I am in the company of five pregnant women right now, and we’re always wondering what to drink. Sure, sometimes we’re so tired we decide that our child will just have to submit to the quantities of caffeine in a good cup of coffee (if you’re concerned about coffee, studies say that low birth weight is not connected to caffeine consumption, although most doctors recommend to keep it under four cups per day when pregnant – check with yours to be sure). But most of the time a well-steeped cup of herbal tea is just the thing.
But what herbs? Many are known to be dangerous during pregnancy, as they can induce contractions. One such controversial herb is red raspberry leaf, often sold as “women’s tea.” Everyone seems to agree that raspberry leaf does have some effect on the uterus, but whether it is healthful or contraction-inducing seems to be unknown. The FDA doesn’t warn against it, but does caution that women should check with their doctors first.
Herbs that are known to be safe for the pregnant body include strawberry leaf, lemon grass leaf, nettle leaf, alfalfa, fennel seed, rosehips, and lemon verbena. My favorite pregnant concoction is an infusion made from one part peppermint, one part chamomile, and two parts red raspberry leaf. If your doctor advises against raspberry, you can replace it with strawberry leaf or nettle. The chamomile is so sweet that even my sweet-tooth friends don’t need sugar – great for my friend with gestational diabetes. And peppermint is known to sooth the stomach if you’re having problems with nausea. The third ingredient provides a nice “base” for the other flavors.
Buying from the bulk aisle is way cheaper than purchasing pre-packaged pregnancy teas, and allows you to experiment to find the assortment that works best for your picky appetite.
Tea is available at our website. Just visit us at Teas.com.au
(www.bloggingbaby.com, Sept 2004)