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Is black tea safe while breastfeeding
Breastfeeding: can you drink black tea?
During breastfeeding, a mother must pay attention to her diet. What mum consumes, baby can benefit from. Certain foods or drinks can affect the quality and composition of breast milk. For this reason, breastfeeding mothers are often told to avoid certain medicines, such as antibiotics, alcohol or caffeine. However, it is easy to get lost in the list of foods and drinks that are allowed or to be avoided.
Kusmi Tea strongly recommends that you consult your doctor if you have any doubts or questions. As each case is different, the medical and professional answer is always the best.
So what about black tea when breastfeeding? Does its consumption affect the quality of the mother's milk? Although it contains much less caffeine than coffee and some soft drinks, is it still allowed without affecting your baby?
Black tea and breastfeeding: control your consumption
It is not forbidden to drink black tea while breastfeeding, but in moderation and with the advice of your doctor first.
Theine and its effects on breast milk
What about interactions with breast milk and baby?
Rich in antioxidants, black tea also contains theine, the caffeine in tea. This is a stimulant which, if consumed in excessive quantities, can end up in your breast milk and be ingested by your baby.
Newborns' bodies do not eliminate caffeine as quickly as adults', so it will stay in their bodies longer.
But what happens if you drink a lot of black tea during the day? Your baby may become restless, have trouble sleeping, or even have problems with diarrhoea. We recommend that you consult your doctor before drinking any tea.
Did you know?
People often ask what the difference is between theine and caffeine. They are in fact derived from the same molecule but do not have the same effects on the body.
Indeed, the body does not assimilate them in the same way: theine is released gradually over time and provides an energised calm due to the presence of L-theanine, whereas caffeine is bioavailable and passes very quickly into the bloodstream. This is why coffee is said to be an excitant while tea is considered a stimulant.
How many cups of black tea are allowed per day while breastfeeding?
This question is difficult to answer because not all black teas contain the same amount of theine. In addition, each person reacts differently to the molecule.
You should also bear in mind that hot chocolate and some soft drinks contain caffeine. It is therefore important to take into account the other foods and beverages you consume during the day when counting your caffeine/theine levels.
Medical advice is always essential if you are in doubt about the amount you should be taking.
Does black tea reduce breast milk production during breastfeeding?
This question is often asked by mothers who are breastfeeding or wish to breastfeed their babies. There is no evidence to date on this subject.
On the other hand, tea reduces the body's absorption of iron from plant foods because of its high tannin content. It is therefore advisable to drink your cup of black tea outside of meals.
Infusions and herbal teas: alternatives to black tea
During your breastfeeding period, you can replace black tea or any other type of tea with natural herbal teas. There are many options to satisfy your cravings: rose, fruit, spices, etc.
Looking for a quality black tea or delicious herbal teas? Kusmi Tea offers you a selection of organic products, made in our workshops in France. There is something for everyone! As part of our commitment to sustainable agriculture and a healthy lifestyle, all our products are labelled organic. To discover our range of Kusmi Tea organic infusions and herbal teas!
Rooibos is also recommended for pregnant women or breastfeeding mothers as it is free of theine. It is therefore the perfect drink during the breastfeeding period.
The option of decaffeinated black tea
Decaffeinating your black tea allows you to considerably reduce its theine content. To do this, simply brew your tea leaves once, then drain the water. The theine is released in the first few minutes of infusion. Then heat up some water and put your tea leaves in. Be aware that decaffeinated tea contains a residual amount of theine.
Choosing the right black tea during breastfeeding
A good black tea is above all a quality black tea. To achieve this, choose a tea with the organic label. The label guarantees numerous controls during the production and development of the product as well as respect for the environment. To discover our range of organic black teas made in Normandy,click here.
The health benefits of black tea
Like its cousins green and white teas, black tea has many benefits. Starting with its richness in antioxidants, which have multiple health benefits. They are said to help fight against the development of certain diseases and the premature ageing of cells. In addition, due to the presence of L-theanine, black tea is said to have a calming effect on the body as this amino acid reduces stress and anxiety levels.
