Meg 'the Paleo Midwife's' guide to Coffee, Tea and other Primal Brews in Pregnancy: Part 1 Herbal Tea

Wake up, do some yoga stretches, turn on the kettle and make your morning warm cup-a-goodness….wait….now that you’re pregnant, is this lovely morning ritual still okay?  What’s safe, what’s not? Here’s one Paleo Midwife’s take on the whole situation around tea and coffee in your paleo pregnancy.

Herbal Tea

Beneficial teas:

Red Raspberry Leaf:

- Acts as a natural uterine tonic. It won't put you into labour, but helps encourage the upper and lower uterine segments to learn to work together, which they need to do efficiently during labour. Think of it as a WOD for your uterus.

- When taken during pregnancy, red raspberry leaf is also believed to support your   immune system, ease morning sickness and promote better circulation, as well as assist with breast milk supply.

- One Study has shown that women who take red raspberry leaf have reduced incidence of birth interventions. Women who drink red raspberry leaf tea regularly towards the end of their pregnancies also have a shorter second stage of labour than those who don’t (after baby before the placenta) .

- The taste of raspberry leaf is a kind of ‘hay like’ or bitter, so you may want to sweeten it with some honey.  You can also buy it in premade bags. Yogi tea and Traditional Medicinal's both make good blends.  If you’re in your first trimester, one cup per day is great to drink. Aim to slowly increase amounts until you are in your third trimester, when I recommend up to 4-5 cups daily.

Ginger: May help combat nausea and can aid in digestion.

Nettle: Nettle will support kidneys, ease leg cramps and muscle spasms, reduce hemorrhoids and increase richness and amount of breast milk. Nettle also prevents kidney and bladder infections, aids in iron absorption and reduces blood sugar. Nettles are high in vitamins A, C, K, calcium, potassium, and iron. Use in smaller amounts during pregnancy.

Dandelion: Helps with fluid retention, aids in liver detoxification and support. Again, this tea is recommended in small amounts, please drink occasionally.

Peppermint: Great for nausea and digestion. May make GERD a bit worse in some women. Consume as much as you like.

Lemon/Lemon Balm: May help ease anxiety and is great when blended into another flavor of tea. 

Rooibos aka Red Tea: Full of antioxidants and may help with GERD/reflux. Consume as much as you enjoy.  Makes a great “latte” and Red Espresso can be made in an espresso maker. I swear by this product As a former coffee snob, this tea blend creates a crema similar to a fine espresso. 

Teas Avoid

Licorice:  May raise blood pressure and contribute to fluid retention. A little bit in a blend is okay but don't drink it on it's own. 

Chamomile:  Chamomile has such powerful anti-inflammatory properties that regular consumption may result in a serious fetal heart problem, premature constriction of the fetal ductus arteriosus. This is the same reason why NSAIDS are to be avoided in pregnancy.

Senna: Is a natural laxative that can increase prostaglandin levels putting you at risk for preterm labour in addition to causing the runs and resulting dehydration and that's kind of a 'crappy' situation :) 

‘Meg the Midwife’s’ Pregnancy brew

Raspberry leaf 4 parts

Peppermint: 1 part

Nettle: 1 part

Third trimester: Dandelion 1 part

Blend these dried herbs and make a strong tea in a large glass jar by letting it sit overnight. Strain, and keep iced in the fridge.

Don’t have time to make my witches brew? Wanna buy it ?

Check out your local artisan tea makers, they often have great blends that are local and may be able to be customized. Otherwise, these are all good and tasty blends and available across North America.

Stay tuned for my next post where I'll look at caffeinated beverages like coffee and tea...what's safe? What's not? Do you drink caffeine during your pregnancy?