Can I Drink Chamomile Tea While Pregnant?

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During pregnancy, your body is hard at work. First of all, you're sharing your body's nutrients and fluids with another being, whose weight you are carrying around. On top of that, you have also grown an entirely new organ, the placenta, over a relatively short period of time. It's no surprise if you feel exhausted.

Trying to get as much extra rest as you can is a good idea. But, whether your bump gets in the way of your preferred sleeping position or your mind is racing, getting to sleep is not always easy during pregnancy. You might wonder whether it's safe for you to brew up a cup of chamomile tea to help you relax.

In fact, there hasn't been enough research on chamomile tea to say for sure whether it is safe to drink while pregnant. For now, you might want to find other ways to help you wind down in the evenings. "It's best to avoid chamomile tea during pregnancy, as there is not yet a set
amount that is deemed safe," says Melissa Mitri, MS, RD, a registered dietician for Zenmaster Wellness.

Drinking Chamomile Tea During Pregnancy

Chamomile tea might not be safe to drink while pregnant because it could cause contractions that might lead to miscarriage or preterm birth. "If you're not pregnant, chamomile tea contains healthy antioxidants that may be health-promoting," says Mitri. "However, drinking chamomile tea may pose a higher risk of pregnancy complications, especially when consumed regularly."

It is probable that a limited amount of chamomile tea could be fine during pregnancy, but there is no known threshold currently. "As the doses and duration of use of chamomile are not standardized, the exact dose of chamomile needed to induce labor is not well-known," explains Kelly Johnson-Arbor, MD, a medical toxicologist and the co-director of the National Capital Poison Center.

We don't yet know enough about chamomile tea to consider it safe to drink during pregnancy. Until more studies are conducted, it is best to abstain from drinking chamomile tea till after your little one has arrived.

Every pregnancy is different. Be sure to consult with a healthcare provider about your circumstances if you have any questions about drinking chamomile tea while pregnant.

Is It Safe For Baby?

Drinking chamomile during your pregnancy may not be safe for your baby. "Chamomile has been used to stimulate uterine contractions in pregnant women," explains Dr. Johnson-Arbor. "This could potentially lead to a higher incidence of preterm labor and threatened miscarriage."

A limited amount of chamomile may turn out to be safe to sip while pregnant, but so far, there has not been any research confirming a specific threshold.

Why You Should Not Drink Chamomile Tea While Pregnant

Chamomile has been found to be effective in stimulating labor after a person's due date. The concern is that if chamomile can start contractions, drinking it before the due date could lead to miscarriage or preterm birth.

For now, we do not know if chamomile can cause contractions at a point in pregnancy prior to the due date. We also don't know how much chamomile could potentially be OK to drink. Studies on this would be difficult to conduct for ethical reasons. Until further research can prove that chamomile is safe to take while pregnant, it is safest to abstain from it.

When Can I Resume Drinking Chamomile Tea?

It is generally safe to start drinking chamomile tea after your pregnancy reaches full term. It may even be beneficial to drink if your baby is late. Every pregnancy is different, so you should also talk to your healthcare provider before you resume drinking chamomile tea.

Chamomile is generally considered safe to drink while breastfeeding, and it may even aid in milk production. So go ahead and brew a cup of it to sip after a long day of taking care of your new baby.

Pregnancy-Safe Alternatives

It is best to skip the chamomile during pregnancy, but there are other safe ways to help you relax and get the rest you need.

Lemon Oil

Lemon aromatherapy has been found the be effective in reducing stress and depression in mice. While animal studies don't always translate exactly to human studies, there is no harm to you or your baby in slicing a lemon and leaving it by your bedside or applying a few drops of lemon oil to your wrist. It may just help you feel more relaxed and at ease.

If you are struggling with morning sickness, lemon aromatherapy may help with this too. Studies show that lemon oil can significantly reduce nausea and vomiting during pregnancy.

Magnesium

If you feel restless when it is time for you to go to bed, talk with your healthcare provider about supplementing with magnesium. This mineral has been found to help you fall asleep faster and sleep longer stretches.

Magnesium has many benefits for your body overall. Taking magnesium while pregnant may also reduce your chance of fetal growth restriction, low birth weight, or preeclampsia.

Meditation

Mindfulness meditation trains you to focus on the moment and push aside distracting thoughts about anything other than the present. Spending a few minutes each day focusing on your breath can have an overall positive effect on your well-being.

This type of meditation has been found to reduce stress and negative thoughts. On top of that, it has been found to increase mental clarity, so it may also help with forgetfulness, commonly known as pregnancy brain.

A Word From Verywell

It is best to not drink chamomile tea while pregnant. Because chamomile has been found to kick-start contractions, there is a possibility that drinking it could lead to miscarriage or preterm birth.

Not enough research has been done to confirm whether contractions caused by chamomile would be strong enough to lead to fetal death or early delivery. We also don't yet know if there is a safe limit. Until we know more, chamomile should be avoided during most of pregnancy, at least until you reach full-term. Always reach out to your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns about drinking chamomile tea while pregnant.

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9 Sources
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