Decaffeinated Tea during Pregnancy
Tea is generally considered a health drink as it contains antioxidants. It is also known for its good effect on a person’s metabolism. Having said that, there are many detractors of this drink too, who consider it to be addictive and bad for health. The main reason for that is its caffeine. It is a psychoactive active which affects your nervous system. Its excessive intake during pregnancy has been linked to many serious complications including low birth weight and even miscarriage. That is why pregnant women are advised to avoid tea and prefer decaffeinated tea.
Caffeine increases the heart rate and metabolism of a person for a short while and can also obstruct the flow of blood to the placenta as it narrows the blood vessels. As it is a diuretic, caffeine can cause excess loss of water when women are required to remain hydrated. Moreover, it has also been found that having caffeinated drinks creates problems in the absorption of iron and folate in the boy, especially when taken after having a meal. These reasons have led to unanimous opinion against the use of tea during pregnancy.
Decaffeinated tea is good for pregnant women as it retains the healthy properties of tea while the unhealthy caffeine is not present. You should keep in mind that caffeine is not completely removed in any decaffeinated drink. Around 1 to 2 percent of caffeine is present still. You should drink even decaffeinated tea in moderation during pregnancy. Having more than 2 cups a day of this tea is not considered safe.
There are some people who are of the opinion that you can self decaffeinate your usual tea. They recommend steeping it for 30 seconds, throwing away the first infusion, and steeping it again in the normal way. This method of decaffeination has been found to be ineffective.
The Food Standards Agency of UK has issued a guideline for the amount of daily calorie intake which can be considered safe. According to the guideline, pregnant women should not consume more than 200 mg of caffeine daily. Despite this guideline, you need to consult your doctor and take his recommendation about taking decaffeinated tea. Though it is considered more or less safe, the effect of decaffeinated tea on pregnant women and their baby is still not conclusive. You can enjoy decaf tea only if your physician recommends taking it in moderation.
Read more articles on Pregnancy Diet
Source: Onlymyhealth editorial team Aug 04, 2011
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