Tea is a beloved beverage of most of the Indians and drinking it regularly is a ritual followed for thousands of years. Along with a refreshing taste and soothing aroma, it is also less on caffeine, calorie-free, good for the heart, boosts the immune system and lowers bad cholesterol level. While there are different types of tea, one of the most popular varieties of tea is Black tea. It is known for its strong flavour which improves focus and concentration, promotes blood flow to the brain and boosts the immune system. But in spite of having so many benefits, is it good to consume black tea during pregnancy?
How much black tea is okay to drink during pregnancy?
Black tea is one of the highly caffeinated teas having 40-120 mg of caffeine (Based on the brand chosen) in an 8-oz cup of tea. However, consumption of 200 mg of caffeine a day is okay for pregnant women. Anything beyond that might put the mom-to-be and the baby at risks.
Risks of Black Tea:
Contrary to what you might assume, there are several risks involved in having black tea during pregnancy. Here are a few health risks of drinking black tea while pregnant.
Increases risk of miscarriage:
According to a research on black tea consumption, it is advocated that the woman who drinks more than 200 mg of caffeine per day is twice at the risk of miscarriage compared to the pregnant women who don’t consume any caffeine.
Increases risk of birth defects:
Consumption of black tea or caffeine is linked to the reduction of folic acid absorption in the body. This interrupts the fetal development as folic acid is one of the vital components in the growth of the foetus. This might result in birth defects such as spina bifida. Some of the studies also reveal the connection between consumption of caffeine and low birth weight or preterm delivery
Increases frequency of urination:
Pregnant women face the issue of frequent urination, especially in their third trimester. It is due to the growing foetus and the expanding uterus. This puts the pressure on the bladder of mom-to-be and increases the frequency of urination. Alongside, if you consume an excess of caffeine, the number of restroom visits further increases as the black tea is diuretic in nature. If you are already at the stage where the frequency of urination has reached the peak, it is best to limit the caffeine intake.
Worsens pregnancy-related anaemia:
For the growth of your baby, your body needs to produce sufficient red blood cells which produce blood and it is possible only if sufficient iron, folate and other nutrients are available. It is normal to have mild anaemia during pregnancy. But if it is on the borderline or if the levels of iron and folate go too low, it might cause complications such as preterm birth or low-birth weight.
As already mentioned, consuming an excess of caffeine disrupts absorption of folic acid in the body worsening the condition of anaemia. In severe cases, it might need blood transfusions.
During pregnancy, especially in the third trimester, your body is bearing a lot of load by aiding in the growth of your baby and preparing your body for the birth of your baby. The issues associated with the third trimester such as weight-gain, the movement of the baby, heartburning sensation, and other symptoms are more than enough to keep you awake. Alongside, if black tea is consumed, it acts as a stimulant and undeniably contributes to insomnia and heartburn.
Elevates the risk of hypertension:
Many women are afraid of their increased blood pressure in the third trimester. Blood pressure above 140/90 could lead to complications. It could cause pre-eclampsia and in severe cases, it could be very dangerous to mother and the baby. Black tea comfortably plays its role in increasing the risk of having high blood pressure. So, it is best to limit the consumption of black tea during pregnancy.