Drinking Tea During Pregnancy Could Be Bad for You -- & Your Baby

So you gave up your delicious daily cup of coffee when you found out you were pregnant. Good for you! You won't go within eight feet of unpasteurized cheese or shellfish and you're even trying to swear off canned foods. You're doing everything right -- or else you think you are. And then you find out that tea -- even green tea -- which you assumed was not only safe, but beneficial for you and your baby, could actually be far more dangerous than your cup of Joe. Here's what you need to know. 


The results of a new Canadian study have proven that many teas, and particularly those made in China, contain enough lead to be extremely harmful to pregnant and nursing women. Although any tea could be tainted with small amounts of metal that could contribute to neurological problems in fetuses, those found in China are thought to be more troublesome because the tea plants grown there likely absorb pollution given off from the country's many coal-powered plants.  

Aside from acting as a kind of "brain poison," even small quantities of lead have been shown to have a negative effect on children's academic performances. Researchers are saying that pregnant women or moms who are breastfeeding and consume three or four cups a day are ingesting way too much lead if they're drinking the wrong kind of tea.

This news is troubling for me because I am one of those pregnant women who thought she was doing a wonderful thing by swapping the coffee she loved so dearly with a cup or two of tea each morning. There have been times when I've actually enjoyed three or four cups of green tea a day -- which I know sounds like a lot -- but doesn't seem like a lot when you consider you're really just drinking flavored hot water. 

Honestly, since I got the go-ahead from my doctor -- and even for about a month before that -- I gave up tea and went back to one cup of coffee a day because I prefer the taste and it helps my tummy feel more settled in the morning. But I'm dreading the day when the pendulum swings against coffee again and it becomes a beverage you should again fear drinking while preggers.

As for tea, I'll probably stay away since hearing this scary news, but I can't help but think about the many cups I already consumed early on in my pregnancy.

Did you or do you drink tea while pregnant or nursing? Will this news make you give it up? 


Image via Selina/Flickr

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