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Which hot drinks are safe during pregnancy?

(46 Posts)
nicky98 Sat 12-Jan-08 13:15:55

Hi I've recently discovered I'm pregnant and have been frantically reading up on what I can and can't eat and drink. I want to cut out caffeine completely but am wondering which hot drinks are safe. Is green tea ok? What about fruit teas? And which herbal teas are safe? Otherwise it'll have to be hot chocolate all the waywink . Thanks.

belgo Sat 12-Jan-08 13:18:39

one or two instant coffees a day is ok. If you suddeny cut it out completely, you may get headaches - at least I do.

belgo Sat 12-Jan-08 13:19:14

oh and congratulations, and well done for wanting to do everything right regarding your pregnancysmile

pyjamagirl Sat 12-Jan-08 13:19:29

The only tea I think you should stay away from is raspberry leaf everything else is fine I think.


pyjamagirl Sat 12-Jan-08 13:19:51

Oh yeah and not lots of coffee

MuffinMclay Sat 12-Jan-08 13:22:51

Doesn't green tea cancel out the good effects of folic acid tablets (although doesnt actually do any harm in itself)?

I thought it was best to keep off it until 12 weeks.

Peachy Sat 12-Jan-08 13:29:13

your local health food shop will do alternatives to coffee amde from other caffeine free plants

and there's always caffeine free tea and coffee!

FrannyandZooey Sat 12-Jan-08 13:32:33

redbush tea is lovely and safe, and healthy

I've been meaning to ask but keep forgetting - can you drink Ovaltine when you are pregnant?? I heard you should lay off anything with Vit A in, so wondered if that meant Ovaltine as well?

Beck74 Sat 12-Jan-08 13:52:06

I read in the rough guide to pregnancy that Ovaltine is a good, quick iron boost, so would think it's safe.

Carolbrad Sat 12-Jan-08 17:32:49

Does anyone know if you need to limit he number of decaf coffees? I'm not really sure how caffine free 'decaf' really is.

Kezza7779 Sat 12-Jan-08 17:55:21

DECAF NESCAFE COFFEE and DECAF TETLEY TEA, tastes no different. I have one decaf in the morning and one decaf in the evening else i get really bad headaches - This is perfectly safe!xxx

Kezza7779 Sat 12-Jan-08 17:58:34

they say about 3-5 normal caffeine drinks, however decaf is no caffeine. If your drinking decaf tea its full of anti oxidants, its part of your water and milk allowance and its harmless as no caffeine!! Good choice!

Peachy Sat 12-Jan-08 18:00:15

You don't need to limit coffee- it's a recommendation and a good idea but not a 'need' in the way that, say, raw eggs orendless amounts of oily fish / liver is.

Ovelatine is fine in PG- why wouldn't it be <<confused emoticon>>.

The only 'need' stuff is when something has been shown it can directly harm a baby by way of carrying potentially lethal bugs (eg listeria, salmonella) or high levels of mercury and polution. the rest is about not going to excess and common sense.

cosima Sat 12-Jan-08 18:01:03

green tea is NOT advisable in pregnancy. Don't know why but i definately read it somewhere recently

DaisyMoo Sat 12-Jan-08 18:12:26

One of my friends drinks hot water on its own or with a bit of lemon juice added. Don't fancy it myself, but she likes it and there's nothing in there that could possibly do any harm!

PutThatInYourPipeandSmokeIt Sat 12-Jan-08 18:28:37

No green tea
No tea with aloe vera in

Yes to hot lemon & honey
Yes to cammomile
Yes to peppermint tea
Yes to Redbush tea
Yes to decaff coffee / tea

Fleurie76 Sat 12-Jan-08 18:34:27

Congratulations on your pregnancy Nicky.
Have to say I agree with Peachy, it is only a recommendation that you cut it down. If you have the odd cup of coffee or tea then don't worry about it!
In early preganancy you can feel overwhelmed with the amount of information you have to take in and all the supposed dos and don'ts, go with your common sense and what you feel comfortable with.
IMHO there is way too much hysteria over what you can and can't eat / drink when pregnant.

dinnersinthedog Sat 12-Jan-08 18:36:20

It wasn't good for me to drink any hot drinks late in pg as evrytime I sat down all of my LOs wriggled and kicked and sent the mug flying grin

madmouse Sat 12-Jan-08 18:50:32

If you are serious about no caffeine at all (and I think that is a bit too strict!) then hot chocolate is out too as it contains caffeine!