There are no contraindications to drinking black tea while breastfeeding, but consumption should be controlled. Consuming black tea in moderation does not pose any risk to the baby. Herbal teas, infusions and rooibos are good alternatives for all mothers who want to reduce or stop drinking black tea. Any doubts or questions? Talk to your doctor!
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Teas, herbs, and essential oils to avoid while breastfeeding
By Karen Miles
August 31, 2022
Don't assume all herbal tea is safe to drink while breastfeeding. Herbs can be potent, and some may be unsafe for nursing mothers and their babies. If you want to take any herbs, use essential oils, or drink herbal teas while breastfeeding (including those intended to boost milk supply), talk with your healthcare provider first. Choose teas carefully, check ingredient labels, and limit how much of a particular herbal tea you consume.
Photo credit: iStock.com / staticnak1983
Is it safe to take herbs while breastfeeding?
Herbs to avoid while breastfeeding
Teas to avoid while breastfeeding
Essential oils to avoid while breastfeeding
Is it safe to take herbs while breastfeeding?
It depends. Herbs and herbal products may be considered natural, but they aren't necessarily safe. Since herbs can be very potent, it's important to check with your healthcare provider before using herbal supplements, herbal teas, and essential oils.
As with pharmaceutical medications, herbs can get into breast milk and possibly affect your milk supply and your baby. Herbs are regulated by the FDA as food products, not medicinal products. There's no guarantee of safety, strength, or purity. And very few herbs have been studied to learn their effect on nursing infants.
Herbs such as fenugreek and fennel, for example, have been used for centuries to increase milk supply, but there's little data to show that they're safe (or effective) in nursing moms and their babies.
Most herbs used to season food – such as cumin, rosemary, and cilantro – are fine to include in your everyday diet in moderate amounts. But some, like sage, can cause problems if you consume them in large or concentrated amounts, such as medicinally or in teas.
Work with your healthcare practitioner if you'd like to take herbs while breastfeeding. They can help you identify quality herbs, provide guidelines for amounts that are safe to take, caution you about any interactions with other herbs or medicines, and outline possible side effects that you should watch for in yourself and/or your baby.
When researching herbs online, look for reliable, noncommercial sites rather than those that are selling herbal products. The National Institutes of Health, MedlinePlus, and LactMed are good sources.
Herbs to avoid while breastfeeding
Avoid these herbs. Some interfere with lactation, and some could be harmful to you or your baby.
Note: This isn't a complete list. Again, talk to your healthcare provider before taking any herbs.
Cascara sagrada bark
Chaste tree berry
Guarana (contains caffeine)
Prickly ash bark
Use caution before taking any of these herbs. Some of the following herbs are known as galactagogues (traditionally used to boost milk production), but most haven't been scientifically proven to be safe or effective. If you'd like to take any of these, talk with your healthcare provider first.
Vervain (also called verbena)
Teas to avoid while breastfeeding
Teas containing any of the herbs mentioned above may not be safe for breastfeeding. That includes chamomile, echinacea, and ginger teas; yerba mate; and teas with valerian, sage, kava kava, anise, ginseng, comfrey, lavender, licorice root, passionflower, red clover, senna, or St. John's wort.
Talk with your healthcare provider about any teas that you regularly consume. Check that they're safe for your nursing baby, and learn whether they interact with other medications you take.
Here are some general guidelines for drinking tea while breastfeeding:
Choose teas carefully. If you choose a tea blend, for example, make sure all of the ingredients are safe for use during breastfeeding. Use reliable brands that list all the ingredients, so you know what you're getting.
Your nursing baby will get some of the caffeine in your breast milk, so limit your consumption of teas that contain caffeine. (Green and black teas contain caffeine, while most herbal teas don't.)
Limit your consumption of herbal teas, even those that are safe, to a cup or two per day.
