How Much Tea Can I Have During Pregnancy?

By Dr. Anita M in Obstetrics And Gynaecology

Feb 22 , 2023 | 1 min read


Drinking tea is a very gratifying emotion, especially if it's your favourite masala tea, at your favourite time and with your favourite book.

Traditionally, tea has been associated with healing, rejuvenating and energising properties. So even though 2-3 cups a day are considered beneficial for health and well-being, drinking more than this can have side effects. During pregnancy, these side effects can be more pronounced and can be harmful to the pregnant woman and her developing baby.

Tea has caffeine, so excessive tea consumption can cause acidity problems. The pregnant uterus is more prone to cause acid reflux, which is further aggravated by caffeine which relaxes the esophageal sphincter.

Caffeine also increases acid production in the stomach.

There are tannins in tea, which can reduce the amount of iron absorbed in the body. With anaemia being extremely common in India, this becomes a concerning health problem for pregnant ladies.

Excess tea consumption can result in poor sleep quality due to the caffeine present in tea. Chronic sleep deprivation can lead to fatigability, irritability, poor blood sugar control and obesity. The last cup of tea should be had at least six hours before bedtime in order to have good quality sleep.

An average cup of tea contains 20-40 mg of caffeine, and having excess tea can cause jitteriness, stressanxiety symptoms and restlessness. All guidelines say that total daily caffeine intake should not exceed 200 mg.

Last but not least, overexposure to caffeine from tea can cause unwelcome complications during pregnancy like nausea, heartburn, hyperemesis, gestational hypertension, miscarriage and low birth weight for your newborn.

So it's best to consume tea in moderation to have maximum health benefits and to avoid its harmful effects from overconsumption. If you're pregnant, then prioritise your health and your baby's health. Caffeine-free herbal teas are a good alternative, but not all herbal teas may be safe to use during pregnancy. Talk to your obstetrician for more information on this.