Try fennel tea, love it.

Can't imagine any reason why green tea would be unsafe, it is just black tea that has not been dried, same plant!

Fruit teas are generally safe.

My rule on herbal teas is not to take anything that makes any claims, eg to calm you down, pick you up, make you happy etc.

PutThatInYourPipeandSmokeIt Sat 12-Jan-08 19:26:42

My understanding is that green tea CAN effect the way that folate is metabolised (i.e. folic acid) and can hence alter the amount that your baby can utilise...

Kezza7779 Sun 13-Jan-08 18:22:22

PS i didnt mean ONE DECAF in morning and ONE in evening i meant i drink CAFFEINE Once in the morning and ONCE in the evening the rest is decaf!!

Habbibu Sun 13-Jan-08 18:27:54

There has been one study at least which suggested that green tea has anti-folate properties. Fleurie, yes, there's a lot said, and in most cases it doesn't make any difference, but if you are, like me, someone whose body may not metabolise folate terribly well, you may not find that out until you discover your baby has a birth defect. If it's just about not having green tea for a few months then maybe it's worthwhile.

Sorry if this comes across as harsh - it's rather close to my heart!

Gingerbear Sun 13-Jan-08 18:30:33

Oh, just drink what you fancy in moderation.
I went off coffee completely when PG.
Mulled wine and hot toddy not recommended though.

pigleychez Sun 13-Jan-08 18:33:46

Mum2b2BabyRoo In both the bounty packs ive recived since being pregnant theres been a free sachet of Ovaltine. States that its a good source of Folic Acid.

Must be ok or it wouldnt be in the packs they give to pregnant women

makingnosense Sun 13-Jan-08 19:00:23

Surely a little of what you fancy does you good, right? Then again, a little of what I fancied is what got me knocked up in the first place!grin

Kezza7779 Mon 14-Jan-08 13:30:56

Caffeine Effects on baby

As with the majority of substances that are consumed by mum-to-be during pregnancy, caffeine crosses the placenta and is passed to the fetus where it elicits a similar 'alertness response'. A great deal of research has been carried out on the potential influence of caffeine on fetal development and although several extreme and controversial claims have been made, current assumptions are as follows;

* Caffeine has been found to increase fetal heartbeat and in utero movement. However, this is not thought to have any long term effect on infant development It may influence their sleep-wake cycle so that, like adults, they become more active at certain times than they would otherwise be.

* Moderate caffeine intake is not thought to affect the gestation period or birth weight of an otherwise healthy infant. However, excessive consumption has been linked to lower birth weight and premature birth, especially when in conjunction with other risk factors such as alcohol or cigarettes.

* Current research suggests that a moderate caffeine intake during pregnancy has little effect on the risk of miscarriage or stillbirth. However, several studies have found an association between excessive consumption and an increased risk of these sad occurrences.

Current FSA (Food Standards Agency) guidelines recommend that a Mum-to-be should consume no more than 300mg of caffeine a day. Consumption below and up to this limit is classed as moderate and therefore relatively safe for mother and baby. Click here for more information on what 'moderate' caffeine consumption actually means and advice on how you can monitor your daily intake.

Generally, cutting back on your caffeine consumption during pregnancy is a good thing for your own health and the health of your child, although the odd cup of tea or coffee is unlikely to do you both any harm. If you are concerned that you are consuming too much caffeine you could try switching to decaffeinated versions of your favourite tea and coffee (check with your doctor before experimenting with herbal tea as not all are suitable for pregnancy). Additionally, flavoured water (check its sugar-free) can provide a good alternative to caffeinated fizzy drinks and help to keep you hydrated. Fortunatley, the caffeine content of chocolate is relatively low so you shouldn't need to deprive yourself!

Excitable Mon 14-Jan-08 16:29:01

Pigleychez they give you free stuff for being pregnant?? REALLY??? Is it just like in freshers week at university when you get Heinz beans and condoms, but healthier? I didn't eat the condoms, they don't agree with me grin

Kezza7779 Mon 14-Jan-08 18:32:52


aliwally Tue 15-Jan-08 09:49:12

Green tea has caffeine in it which is why it is not recommended. I'm drinking 2 cups of normal caffeinated tea a day as I NEED it and I'm not going to obsess about what I eat & drink! All the information out there is so mind boggling it's best to stay stress-free and take things in moderation, whilst avoiding the well-documented things such as liver, unpasteurised cheese, raw eggs, shellfish etc. I'm sure a couple of teas or coffees a day cannot do any harm. Peppermint tea is great after meals esp if you get indigestion.

