Tea During Pregnancy / Breastfeeding
The calming properties of chamomile can help diminish general stress, treat insomnia, and relieve constipation.
The use of chamomile tea during pregnancy is a bit controversial – some swear by it while others considered off-limits due to the possible (though insufficiently studied) higher risk of pre-term delivery.
There is actually limited information in the scientific or traditional literature regarding drinking chamomile tea during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Serious adverse effects or toxicity on fetuses or breastfed children have not been reported.
For the first time in 2018, the effect of chamomile tea while breastfeeding was documented in a study where it was found to be a potent galactagogue (increased milk secretion).
If you choose to consume it, limit yourself to 1-2 cups of chamomile tea a day (it is known to be safe in moderate amounts). I have been consuming it in moderation during pregnancy with no side effects.
Peppermint Tea During Pregnancy & Nursing
Peppermint is one of the most frequently used herbal medicines and is classified as safe during pregnancy in low doses (two to three cups of tea daily) not as a tincture or essential oil for ingestion.
But you should be cautious while breastfeeding, some people noticed a decrease in milk supply. So if you have an overproduction of milk then you should be fine.
I didn’t see any difference if I drank it or not (in therms of milk production) but it helped a lot with thirst and relaxation. I opted for organic Peppermint Leaves in bulk, much cheaper.
Rose Hip Tea During Pregnancy / Lactation
Rose-hips are the fruits of the rose plant and are well known for their therapeutic properties. In many studies the rose-hips have proved to have anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antiviral and anti-fungal activity which in turn may support a healthy immune system.
It’s antibacterial effect combined with diuretic properties were also found to be effective against UTI and prevent kidney injuries.
The antioxidant properties of rose hips are mainly due to high concentration of ascorbic acid and derivatives of quercetin. Rosehips hold a higher concentration of vitamin C than any citrus fruit. Other components and nutrients include magnesium, calcium, fatty acids, pectin, tannin and carotene.
And since the vitamin C encourages the absorption of iron (which rose-hips also have) in the body, the rose hip tea can help boost immunity and fight off colds more easily.
Generally rose hip is considered safe and has a sufficient history of consumption as food, however there are no studies regarding safety and efficacy of rose hips in pregnancy and breastfeeding specifically.
But, few studies have reported on the safety of rose hips extracts. One study performed on rats with standardized rose hip alcohol based extract (which is much more concentrated than a tea) showed no genotoxicity and a no-observed-adverse-effects.
Therefore can be assumed that drinking rose hip tea during pregnancy in moderation cannot do any harm. If in doubt, consult a consult with a doctor prior to taking it because it depends on what other health conditions you have.
Hibiscus Tea In Pregnancy & While Breastfeeding
Hibiscus also known as roselle or sorrel has been used for centuries both as food and traditional medicine.
In general hibiscus is considered safe for human consumption even when consumed for a long time. Moreover the oral administration of hibiscus (in high doses) in animal trials was proved to not cause any chronic toxicity, it did not affect their organs or body weight.
Some people say that hibiscus tea is not recommended during pregnancy, due to its emmenagogue effects that could stimulate menstruation or blood flow in the pelvic region. Although there are no studies to confirm this.
Nevertheless, it’s best to avoid hibiscus tea in large quantities in the first trimester, just to be safe.
What concerns breastfeeding, a 2016 study conducted on rats showed that the consumption of hibiscus extract has lactogenic effect during lactation. It was also recorded a decreased maternal fluid and food intake, increased postnatal weight gain and delays on the onset of puberty in the female offspring of rats.
As it says in the study, they used the extract of hibiscus which is much stronger / concentrated and it would definitely take many mugs of tea a day, every day, to have the same effect. As long as the hibiscus is a part of normal diet during pregnancy but not used as medicinal plant, then it should be safe.
The only danger with consumption of hibiscus tea while breastfeeding (or in general) could arise if you are on any of these prescription medications (chloroquine, acetaminophen, diclofenac) as it has the potential to interact with them.
I had no problems drinking hibiscus tea while breastfeeding and during pregnancy (like 3-4 times/week). I delivered at 41 weeks a perfectly healthy baby without complications.
