Pregnancy comes with plenty of advice about what foods and beverages to eat or drink, including caffeine-containing coffee and tea products. Many pregnant women choose healthier herbal alternatives instead, such as green or black teas – which could reduce caffeine intake – for their morning coffee and tea consumption, such as herbal alternatives like Matcha Green. Unfortunately, not all herbal teas can be considered safe during gestation as some can stimulate uterus function leading to miscarriage or preterm labour; however many herbal teas can still be safe provided their ingredients are regulated or made from plants known as unsafe during gestation.

Tea is made by mixing together the roots, berries, flowers and seeds from various plants into tea bags or cups. Tea has long been used as an aid against various conditions and ailments including constipation (ginger), digestive issues (fennel seed), colds and flu (thyme and lemon balm), anxiety/depression (St. John’s Wort) as well as nausea/vomiting (chamomile peppermint and ginger root).

Some herbs can stimulate the uterus and induce contractions that increase miscarriage risk or premature labor, making them unsuitable during pregnancy. Examples include pennyroyal, tansy and mugwort.

Other herbs may have adverse reactions on an unborn fetus, including irritation or even harm to its embryo. Examples include safflower, yarrow, yuja and wild marigold which have all been linked with higher rates of miscarriage or abortion in certain studies.

Most herbal teas are considered safe when consumed in moderation by healthy individuals; however, there has not been enough research conducted to understand how they may impact a developing baby. While certain teas such as chamomile are recommended for pregnant women and have shown to be beneficial in early research (chamomile in particular), others such as nettle leaf may stimulate the uterus and lead to miscarriage; red raspberry leaves used in some pregnancy teas could potentially also increase your risk; red raspberry leaf should only be consumed late into gestation under direct supervision of a health professional.

As a general guideline, pregnant women should choose teas which have been certified safe during gestation; these have undergone more stringent testing than others. Furthermore, any herbal tea not tested or known to cause toxic side effects should also be avoided. Caffeine should also be considered, as it crosses the placenta and may interrupt an infant’s sleep pattern. Be sure to speak with both your midwife or doctor regarding how much caffeine may be safe during gestation as limiting its consumption is beneficial to both mother and child. Advice can also be sought regarding specific herbal teas you want to try, in order to select one that will meet your specific needs and prevent risks. Or you can make your own with ingredients you know are safe for both mother and baby – you can purchase herb packages from health food stores; for homemade beverages it is ideal to source organic or ethically grown ingredients.