Key Ways Tea Can Support You From The 1st - 4th Trimester of Pregnancy
Bethan sat down with the wonderful Shermaine who is a nursery specialist to answer all her questions on tea from your first to fourth trimester.
What ingredients are in the teas?
All HotTea Mama's teas are whole leaf and we also do have some caffeinated blends but the majority of our teas are fruits and herbs. I selected these teas based on them being used for millennia to support things like morning sickness or just to have a great alternative to a caffeinated drink. I also wanted to create a natural support for breastfeeding and preparation for labour.
What tea would be good for preparing a woman for labour?
The Final Push is a raspberry leaf tea and is our most popular blend.
Most people hear about this towards the end of their pregnancy as this can be used to help naturally induce labour but this doesn't actually happen. All the research done shows that it can help you with the second stage of labour and make this shorter (so when you are pushing) and also fewer interventions in birth. This is because it contains something called fragrine which makes the uterine muscles contract slightly so it strengthens them by making them do tiny little contractions. You should not have it until 32 weeks pregnant (3rd trimester) because of that impact but at that point if you drink it every day hopefully you can have a shorter labour.
Are there any teas we should be avoiding during pregnancy?
Caffeine - cut down on your caffeine levels but you do not have to completely avoid it. Pregnancy is exhausting so caffeine can help us get through our day. NHS guidelines state that you should not have more than 200 milligrams per day. A cup of normal tea contains around 40milligrams per cup and a cup of coffee contains around 120milligrams so you just want to be careful and make sure you are staying within the 200 milligram limit.
Liquorice - liquorice is used in a huge number of fruit and herbal teas to make them sweet but it can also cause high blood pressure. If you're at risk of preeclampsia or have high blood pressure which many of us have when pregnant, then you need to make sure you stay away from liquorice. If you are at risk, then check on the back of the packet in the ingredients to check if liquorice is present. It may also have a warning saying it "may lead to hypertension". It is our recommendation to adhere to the NHS guidelines and have no more than 3 cups of any herbal tea a day during pregnancy.
Do you have any teas that can help stimulate and produce milk during breastfeeding?
No tea is a miracle tea to help with breastfeeding. However, there are some ingredients that help and studies have shown they can help women with their milk supply and fat content.
Milks up - caffeine-free blend of fennel, nettle, fenugreek seeds, lemon verbena and star anise to support breastfeeding. Fenugreek helps produce fat content in milk. These also hydrate you, and the more hydrated you are, this will help with breastfeeding.
Would you recommend any teas for after birth / new parents?
Being a new parent can be exhausting, and that is why we created our Night Owl tea. It is full of natural herbs that help with anxiety, like chamomile and rooibos. Lavender contains linalool, which has a strong calming effect and aids sleep. Valerian root is more effective than a sedative and has been known to aid sleep.
During pregnancy, women can suffer from anemia. Can you tell us what can help this?
Low iron levels affect us all more in pregnancy. So I would suggest you try to avoid black tea around meal times (1-2 hours before and after a meal), mainly affecting breakfast for most women. Black tea and rooibos tea contain chemicals which stops your body from absorbing non-heme iron, (so iron in green leafy veg). If you drink this, your body won't get the iron that it needs. If you suffer from low iron, try to replace black tea with herbal tea to help iron levels. Get as much vitamin C as possible as this helps absorb iron. A small change you can make to help you.
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