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Is It True That Green Tea Is Bad for Pregnant Women?

author image Derek Buckner
Derek Buckner has been writing professionally since 2005, specializing in diet, nutrition and general health. He has been published in "Today's Dietitian," "Food Essentials" and "Eating Well Magazine," among others. Buckner is a registered dietitian and holds a Bachelor of Science in nutrition and food science from Drexel University.
Is It True That Green Tea Is Bad for Pregnant Women?
A small cup of green tea.

Green tea is a non-herbal tea that is sold nationwide. You can purchase it already prepared in convenience stores, or you can make your own green tea at home. While you may like to drink green tea, it is best to avoid it during pregnancy, advises the American Pregnancy Association, or APA.

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Caffeine and Diuretic Effects

Green tea contains caffeine, which should be limited during pregnancy. Caffeine is a diuretic, which affects the amount of water in your body. Hydration is especially important during pregnancy. You need plenty of fluid during pregnancy. Up to 10 pounds of the weight you gain during pregnancy is accounted for in additional fluids, such as amniotic fluid and increased blood volume. Losing too much water could complicate your pregnancy and cause an imbalance in your electrolytes. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists advises that you take in no more than 200 milligrams of caffeine per day during pregnancy.

Caffeine and the Placenta

The placenta is the organ that becomes attached to the uterus during pregnancy. The umbilical cord connects the baby to the placenta. The placenta produces needed hormones during pregnancy, such as human chorionic gonadotropin, estrogen and progesterone. The placenta also delivers nutrients from your blood to your baby’s blood. Caffeine is one of many substances that your baby cannot metabolize, or use. The effects of caffeine during embryonic growth are still being studied. Although the ACOG states that less than 200 milligrams of caffeine is acceptable, the APA recommends it be avoided during pregnancy.

Caffeine and Green Tea

The amount of caffeine found in green tea varies. Factors such as the size and type of the leaf and how long the tea was brewed can influence how much caffeine is in the tea. Even decaffeinated teas still contain small amounts of caffeine.


Green tea is used and recommended by some herbalists and midwives for its beneficial antioxidants. Ask your healthcare provider if green tea is safe to consume during your pregnancy. You may make your own teas at home by adding orange peels, pears or apples when brewing decaffeinated tea on your stove. Do not attempt to brew any type of tea from a plant unless you specifically know what the plant is and whether or not it is safe to consume during pregnancy.

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