Is It Safe To Drink Decaf Tea During Pregnancy?

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Caffeine is a compound commonly associated with coffee. However, it is also present in tea. It is one of the reasons why you may find tea refreshing. However, if you are a tea drinker, you may consider switching to decaf tea during pregnancy.

Decaf tea has the same pleasant flavor and aroma as standard tea but without caffeine. Decaf tea could be an option during pregnancy due to the potential side effects of caffeine on the mother and the baby in the womb. You need not completely avoid caffeine, and moderate quantities are usually safe to consume during pregnancy. However, if you are an avid tea drinker and need several cups a day, decaf tea could be an ideal choice since it can help you stay clear from excess caffeine consumption.

Read on to learn about decaf tea, its safety, and how much decaf tea is safe to consume during pregnancy.

What is Decaf Tea?

Drinking decaf tea during pregnancy

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Decaf is simply your caffeine source, tea or coffee, minus the caffeine. When you opt for a decaf tea, the flavoring elements remain intact while the caffeine is either removed or reduced significantly (1). It means that you don’t compromise on taste while removing caffeine that may have negative effects on your pregnancy.

Quick fact
Tea may lose its polyphenols during the decaffeination process, which are associated with the health benefits of tea (1).

Why Is Too Much Caffeine Bad During Pregnancy?

Excess consumption of caffeine affects the baby

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Consuming high levels of caffeine during pregnancy can have negative effects on your baby. Common problems, including the low birth weight, preterm labor are often linked to high caffeine consumption during pregnancy (2). Here are few other risks that you expose yourself and your baby with excessive caffeine consumption (2):

  • Excess caffeine can harm your baby’s development during pregnancy.
  • Caffeine acts on your central nervous system by acting as an instant stimulant. This, in turn, can increase your blood pressure and hence your heart rate.
  • It can lead to severe gastritis.
  • Health risks like miscarriages are also found to have an increased rate due to high caffeine consumption.
Point to consider
Keep caffeine consumption to less than 300mg daily during pregnancy to avoid adverse effects (6).

Is Decaf Tea Safe During Pregnancy?

Yes, decaf tea during pregnancy is absolutely safe! It is the best way you can enjoy your share of daily caffeine but in a controlled and healthy way (3).

Will I Have To Give Up Caffeine Completely?

Moderate amount of tea or coffee is safe

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No! Although, it is best to avoid it if you can, if you cannot, you still can enjoy your tea or coffee, but in moderation (2).

How Much Decaf Tea Is Safe During Pregnancy?

Decaf tea contains low levels of caffeine

Image: iStock

Your total caffeine consumption in a day should not exceed 200 mg (2). It roughly is around two regular mugs of tea or coffee. A cup of decaf contains about 2 milligrams of caffeine (3). So adjust your caffeine intake accordingly.

It is not just your cup of coffee or tea that contains caffeine. Here are other some other drinks and foods that contain caffeine (2):

Choclates contan caffeine

Image: iStock

  • Chocolate (both milk and plain)
  • Cola
  • Energy drink
  • Instant coffee
  • Brewed coffee
  • Brewed tea

So remember that your total caffeine intake should not exceed 200 mg in a day and that limit must include all caffeine foods and drinks you consume through the day.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can decaf tea cause miscarriage?

Since decaffeinated tea contains very little caffeine, it is extremely unlikely to cause a miscarriage (4).

2. Does decaf tea affect the fetus?

The excess caffeine content in tea and coffee may adversely affect the fetus, causing restricted fetal growth or congenital abnormalities (5). However, decaffeinated tea only contains 0.4mg of caffeine, making it safe to drink while pregnant (4).

Decaf tea during pregnancy is a great alternative as it protects both the mother and the baby from the detrimental effects of caffeine while still retaining the flavorful aspects of caffeine. However, switching to decaf should be done gradually since sudden caffeine withdrawal can cause headaches. Depending on how much caffeine you consume in a day, you can adjust your decaf daily intake. You may also try substituting healthy herbal tonics, beverages, and fruit juices for caffeinated beverages such as energy drinks, brewed and instant coffee, tea, etc.


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