Alternate types of tea you drink from day to day, so you'll limit the amount of a specific herb you and your baby consume.
Teas that are sold to promote lactation are generally safe for you to consume while breastfeeding (unless, of course, you have a problem with oversupply of breast milk). Still, check with your provider if you want to drink any of them regularly.
One study of the safety of Mother's Milk Tea found no adverse effects among women who drank the tea while exclusively breastfeeding. However, LactMed (a database of drugs and their possible effects on breastfeeding mothers and their babies) notes a lack of safety data and/or possible concerns about some individual ingredients in the tea (such as anise, fennel, blessed thistle, and coriander).
Essential oils to avoid while breastfeeding
Essential oils are distilled or expressed from plant parts. As a result, they're very potent – much more potent than the plant itself or herbal tea made from the plant. Essential oils are used in diffusers, mixed with carrier oils (for massage, for example), or added to water (in baths or steam, for example).
Only use essential oils that you know are safe during breastfeeding. Work with your healthcare provider to make sure. Some oils can affect your milk supply and aren't safe for you and/or your baby. Many others simply lack scientific studies to support their safety.
Some essential oils to avoid:
A few more tips for using essential oils (whether or not you're breastfeeding):
Never take an essential oil orally.
Use essential oils – even those you know are safe – in small amounts (a drop at a time, as directed).
Keep essential oils away from your eyes.
Keep essential oils out of the reach of children.
Breastfeeding problem solver
Foods to avoid when breastfeeding
BabyCenter's editorial team is committed to providing the most helpful and trustworthy pregnancy and parenting information in the world. When creating and updating content, we rely on credible sources: respected health organizations, professional groups of doctors and other experts, and published studies in peer-reviewed journals. We believe you should always know the source of the information you're seeing. Learn more about our editorial and medical review policies.
ICEA. Undated. The safe use of essential oils. https://icea.org/the-safe-use-of-essential-oils/ [Accessed August 2022]
LactMed. Undated. Drugs and Lactation Database (LactMed). U.S. National Library of Medicine. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK501922/ [Accessed November 2019]
MedlinePlus. Undated. Herbs and supplements. https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/herb_All.html [Accessed August 2022]
NIH. 2022.Herbs at a Glance. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/herbsataglance [Accessed August 2022]
Shinde P et al. 2012. Herbs in pregnancy and lactation: A review appraisal. International Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Research 3(9): 3001-3006. https://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.278.6152&rep=rep1&type=pdf [Accessed August 2022]
Wagner CL et al. 2019. The safety of Mother's Milk® tea: Results of a randomized double-blind, controlled study in fully breastfeeding mothers and their infants. Journal of Human Lactation 35(2): 248-260. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30005170/ [Accessed August 2022]
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Is it possible to drink tea while breastfeeding
Benefits of tea during breastfeeding
Which tea is better for breastfeeding: black or green?
Which tea supplements can be used during lactation
Other useful tea drinks during lactation
During the lactation period, a nursing woman is advised to carefully monitor the diet and exclude foods that can harm the baby from the daily menu. As a natural stimulant of milk production, mammologists recommend drinking tea. But before drinking such a drink, it is necessary to take into account its beneficial properties and decide how safe it will be for the child.
A nursing mother, in order to compensate for the lack of fluid in the body, should consume about two liters of water per day. It should be borne in mind that not all drinks can be useful during lactation. The most safe and hypoallergenic liquid is distilled water. In order not to go to extremes, it is recommended that a nursing mother drink drinks that have a positive effect on health and at the same time have a pleasant taste and aroma. This includes fermented milk drinks, juices made from natural ingredients, milk and teas.
It is known that tea itself does not contribute to the stimulation of the lactation process. The mechanism of action of this drink is the same as that of other hot liquids: after ingestion, hot tea improves the flow of milk to the mammary glands.