Hibiscus tea has a taste similar to cranberry juice, in my opinion drinking by itself is too strong, so I prffer to blend it with other teas. My favorite is Organic Hibiscus Mint Wild Tea, this is delicious iced with a little bit of honey.
Fenugreek Tea Good For Breastfeeding Only
Most of the medicinal properties of fenugreek are found in the seeds. Typical dietary and therapeutic doses are likely to be safe, however the effect of large doses has not been evaluated .
Fenugreek is considered safe for breastfeeding mothers when used in moderation. It has been found that fenugreek can increase a nursing mother’s milk supply within 24 to 72 hours after first taking the herb, although no one knows exactly how.
However, consumption of fenugreek seeds during pregnancy has been associated with a range of congenital malformations.
The fenugreek tea is believed to be less potent than the pills and the tea has a bitter taste that not everyone can tolerate.
Fenugreek is not good for everyone, it has many contraindications. It should not be used by individuals with asthma, diabetes, or a family history of peanut or soy allergy. Large doses of fenugreek has also been associated with decrease in iron absorption.
Fennel Tea While Breastfeeding
Fennel contains mineral and trace elements like calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese and zinc. Also contains vitamins A, E, C and K.
Studies have shown that various extracts of fennel possess multiple medicinal properties and has been used in traditional medicine for a wide range of ailments. Animal experiments and limited clinical trials suggest that chronic use of fennel is not harmful either.
Fennel has been safely and effectively used alone and with other herbs in infants for the treatment of colic, so the smaller amounts in breast-milk are likely not to be harmful with usual maternal doses.
In two small studies fennel was found to be associated with an increase of maternal milk volume, fat content and infant weight gain. However fennels is not recommended during pregnancy due to its estrogenic activity that could affect the reproductive organs in fetuses.
Fennel should also be avoided by mothers if they, or their infants are allergic to carrots, celery, or other plants in the Apiaceae family because of possible cross-allergenicity.
Elderflower Tea In Pregnancy / Breastfeeding
Elderflowers are white flowers that develop into purple elderberries later in the summer, which are well known for their antiviral effect. The flowers are sweet, honey-scented and have many different culinary uses from drinks to deserts.
Elderflowers also have diuretic properties and anti-inflammatory effect on the upper respiratory system when under stress from colds, flu, or sinusitis.
Some people avoid elderflower tea just because it wasn’t studied enough to know whether elderflower is safe for pregnant and breastfeeding women or not. But there is also no evidence showing that it is contraindicated, so I don’t see why not drinking it in moderation.
Once you try it, the uniquely sweet, fruit-and-honey flavor will be registered in your taste memory for a long time. I usually buy this elderflower tea and mix it with other nerbs.
Alfalfa Tea For Breastfeeding And While Pregnant
Alfalfa has Vitamin A, D, E and K. The proportion of vitamin K is the highest, which makes it quite beneficial in helping later in pregnancy to prevent postpartum hemorrhage. But it should be avoided if taking warfarin.
Alfalfa is considered a galactagogue, which helps increase breastmilk production. Although there are no scientifically valid clinical trials support this use.
Plantain Leaf Tea While Nursing / Pregnant
Plantain is a wonderful “first aid” plant that has long been considered by herbalists to be a useful remedy for cough, wounds, inflamed skin or dermatitis. It strengthens the mucous membranes, which abound in both the respiratory and the gastrointestinal tracts.
The British Herbal Pharmacopoeia (BHP) describes the actions of plantain as locally “diuretic & antihemorrhagic” and says it is indicated for “cystitis with haematuria & hemorrhoids with bleeding and irritation“.
Haematuria (small amounts of blood in urine) and cystitis are common in pregnancy and women are usually prescribed antibiotics to treat them, but plantain tea would make a much gentler alternative with no side effects.
Plantain leaves are high in calcium, beta carotene, vitamin C, and especially vitamin K. Plantain is not associated with any common side effects and is generally considered safe to use whilst pregnant or during breastfeeding in moderation.
It was found that some people with melon allergies are also allergic to plantain.
You will not find plantain tea sold in food stores, but you can find organic plantain leaves sold in bulk on amazon.
Linden Tea During Pregnancy And Breastfeeding
Most of you probably had the chance to smell the sweet aroma of the linden flowers on the corner of the street when they blossom. The tea itself has a sweet perfume and a pleasant mild taste.
