While pregnant or breastfeeding, what you put into your body may affect your baby. Whether you use herbs to prevent or treat a health problem or drink herbal teas to replace caffeinated drinks, read on to find out how to make a safe choice.
Possible danger of herbs
Certain herbs may:
If you are unsure about the safety of any herbs or herbal teas, it is best to avoid it. Before taking any herb or herbal tea, talk to your health care provider or pharmacist.
Herbs and breast milk production
If you choose to take any herbal supplement for breast milk production, talk first to your health care provider or an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC).
What to avoid
Before using any herbal products, check to see if the product is licensed in Canada. Visit the licensed natural health products database on Health Canada’s website to see if there is a warning for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Caffeine is not a herb but it can be found in certain teas, coffee, cocoa, carbonated and energy drinks, kola, guarana, yerba mate as well as cold and headache remedies.
Safe Herbs and Herbal Teas
Herbs can be found in certain teas and recipes. Certain herbs are considered safe as long as they are not in a capsule or supplement form. They include:
If you choose to drink any herbal teas from the list above, limit the amount to 2-3 cups per day.
Herbal teas should not replace more nutritious beverages. If you are thirsty, good choices include (hot or cold):
Water - try adding lemon, lime or orange slices for flavour.
Low-fat or chocolate milk.
Plain or flavoured fortified soy beverage.
100% fruit or vegetable juice.
For more information contact your health care provider.