For a long time, pediatricians have limited the use of tea drink due to the presence of caffeine in it, which has a pronounced tonic effect. Today, such a categorical ban has been lifted. A cup of black or green tea can contain about 85 mg of caffeine, while the allowable dose for a person per day is about 1000 mg. Therefore, a couple of cups of tea drink a day should not harm the child. So in the diet of a nursing mother, different varieties of tea can be safely present.
If you drink tea while breastfeeding in moderation - no more than 2-3 cups a day, then there will be no harm to the baby. At the same time, it is recommended to give preference only to high-quality and natural drinks without artificial colors and impurities. It is better not to use tea in bags, but to buy tea leaves by weight. As an additional component, you can add milk, herbs, berries and fruits to the drink. To find out if a new tea is suitable for a nursing mother, it is recommended to drink a little freshly brewed drink 30 minutes before feeding the baby and then evaluate the reaction of the newborn's body.
Which tea is better for breastfeeding: black or green?
Since each person has their own taste preferences, it is recommended that a nursing mother drink the tea drink that she likes the most in terms of taste and effect. Black tea has a stimulating effect on the nervous system, but when consumed in moderation with milk, it relieves fatigue and has a calming effect. The tea leaves of black tea go through a fermentation process, and the longer it lasts, the better and nobler the taste of the tea drink will be, but at the same time it has a lower content of catechins. These substances are necessary for the baby, and for this reason, pediatricians advise giving preference to green tea. At the same time, opponents of the use of green tea note that it contains a large amount of caffeine, as in natural coffee.
Green tea relaxes the ducts of the mammary glands, but does not significantly affect lactation. As a natural drink, green tea contains such useful components:
tannin - this substance improves the functioning of the digestive system, strengthens blood vessels and has an antimicrobial effect;
organic acids, amino acids, vitamins and minerals that normalize the functioning of the nervous system and improve the condition of the body as a whole;
bioflavonoids with a powerful antioxidant effect.
If the baby is too restless, doctors recommend giving preference to white tea, which undergoes very weak fermentation. Herbal, fruit and flower teas do not contain caffeine at all. A drink like South African rooibos has a minimal list of contraindications and a high content of vitamin C. It also contains beneficial minerals that ease and soothe the work of the gastrointestinal tract in disorders and treat heartburn. In addition, this tea reduces the manifestations of an allergic reaction and strengthens the entire body. The main rule when choosing such a drink is to make sure that the composition of the tea does not contain harmful impurities and components.
The baby can become capricious and too irritable even against the background of drinking green tea: he may have problems sleeping. If such a reaction is observed, then it is also better to refuse to use green tea. Replace green tea with black tea with less caffeine. There is nothing wrong with a nursing mother drinking even more than one or two cups of tea a day, as long as it does not negatively affect the baby. Since everyone is different, many breastfeeding mothers can drink any drink with safe additives without any problems associated with the deterioration of the baby's well-being.
Which tea supplements can be used during lactation
The child begins to receive the protection of the mother's immunity even in the process of intrauterine development. It is possible to provide him with reliable protection against various infections after birth with the help of regular tea consumption. For this, ordinary black tea with condensed milk is suitable.
Herbal supplements in the form of lemon balm are also suitable, as a good remedy for relieving intestinal colic and normalizing peristalsis: lemon balm tea will improve bowel function and reduce pain symptoms. Chamomile tea is simply indispensable for breastfeeding, when the baby has the first signs of a cold. As a natural antiseptic, chamomile has an antimicrobial effect no worse than any expensive drug. The advantage of this drink is the safety of chamomile tea for the child's body and the ability to bring down the temperature, as well as remove pain in the event of an inflammatory process.
Lemon tea also has a protective and regenerating property, serves as a good natural antibiotic and stimulant of the immune system. But during breastfeeding, drinking such tea should be done with caution and make sure that the baby does not have an allergic reaction. To understand whether it is possible to drink tea with lemon during lactation, you need to drink about a quarter cup of a tea drink and observe the reaction of the baby's body during the day. Normally, no redness, rashes should appear on the child's body, and there should also be no changes in behavior. If all is well, it will be possible to increase the intake of lemon tea to 2 or 3 cups per day.