Linden flower tea is a fragrant infusion extremely popular remedy for colds, to reduce fever, alleviate cough and sore throat pain.
Linden has antispasmodic action and may help people who suffer from upset stomach or excessive gas. Many of these uses have been confirmed or partially confirmed in modern research.
The American Herbal Products Association’s guide on herbal safety states that generally linden has no toxic effects.
In fact, linden is considered safe for use in children with cold symptoms and there are no known reasons to avoid it during pregnancy and breast-feeding.
To make a linden tea – add 2–3 teaspoons (5–10 grams) of dried or fresh flowers to a pint (500 ml) of just boiled water. After steeping the flowers for ten to fifteen minutes, sip the tea while it is still hot. This organic linden flower tea is always in my pantry, I love it for it’s gentle calming and relaxing effect.
Lemon Balm Tea For Pregnancy & Lactation
The lemon balm tea has a soothing, earthy, lemon-mint flavor and aroma. There is some evidence that the lemon balm has sedative effects, and it is currently used for insomnia, anxiety and even postpartum pain management.
There is also some reports that it may be helpful in colic, and irritable bowel syndrome. When drank as a tea, it helps the body to digest food more effectively and decreases painful spasms.
Lemon balm also has antiviral properties, it suppresses the growth of viruses, generally by supporting the immune system.
Some research shows that giving a specific multi-ingredient product containing fennel, lemon balm, and German chamomile to breast-fed infants with colic twice daily for a week reduces crying time.
Lemon balm may interact with sedatives and thyroid medications. If you are taking sedatives (for insomnia or anxiety) or medications to regulate your thyroid (hypothyroidism), ask your doctor before taking lemon balm.
My Other Top Favorite Teas
- Organic Wild Berry Tea #6 – a herbal tea mix of hibiscus, elderberry, currant and cranberry.
- Thai G Tea #5 – organic rooibos tea with ginger, lemongrass and lime, it is very fragrant, and the flavors blend well together, warming your throat in a nice way.
- Mother To Be Blend Tea #14 – a combination of Raspberry leaf, Nettle, Spearmint, Ginger, Oatstraw, Rose petals, Lemon Balm, Chamomile, 100% Natural.
Tea Quality And Safety During Pregnancy And Breastfeeding
As with most products, all tea is not created equal. Opting to save a few dollars on cheaper tea can cost you a lot more when it comes to your health. Choose a non-GMO certified brand of tea.
Check the ingredient list to make sure there are no added flavors or GMO ingredients added to the tea leaves. Many restaurants use tea brands that are known to be full of pesticides, so be careful about ordering tea while out to eat.
Many of today’s tea brands claim to provide health benefits and promoting clean living, but are actually laden with pesticides, toxins, artificial ingredients, added flavors and GMOs.
During independent investigations and testing, was found that over half of all of the teas that were tested had pesticide residues exceeding the U.S. limits (over 22 different types of chemical pesticides).
These pesticides have been linked to impaired fertility and could harm unborn babies.
Conventional Tea Brands To Avoid:
- Lipton (Pure Green Tea, Yellow Label and Black Tea)
- Celestial Seasonings
- Red Rose
- Uncle Lee’s Legends of China (Green and Jasmine Green Tea)
- King Cole
- Trader Joe’s
You also want to be aware of where your tea is grown and how manufacturers process and package it.
Researchers found all tea samples from China tested positive for at least three kinds of pesticides, with one-third containing up to 29 different pesticides (many of them illegal).
Not only should we concern ourselves with pesticide residue on the tea leaves, but even the bags themselves can be toxic.
Silky tea bags are made from plastics like nylon or polypropylene that can dissolve in hot water, as for the paper tea bags – most of them are treated with epichlorohydrin, a known carcinogen.
So consider loose-leaf teas instead and get a glass tea pot with tea infuser set for more convenience and less hassle.
I order most of my herbs in bulk and make mixes of herbal teas very inexpensively. The rest I use for oil infusions and baths.
If you don’t want the expense of purchasing herbs in bulk or you just don’t drink as much tea, you can also find these teas in small bags.
If you are still not sure that you have enough information either to drink a type of tea or not, feel free to do some more research on your own or ask your health specialist. This is for informational purposes only, it should not be considered as medical advice.