Green tea is one of the most popular drinks all over the world today. Aside from being refreshing, this type of beverage is healthy and delicious as well. So for pregnant women, craving for this drink can be quite hard to control.
However, the general use of green tea substances while pregnant is under some heavy debate. Some claim that it’s acceptable during pregnancy, while some reports show that the contents of green tea can be dangerous for babies inside the womb. As a pregnant mother, you should be concerned about your baby’s safety and find out if this particular beverage is indeed harmful or not.
Aren’t you glad that the answer is yes? With all the no-no’s during pregnancy, it’s really good news when you find that certain types of food and drinks are allowed and safe for your baby. But, before you give yourself the permission to enjoy green tea, know that there are certain restrictions to its intake.
Can I Drink Green Tea While Pregnant? Answer: In Moderation
You should drink green tea in moderation, around 2 cups per day. Although it has healthy benefits because of its herbal nature, it still contains some caffeine. And too much caffeine is not really recommended for pregnant women. That’s why you should also cut down on your intake of cola drinks, coffee, and energy drinks. And if possible, drink only caffeine-free beverages.
Advantages of Green Tea
Herbal teas, particularly green teas, are very high in antioxidant components. This prevents your cells from being damaged by free radicals and it boosts your immune system too. In fact, this type of tea has also been linked to preventing heart diseases and certain types of cancer. And it’s been known to bring blood pressure to its normal level too.
Green tea is also generally good for the bones and teeth. And since it can make your body stronger, you will have greater resistance from infectious diseases. It is also a good source of energy as it can speed up the metabolism inside the body. However, for a pregnant mother we can say that the advantages of this type of drink are more beneficial to the mom than to the baby.
Disadvantages of Green Tea to Babies
Consuming food and drinks that are high in caffeine can affect the absorption of folic acid inside the mother’s body. And folic acid is very important especially during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, as this is particularly needed by the fetus in order to develop properly. Insufficient supply of folic acid has also been known to cause birth defects such as spina bifida, which is a form of bone problem.
Drinking excessive amounts of green tea can also hinder the processing of iron and calcium inside the mom’s and baby’s systems. And this will greatly affect the fetal development inside the mother’s womb.
In very rare cases, too much caffeine has also been linked to miscarriages. This can be attributed to the side effects of caffeine, as it can cause contractions in a pregnant woman.
Safety Measures When Drinking Green Tea
Green tea is not advisable for pregnant mothers who are still in their first trimester of pregnancy. So if you are an avid green tea drinker, it would be better to hold out for this type of drink until you are on your second trimester. During this time, the major organs of the fetus inside your womb have already developed and your baby is no longer at a high risk for birth defects and miscarriage.
Studies on the General Effects of Green Tea to Prenatal Babies
There is no conclusive evidence that green tea can be directly harmful to unborn babies. However, some evidence shows that slow fetal development has been observed in prenatal babies when their momthers consume more than 6 cups of green tea and other drinks with caffeine every day. Too much caffeine can also induce labor during the second and third trimester of pregnancy.
Always Drink Green Tea in Moderation
As with all things, moderation is the key. You can satisfy your green tea cravings by drinking small amounts of green tea to ensure your baby’s safety.