Catherine Felegi is the founder and author of the blog Tea Love, a blog dedicated to all things tea-related. You can find this post and others on her page, http://cafelegi.wordpress.com/.
I have a friend who is trying to get pregnant at the moment. She has been trying for a few months and so far, nothing. My mind being on tea, I was curious how my favorite beverage could help her. For this blog, you'll need to think outside the realm of the camellia sinensis plant and include herbal tea as well. After all, we do not want my friend to have a jumping bean in her belly due to the caffeine from a cup of green tea when she does have a child growing!
First and foremost, she needs to consult her doctor before doing anything even related to starting a regimen. Tea regimens are not right for everyone so she could, in fact, hinder the baby if she were to start drinking tea without a doctor's approval.
With that being said, Livestrong.com, dedicated to promote healthy living, states that red raspberry leaf tea is likely safe during pregnancy. It's rich in vitamins and minerals, including iron and calcium. The drink also has alkaloids from the leaf, which helps to tighten and relax the uterine muscles. She will then have a strong, toned uterus that will make it that much easier to push a baby out! (She does plan on doing a natural birth, last time that we talked). The tea can also reduce the need for a C-section.
The tea has also been shown to increase milk production and decrease nausea. As popular culture has shown, those are extremely important factors. While it might not be safe for the first trimester, she should be able to use it for the second and third trimester without any problems. All she would need to do is drink two cups daily.
The Livestrong website says that nettles, or stinging nettles, are also used in many pregnancy teas. They are high in vitamin C, A and K and are also rich in calcium, potassium and iron. Their history in the medical field is just as rich as tea is!
However, the University of Maryland Medical Center website states that they alter menstrual cycles and might cause miscarriages. The conflicting data might be because it might depend on which part of the nettle is used for the tea. I would suggest to her that, since there are two widely conflicting pieces of advice, to steer clear of nettles.
AmericanPregnancy.org gives a few more teas that she might want to sample when she is pregnant. Peppermint tea would be good to help get rid of any morning sickness that might hit her. It will also decrease any flatulence, so I am sure that her husband would appreciate that.
Lemon balm is a calming tea as one can experience by drinking it right now! It can also relieve insomnia and anxiety, which is perfect for those nights when the baby is kicking and she just can't rest.
Ginger root is a tea she has to be wary about. It is said to help relieve nausea and vomiting, but the jury isn't out if it's safe or not. Again, I recommend that, when in doubt, leave it out. God forbid she drinks something and lose the baby simply because it was a questionable tea.
Dandelion tea also falls under this category. While it is rich in a variety of different vitamins and minerals and might even help nourish the liver and relieve edema, it is not known if it is safe just yet. She can get the nutrients somewhere else.
Chamomile is on the list for AmericanPregnancy.org as, "Insufficient Reliable Information Available," which really surprised me. This is perfect for the insomiac-riddled expecting mother. But chamomile can also induce contractions, which is not good if your baby is not ready to come out yet. She is going to need to talk to her doctor first.
Rose hip tea is also on shaky ground. While it is great for vitamin C, it is not entirely clear how good it is and she should avoid it or, at the very least, drink it in small amounts.
She needs to steer clear of alfalfa and yellow dock tea. While they both have their respective health benefits, it is not known if they are safe yet.
Some teas are on the market called pregnancy teas which are believed to promote health in different aspects of tea. They are a blend of different herbs that are believed to promote a healthy pregnancy. She should be fine drinking this tea, though the jury is not out on how much it helps. She does need to be wary and read the packaging though. Some of them do contain nettles.
All in all, I wish the best to her in her pregnancy endeavors and, if any of you are trying to conceive or are already carrying a young one, I wish you all the best!