Using Chamomile Tea During Pregnancy
Everyone agrees that a healthy lifestyle is an important part of taking care of yourself during pregnancy, but conflicting information can make it confusing to know what’s safe for you and your little one and what’s not. When it comes to herbal teas, this largely depends on the type of tea and how it is made. For expectant mothers looking to relax after a long day or those who need an extra nudge to sleep, chamomile (sometimes spelled camomile) tea can quickly become a new favorite.
What Are the Benefits of Herbal Tea for Pregnancy?
According to a 2010 study published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, chamomile tea was one of the most commonly consumed herbal teas during pregnancy, and when you consider the many benefits this ancient herb has to offer, it’s not surprising. The two types of chamomile used in teas are Roman chamomile and German chamomile, and both are anti-inflammatories. Historically, chamomile has been used to treat conditions including the common cold, skin issues and upset stomach, but its many benefits also include the following:
- Better sleep: Chamomile has mild sedative properties, which can decrease the amount of time it takes to fall asleep and encourage more restful sleep.
- Decreased anxiety: Impending motherhood comes with its own unique set of worries, but chamomile has been used for centuries to calm the nerves and encourage relaxation.
- Relief from colds and skin woes: Many over-the-counter remedies are not safe for pregnant women, but a cup of chamomile’s antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties can ease congestion, soothe sore throats and calm itchy, stretching skin.
Is Chamomile Tea Safe During Pregnancy?
According to the American Pregnancy Association, drinking herbal teas, including chamomile, is considered safe during all trimesters of pregnancy, provided certain precautions are followed. A study published in Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine also found no correlation between chamomile tea and the risk of delivering a low birth weight baby. The rule of thumb for expectant mothers is to only consume commercially manufactured teas because these are usually made with safe herbs in safe amounts. Celestial Seasonings is one brand that only uses herbs that meet the FDA guidelines.
While chamomile is safe for pregnancy, it may sometimes be combined with other herbs, such as in chamomile lavender tea. It’s always important to check with your health care provider before using any teas that contain other herbs, especially in the more sensitive first and third trimesters. Chamomile can also interact with certain medications and, in rare cases, cause allergic-type reactions. If you are considered high-risk or have a history of allergies, your obstetrician or midwife can help you decide if chamomile is safe for you.
How Can I Add Chamomile Tea to My Routine?
Chamomile tea is best for before bed, to encourage an afternoon nap or to settle your nerves at any point. Many people enjoy Egyptian chamomile tea on its own, but there are also pregnancy-safe choices that offer a bit more flavor, such as honey vanilla chamomile tea. Those concerned about caffeine consumption should limit chamomile green tea to one cup a day (after consulting with a doctor) or opt for decaf.
If you’re using traditional tea bags, making a cup is as simple as boiling some water and letting the tea bags steep before pouring into your favorite mug.