Diamondback Thu 10-Jun-10 16:46:16

My baby's in protest against caffeine - every time I even touch tea or chocolate, I get cracking headaches! Plus, if I take the teeniest sip of booze, I want to puke! What a well-behaved child this one's going to be...

HelenaCC Thu 10-Jun-10 17:18:24

Green tea has caffeine in it, and also like madmouse says there would be no chocolate (hot or otherwise) for you if you wanted to cut out all caffeine. Read the nhs guidelines on what caffeine you can have by cup/weight of choc etc - even they say not to worry about it too much if you go over their recommended amounts.

xkatyx Thu 10-Jun-10 17:40:00

Ovaltine is fab, go on to the web site the drink is actually brilliant for pregnant woman, i drank it in my last 2 pregnancy's and drinking it now.
The vit a in ovalatine is a good source, and is good for the babies eyes etc.

The bad source is from liver etc.

Have a look on the ovaltime web site. smile

vmcd28 Thu 10-Jun-10 17:59:18

sainsburys decaf tea tastes exactly the same as normal tea - and drink as much of it as you like

claire196 Thu 10-Jun-10 18:06:28

Someone mentioned camomile tea but there is some conflicting information about whether it's safe during pregnancy. I drink rooibos (redbush) tea and peppermint.

lucybrad Thu 10-Jun-10 18:09:03

asda own defaf tea is nice.

lucybrad Thu 10-Jun-10 18:09:21

decaf even blush

LowLevelWhinging Thu 10-Jun-10 19:26:51

er...I think there's a chance she may have had the baby by now wink

claire196 Thu 10-Jun-10 21:01:22

Ha! I guess you're right! grin Still, I found the info here useful

driedapricots Thu 10-Jun-10 21:18:18

oh dear, i'm getting a guilt trip now having read this...i am 32 weeks with DC2 and whilst i didn't drink any coffe in first trimester (due to sickness)in the last 8 weeks or so i've been back on it with a vengence. i'd say i average 1 starbucks cappucinno and 2 instant coffees most days..is that way too much? with it being 2nd baby i've been so much more --laid back-- ignorant about what i do/don't eat.. i have even been eating salmon pate as am craving it and thought the pate risk was associated with liver content...uh-oh..presuming the listeria risk is a danger only if you get food poisoning?? reassurance please!

almondfinger Thu 10-Jun-10 21:28:43

You should try to avoid all caffeine.

100ml is about the upper daily limit.

1 cup of coffee 95-150ml
1 cup green/white tea 45ml
I cup black tea 75 ml
Fizzy drinks 45-90ml

Hot chocolate contains caffeine.

Caffeine is a vasoconstrictore and will constrict foetal blood supply. It also crosses into the babys blood and they cant metabolise it v well.


driedapricots Thu 10-Jun-10 21:41:16

it seems, like most pregnancy related advice, there is conflicting evidence. have just been doing my own research and found this:


never the less i'm going to keep an eye on my consumption from now on, not worth the worry!

plasticspoon Thu 10-Jun-10 21:45:24

almondfinger, can you post a link to your source on the 100mg a day thing please? I have only seen 200mg (Food Standards Agency), which was a reduction on the previous advised limit of 300mg?

Good point about green tea - I am always surprised by how many people think it doesn't have caffeine in!!

DuelingFanjo Thu 10-Jun-10 21:47:59

My midwife told me 3 - 4 cuos a day was ok. I have one cup of caffinated tea a day and then decaf the rest of the time. Also make sure I drink at least 2 litres of water a day.

lucysnowe Thu 10-Jun-10 21:52:42

Decaf tea and coffee are the way to go. I read somewhere that you should be careful of herbal teas - even the ones specially developed for pregnancy - as they may contain oddments that aren't suitable. Don't mean to be scarymongery but it's best to be careful.

almondfinger Thu 10-Jun-10 22:28:51

I dont have a link, I've transcribed my college notes. Mentioned that 100/200ml of caffeine can lead to abortion. Didnt want to add that so just inserted the lower limit.
Particular lecturer (nutrition) was very emotive on no caffiene during pregnancy.

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