Replace lemon tea with bergamot tea. Tea with bergamot during lactation has a preventive effect and protects the newborn baby from viral infections. Such a tea drink can be introduced into the diet of a nursing mother from the first days of a child's life and not be afraid that it will cause the development of allergies or dysbacteriosis.
Thyme tea has a calming effect, which is ideal for teething in a baby or if he is worried about prickly heat. Thyme tea has an anti-inflammatory, sedative and beneficial effect on the digestive system. The drink relaxes the body and reduces pain.
Other healthy tea drinks during lactation
While breastfeeding, a breastfeeding mother can also try Chamomile Flower Premium tea. This drink promotes good digestion, treats constipation and diarrhea, and reduces gas formation. Chamomile tea saturates the body with the necessary amount of fluid and helps in the treatment of peptic ulcer or colitis. Chamomile flowers contain a large number of useful substances: polysaccharides, vitamins, organic acids, minerals.
Chamomile tea helps with colds, well relieving the feeling of itching and sore throat. Even small children can treat a cough with chamomile. The addition of a slice of lemon or honey helps to enhance the therapeutic effect of the drink. Chamomile tea tidies up the nervous system and relieves gastrointestinal problems associated with stress.
Ginger matcha tea also has medicinal properties. It is suitable for a nursing mother as a substitute for regular coffee or tea, as it does not contain caffeine. Ginger drink has a characteristic taste and can be prepared with milk or water. Such tea has an antibacterial effect, helps with colds and strengthens the immune system, quenches thirst well and gives a charge of vivacity for the whole day.
Another useful tea drink is lavender flowers, which has a pronounced antispasmodic and anti-inflammatory effect. Lavender drink has a delicate oily taste and persistent aroma, and also contains an aftertaste with light herbaceous notes. This tea goes well with honey and a slice of lemon. This plant is often used in medicine for diseases of the gastrointestinal tract and problems with the nervous system. Lavender infusion has a deep emotional relaxation, improves tone and has an antiseptic effect. It is brewed at the rate of 3 g of tea leaves per 120 ml of water with a temperature of 80-95 degrees.
Tea called Ku Qiao Mei, or as it is also called Tatar buckwheat, has a sweetish taste and an appetizing aroma of vanilla cookies. The color of the tea drink is bright yellow and it is rich in vitamins P, E, C, group B. Rutin, which is contained in the Tatar buckwheat plant, helps strengthen immunity, regulates blood pressure, strengthens capillary walls and improves blood microcirculation. Such tea should be brewed with purified water at a temperature of 95 degrees at the rate of 1 teaspoon per 200 ml of water.
It is recommended to buy tea for a nursing mother only of high quality in the form of tea leaves and without the addition of flavors or other chemical components. Each tea drink has its own secrets of brewing, which must be observed in order to maximize the disclosure of its beneficial properties.
Before giving preference to any drink, it is advisable to make sure that the child does not have an allergic reaction to it. Black tea can only be brewed once, while green tea can be reused. Nursing mothers are not recommended to drink tea drinks that can lower blood pressure.
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With the advent of a child, a woman's life is transformed. All other problems fade into the background. The main goal is to take care of the baby. In order for a child to grow up strong and healthy, he needs good nutrition. Breastfeeding allows the baby to receive a vital complex of vitamins and nutrients. However, so that when breastfeeding the baby does not have additional problems in the form of colic or allergic reactions, the mother needs to follow a diet while breastfeeding.
Why diet is needed
Is a diet really necessary when breastfeeding?
In order for the baby to get enough nutrients, the mother needs to eat foods rich in vital vitamins and minerals.
Please note! The mother's diet should be based on the principles of a healthy diet.
