Pregnant women have been advised to limit the amount of green tea they drink as chemicals in it can prevent the body making use of folic acid – an essential mineral for pregnancy.
Although green tea is often recommended for its health benefits, the importance of folic acid to foetal development means you should only drink it in small amounts during pregnancy. The chemicals in the tea also make it harder to absorb iron so if you’re susceptible to aneamia it may be worth giving it a miss.
Some other herbal teas are also best avoided by mums-to-be as the naturally occurring chemicals in them can be very potent. These include raspberry leaf tea which can bring on labour and should only be taken in the last few weeks of pregnancy. It may be handy if you’re trying to encourage a late baby to make an appearance! Camomile, anise and lemongrass teas are also not recommended.
The NHS doesn’t have specific limits for green tea in pregnancy aside from caffeine recommendations. However, experts recommend no more than 3 or 4 cups a day. Green tea contains less caffeine than black tea and significantly less than coffee.
If you are worried about particular herbal teas, check the packet details or speak to your midwife.