Can You Have Iced Tea When You Are Pregnant
Being pregnant is daunting. A whole other person is growing inside you. Suddenly you are eating for two! And you don’t always know which diet is safe or which can harm your baby.
So, you have an iced tea maker and adore iced tea, should you keep drinking it once you get pregnant? Is it safe?
Caffeine Is Bad For You
Pregnant women should not drink too much caffeine. That’s why they are discouraged from drinking coffee. Iced tea, on the other hand, is milder than coffee, but it still has some caffeine in it.
8oz of coffee have between 90mg and 200mg of caffeine or more. But a pregnant woman should not have more than 200mg of caffeine a day. In fact, some doctors draw the line at 150mg. Others say 300mg. Anyway, it varies for different women.
8oz of tea have between 14mg and 70mg of caffeine. 8oz of decaffeinated tea contain 2mg to 12mg. So if you have irresistible pregnancy cravings for iced tea, try to confine your intake to decaf only.
Effects of caffeine on pregnant women
Caffeine can cause the heart rate and blood pressure off to rise above normal levels. A pregnant woman should maintain normal heart rate and blood pressure as high blood can lead to severe complications for the woman and her baby.
Plus, you will have difficulty finding sleep under the stimulation of caffeine. And you know you should get as much sleep as you can for your sake and your unborn baby’s sake.
Have you ever noticed you go to the bathroom a lot more when you drink coffee or tea? That’s because caffeine is a diuretic.
Intake of caffeine causes urine output to increase. But this is not good for a pregnant woman because she will lose many essential minerals such as calcium which are meant to benefit both her and her baby.
Also, frequent urination will cause a drastic reduction in body fluid levels, leading to dehydration.
3. Interfering with the baby’s development
The unborn child is vulnerable and not fully developed. As such, it cannot fully metabolize the caffeine you are ingesting.
Plus, caffeine will interfere with the baby’s sleep pattern and its normal movement pattern during the later pregnancy stages. When the baby should be sleeping, it will be wide awake thanks to stimulation by caffeine.
The jury is still out on whether caffeine can cause miscarriages, since studies done on caffeine’s effects on pregnant women have shown different outcomes.
However, to be on the safe side, ensure your daily caffeine intake does not exceed 200mg.
5. Acid reflux
Pregnant women are prone to incidences of acid reflux because of progesterone. This hormone can relax the lower esophagus sphincter muscles, opening the way for the stomach acids.
Caffeine only aggravates matters because it too can relax the stomach valve that protects the esophagus from stomach acids. As a result, a pregnant woman is more likely to get heartburn when she drinks iced tea or coffee.
You should be strict with yourself during pregnancy and avoid drinking iced tea excessively. Limit yourself to below 200mg of caffeine daily (much less, if possible). It’s always better to avoid ice too. So, if you have a portable ice maker, let it rest for a few months. Moderate amounts of caffeine have little effect, but too much is dangerous for both you and your unborn child.