Even though it’s currently considered safe to consume up to 200mg of caffeine (which equals approximately 4x black teas containing 50mg caffeine each) herbal teas are often a safer bet, especially with recent research suggesting even a small amount of caffeine could be bad for your baby. Pick the right herbal tea and you’ll receive nutritional vitamins and minerals and a comforting cuppa all in one.
The most popular (or at least, one of the most) is rooibos tea. It’s caffeine-free, has a rich and filling tea-like flavor that will keep your tea cravings satisfied!
Is Rooibos Tea Safe?
Yes, rooibos tea is safe. Although there are limits on how much herbal tea you should drink when you’re pregnant (most authority sources say between 1 and 3 cups per day), the majority consensus is that rooibos tea is perfectly safe to drink when you’re pregnant.
Rooibos tea is made from the needle-like leaves of the red bush shrub from South Africa. Not only is it free of caffeine but it’s also very low in tannins, meaning it won’t affect your body’s ability to absorb iron as much as regular tea does. Rooibos also contains several antioxidants.
There’s no evidence to support rooibos being an effective pregnancy support medicine, but likewise, there’s no evidence that it could harm your pregnancy. Many pregnant women have enjoyed rooibos tea, but you should always talk to your doctor first to see what they recommend.
Finally, you should know that there are some side effects to drinking rooibos tea, but these only occur if you are allergic to it (which is extremely rare) or have consumed a seriously large amount of it (liters and liters in one day). 1 to 3 cups of rooibos aren’t nearly enough to trigger any of these side effects, so you have no reason to worry.
How to Brew Rooibos Tea for Pregnancy
To brew rooibos tea, first, boil fresh water in your kettle. Place 1 rooibos tea bag in your mug, or 2 teaspoons of loose rooibos leaves in an infuser. Pour over the freshly boiled water and let it infuse for 5 to 10 minutes.
3 Rooibos Tea Recipes for Pregnant Women
Rooibos is a lovely flavor… but you can still get sick of it, especially if you’re drinking a cup every day! Try these 3 pregnancy-friendly rooibos recipes to quench your first and keep your baby healthy!
Rooibos Tea Latte
Milk is excellent for pregnant women. You’d need to drink 24oz of milk to get your daily required calcium intake from milk during your pregnancy! To help you enjoy the milk and your rooibos a little bit better, why not combine them?
To make a rooibos latte, first, brew rooibos strongly in boiling water for up 10 minutes. Combine it with hot milk and honey for a hot latte, or cold milk and ice for a cold latte.
Several spices are excellent for pregnant women, including ginger (ease nausea), cardamom (ease nausea and strengthen), and black pepper (a rich source of chromium). You can also try small amounts of cinnamon, cloves and star anise (unless you have a complicated or high-risk pregnancy). Small amounts of these spices, like just a pinch of each in a rooibos chai, is fine.
To make a rooibos chai, boil rooibos in milk and add your spices a pinch at a time. Or, brew your rooibos in milk then add the hot milk and spices afterward.
Orange and Rooibos Iced Tea
If you’re getting too hot during a summer pregnancy an iced tea is a lovely way to cool down. Adding citrus fruit, like oranges, enhances the natural flavor. Orange is a great source of vitamin C too! Doctors recommend no more than 2 or 3 full-sized oranges per day, so this recipe is perfect.
Brew 1 teaspoon of rooibos in boiling water for 5 minutes, then immediately pour over ice or chill the tea in the fridge. Finally, add the juice of half an orange, freshly squeezed.
Read More: How to Make Iced Tea – 5 Easy Methods
Other Teas to Try When You’re Pregnant
These 3 teas are awesome for dealing with some of your pregnancy-related symptoms. One cup when you’re feeling sick, tired and nervous could do the trick to soothe your ailments. Before you start brewing make sure you:
- Check these teas with your doctor (although safe for pregnant women, they could interact with medications/supplements you are taking)
- Don’t overdo it! One cup of gently brewed herbal tea a day is fine. 20 cups a day, and you could cause problems. Take it easy with the herbal brews!
Ginger Tea for Morning Sickness
Ginger eases nausea, so when you’re feeling sick in the mornings during the first trimester, a cup of fiery ginger tea can pick you up ready for the day. It can even soothe your sore throat. Ginger also regulates blood sugar, helps muscles repair after antenatal exercise, and lowers cholesterol.
Brew a few fresh slices of root ginger in boiling water for 5 minutes or use ginger tea bags to make a soothing herbal brew.
Peppermint Tea for Digestion and Sleep
Peppermint is refreshing and calming for you and the baby. It relieves gas and bloating while easing digestion. It can also relax your muscles, reduce heartburn and settle your stomach. So, it’s one of the best herbal pregnancy teas to take after dinner! Digest your food and relax your body ready for bed while freshening your breath with peppermint menthol.
Brew 1 teaspoon of dried peppermint leaves (or a peppermint tea bag) in boiling water for 3 minutes. 1 cup a day is just right.
Related: Can I Drink Green Tea Before Bed (Pros and Cons)
Raspberry Leaf Tea for Labor Prep
Raspberry leaf tea is great for the second and third trimester to prep your uterine. It strengthens and tones the uterine muscle which can help labor pass a little more smoothly for you. This tea has a fruity, sweet and earthy flavor with a bold body and strong notes – if you enjoy hibiscus tea, you’ll like this one too!
Drink 1 to 3 cups a day, maximum. Use raspberry leaf tea bags for convenience, brewing 1 tea bag in a mug of boiling water for 5 minutes.
Where to Buy Rooibos Tea
Rooibos tea is easy to find at the supermarket in tea bags, and online at places like Amazon. There are a few things you need to check when you’re buying your tea:
- Organic certifications – where and how was it grown? You want to find organic rooibos that’s free of chemicals and grown without harmful pesticides/herbicides.
- Additional ingredients – especially in rooibos blends, check what other ingredients there are wherever they’re suitable for pregnant women.
Some great rooibos brands to try are:
- My Red Tea – USDA Organic Certified, plain Rooibos
- Twinings – Pure Rooibos Red Tea
- Celestial Seasonings – Rooibos Madagascar Vanilla
- Harney & Sons – Organic Rooibos
- Yogi – Chai Rooibos
- Numi – Organic Rooibos
Read More: Where to Buy Rooibos Tea
Good for You, Good for the Baby
Rooibos tea is healthy for you and perfectly fine for your baby. Make sure you drink herbal teas, including rooibos, ginger, peppermint and raspberry leaf, in moderation and with a healthy diet full of pregnancy-friendly foods. It’s important that you talk to your doctor about drinking rooibos tea before adding it to your diet. The same goes for any other herbal tea you intend to drink regularly. Don’t take any risks, get advice from your doctor and enjoy a soothing cup of rooibos tea when you’re craving a caffeine tea!