Are black and green tea safe in pregnancy?

Is it OK to drink black tea and green tea while I am pregnant?

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In a nutshell

Yes, it is – tea, both black and green, is safe in moderation.

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The expert view

Caffeine is naturally found in lots of foods, including black tea and green tea, and while you don’t need to cut out caffeine completely, the NHS advises no more than 200mg a day. Don’t panic if you do sometimes go over that amount though, because it also points that any risks to you or your baby are small.

“The amount of caffeine in a cup of tea varies according to how strong you make it and of course how big your cup or mug is,” points out nutritionist Dr Rana Conway. “A cup of weak tea may contain less than 10mg caffeine but a mug of strong tea could have as much as 100mg caffeine. So, if you like well-stewed tea make sure you don’t drink too much of it.”

Caffeine risks

Caffeine may cause low birth weight in babies, and scientists from the University of Leicester believe more than 200mg each day is associated with a reduction in birth weight of around 70g, following a study of 2,600 mums-to-be.

The approximate amount of caffeine in tea is:

  • Mug of normal/builder’s (black) tea: 75mg
  • Cup of green tea: 25mg

Caffeine is also present in other products, such as chocolate, soft drinks and energy drinks. If you want to try and cut down on the amount you are having, try decaffeinated tea, or herbal teas from a reputable source instead.

 Mums on our forum say

“Just had a nice cup of decaf PG Tips. I could get used to this actually as they taste like normal tea!” Corinne

“Since getting my BFP I have cut down to one small cup of tea per day. However today I was out for lunch with friends and someone ordered coffee for everyone. I had a small cup with lots of milk and it has left me feeling very jittery.” – LIL2008

Find out more about the safety of drinks in pregnancy:

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