TEA FOR TWO
Your body is faced with challenges, during pregnancy and after birth. Picking a blend of tea with the right ingredients can help support you through these challenges. The wrong tea can be harmful for you and your baby, therefore it’s important to know what to look for.
CAFFEINE CONTROL DURING PREGNANCY
During pregnancy, women are advised to limit caffeine, the best way to do this by reducing your intake to 200mg per day. This is roughly the equivalent of two cups of standard tea (75mg) and a coke (40mg). Or a coffee (140mg) and a bar of dark chocolate (25mg). The limit is due to caffeine’s link in limiting fetal growth and possible risk of miscarriage.
One of the worst side effects of pregnancy is nausea. Consequently taking the ‘glow’ out of your first trimester (if not longer). For thousands of years, Ginger has been used in China and India to relieve sickness. This has been backed up in modern research. In one study 30 pregnant women with severe vomiting, took 1 gram of ginger every day for 4 days. They reported more relief from vomiting than those who took a placebo. Lemon balm, lemon verbena, mint and lemon grass have a similar effect to ginger, and all have traditionally been used to sooth stomachs.
ICED TEA TO HELP MORNING SICKNESS
Morning Sickness and nausea can make it be hard to drink and eat. Many women find it much easier to drink cold drinks than hot. Try letting a herbal infusion (we recommend Morning Rescue) cool down before you drink it. Or brew for a long time in a large jug which you can keep in the fridge. The addition of soda water (if your tummy can take it!) may make all the difference
RASPBERRY LEAF IN FINAL TRIMESTER
For millennia, raspberry leaf has been used to support women in the final stages of their pregnancy. Scientific studies suggest it has a positive effect on labour, strengthening the uterus in preparation for birth. However, do not drink this tea before you are 32 weeks pregnant. There is some evidence that it can trigger contractions. If it does have a strong impact on your uterus, you want this to happen at a safe time in your pregnancy, rather than too early.
Liquorice is often added to herbal blends to give them sweetness. But, it can lead to hypertension, increasing your blood pressure. Avoid any teas with this herb in while pregnant, especially if you suffer from preeclampsia.
A what you say? These clever herbs stimulate milk ducts. These have been used for thousands of years by women who want to increase their milk supply and naturally support to women in their breastfeeding journey, keeping you hydrated too. Fenugreek, fennel, nettle leaves and anise have all been used historically to help support milk supply. In combination with skin to skin, expressing milk and increasing feeds, they can help support your body. Milk’s Up is a warming, spicy, blend containing nettle and fellow galactagogue Fenugreek: a complex infusion with hints of dark caramel, lifted with fennel, anise and lemon verbena.
In the fog of the fourth trimester, it is important to help your body bounce back from a broken night’s sleep. White tea is high in antioxidants (specifically catechins) which reputedly strengthen your immune system and fights off germs. Especially important in the early days of motherhood. Plus these amazing antioxidants are thought to be anti-ageing, which is a nice additional benefit if you’re feeling sluggish. The leaf is also higher in caffeine than a normal builders cuppa! Meaning when you need a caffeine fix it’s much more effective than a standard brew. What makes it extra-special is that it contains theanine, which has a calming effect on the body. Anxiety is common after childbirth. So rather than giving you heart palpitations and nerves, it’ll bring you up on an even keel, and help those eyes stay open more easily. Newborn Wonder is a delightful floral tea designed to soothe and alleviate anxious feelings, and support your body in all the way it needs.
In contrast to the caffeine and anti-oxidant hit of white tea, a valerian based tea will give you a gentle nudge into sleep. Which is perfect after you’ve been up at 3am feeding a baby, online shopping with your brain in overdrive. Valerian is clinically proven to increase the production of gamma aminobutyric acid (GAMA) in your brain – this has a whole host of benefits for someone that may have insomnia. Sedative effects, naturally calming anxiety and lowering blood pressure, and maintaining serotonin levels are all reported effects. Night Owl contains this handy herb, as well as Chamomile, and Lavender, both famed for their calming effects.
About The Author…
Hi I’m Bethan.
I’m a mama of two, living in almost constant mayhem in Oxford. I settled here, after living, studying and working in China. I can easily be described as a ‘tea nerd’. I am the first Westerner to get a degree in Tea Science from the University of Forestry and Agriculture in Fujian and have been a professional tea taster for over 12 years.
I set up my company, HotTea Mama, with my good friend Kate, when I was pregnant with my second baby. Kate had the brilliant idea to create blends that are specifically designed for the needs of pregnant women and mothers. It gave me a great way to combine my knowledge of tea, with my knowledge of motherhood, and the rest is history!