Do not go to extremes. Knowing that she takes food not only for herself, but also for the child, many women begin to eat 2 times more. This has a detrimental effect on the health of a woman due to excessive stress. Or, in an effort to return to their usual forms after the birth of a baby, women go on a strict diet. It also adversely affects the quality of breast milk.
Do not think that the diet of a nursing mother implies strict restrictions in everything. The main thing is to follow a proper and balanced diet.
Proper nutrition for a breastfeeding woman
In order for the baby to get all the necessary nutrients in sufficient quantities, and for the mother’s body to recover quickly after childbirth, it is recommended to follow the main advice of breastfeeding experts:
Try to keep a daily routine and eat at the same time every day.
Try to eliminate processed foods, canned foods, smoked and spicy foods from your diet.
The main diet of the mother should include the following useful substances: protein, carbohydrates, fats.
It is very useful to eat greens. It stimulates the gastrointestinal tract well.
If a mother experiences slight malaise, dizziness, nausea while breastfeeding, she should drink a glass of warm compote or tea with biscuits or unsweetened pastries.
Many new mothers are concerned about the question: is it possible to eat foods that cause allergies while breastfeeding.
It is not recommended to eat foods that can cause allergies in the mother or child in the first months of his life. When the baby reaches the age of 4-5 months, you can gradually begin to introduce additional foods into the mother's diet.
Please note! Take them in small portions in the morning. After taking it, you should monitor the condition of the child for several days.
If there is no allergic reaction, you can continue to eat these foods.
If you notice that with the introduction of a new product in the diet, the baby's stool has changed, and a rash has appeared, postpone its use for several months.
Products - allergens
Foods that can cause an allergic reaction:
Coffee and cocoa
Chocolate and chocolates
Dairy products made from cow's milk
You can start eating them after the baby is six months old. At this age, the main allergens practically do not penetrate into the mother's milk and are safe for the baby.
It is worth remembering that if the child is prone to allergic reactions, it is necessary to continue natural breastfeeding as long as possible, and postpone the start of complementary feeding to a later date. Optimally - after 1 year.
What not to eat while breastfeeding
There are a huge number of products in the world that can cause irreparable harm to the health of not only the mother, but also the child. A nursing mother should be careful when eating.
Thus, the following foods should be completely excluded:
Foods that cause an allergic reaction
Soups with meat and fish broths
Apples, watermelon, melon, coffee can be consumed in limited quantities, provided that the child does not have an allergic reaction to these products.
Eliminate smoking, alcohol and drugs
For the formation of a healthy child's body, a nursing mother is strictly forbidden to use:
Remember that smoking is also harmful to both the mother and the child.
The main food should be rich in nutrients and contain the necessary amount of useful vitamins and minerals. What should a mother eat while breastfeeding?
Eat foods rich in protein. For example, fish, turkey, veal, rabbit. It is acceptable to eat lean pork.
Calcium is very useful for a child. It is found in the following products: cottage cheese, natural kefir, drinking yogurt, low-fat sour cream.
Food rich in fats. Their body receives from olive, vegetable and butter oils.
Fruit. They should be used with caution. You can start with apples, gradually adding other fruits to your diet. Make sure that they contain a minimum amount of acids.
Vegetables. Limit yourself to greenery. Other types of vegetables are best consumed boiled or in the form of stews.
Flour products. It is highly recommended not to eat fresh white bread. Better buy dark bread, preferably bran. It should not be consumed fresh. Ideally, bread for the diet of a nursing mother should be yesterday's. Homemade shortbread cookies and bread are also allowed.
Sweet dishes. Give preference to natural products. They should contain a minimum amount of sugar. Allowed to use jam, marshmallow, marshmallows without chocolate, marmalade. Remember that sugary foods should be consumed in limited quantities.
Speaking about the diet of a nursing mother, one cannot but mention such an important aspect as the organization of drinking.
Please note! For the normal process of lactation of the mother, it is necessary to consume an increased amount of fluid per day.
So, to the usual 2 liters of fluid per day of a nursing mother, you need to add up to 1 liter of fluid per day.