Pregnant can take mate?

Could it be that pregnant can take chimarrão or tererê? Can pregnant women enjoy the benefits of ginger, anise or peppermint? These and other questions are common when it comes to the use of medicinal plants during pregnancy.

The truth is that this space of time in a woman’s life is surrounded by uncertainties and myths. In fact, many of these questions can end up disrupting the pregnant woman’s life and the development of the fetus.

For this reason, it is important to know the properties of plants before using them as natural treatments. Thus, it is possible to know what to avoid during pregnancy and which are the teas that pregnant women can take during this period.

And to help in this knowledge process, we invited nutritionist Janiele da Silva Rodrigues. With the help of this specialist, we will find out if there are benefits of chimarrão in pregnancy and if other herbs can be used during pregnancy.

Pregnant can take mate? Nutritionist responds

According to the nutrition specialist, both chimarrão and tererê should be avoided during pregnancy. That’s because yerba mate, the plant that gives rise to these drinks, has caffeine and flavonoids in its composition.

“Its excessive consumption can cause the baby’s ductus arteriosus to narrow/close, in addition to causing fetal alterations”, warns Janiele Rodrigues.

For those who don’t know yet, caffeine is an alkaloid that acts as a stimulant of the nervous system. This substance is present in several drinks and common foods of everyday life, including yerba mate .

Furthermore, several studies suggest a negative interaction between this alkaloid and pregnancy. “[…] fetal growth reduction, prematurity,
intrauterine growth restriction , low birth weight, spontaneous abortion and malformations” are some of the harmful effects of this substance in pregnancy. ( 1 )

For all these reasons, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the food and drug regulatory agency in the United States, advised expectant mothers to avoid the consumption of beverages with this substance. According to the agency, the daily intake of caffeine should not exceed 200 mg. ( 1 )

But there are other reasons that lead to the prohibition of mate tea during pregnancy. For example, according to specialists, this drink can make it difficult to take advantage of some essential nutrients during this period of a woman’s life.

Another problem is the relationship that this liquid has with the appearance and worsening of colic in babies. In this case, the connection occurs because substances present in mate can be sent to children through breast milk, after the mother consumes this drink. ( 2 )

For this reason, neither pregnant nor lactating women should use yerba mate, either in the form of mate or tererê.

Chimarrão with ginger

As already seen, mate is prohibited during pregnancy, so its combination with ginger also becomes unfeasible for future mothers. However, only tea of ​​this root can bring some benefits for pregnant women.

If used with moderation and medical supervision, ginger reduces nausea and vomiting in pregnant women. This effect is even stronger during the first three months of pregnancy, when nausea episodes are more frequent. ( 3 )

But despite this benefit, nutritionist Janiele warns of the risks of infusing this spice. “Excess consumption is not recommended, as ginger causes uterine contractions and can lead to miscarriage.”

Star anise combination

Like ginger, star anise  is also free for pregnant women, as long as this consumption is done consciously and with follow-up.

“This tea [anise] is widely used to treat digestive problems, such as the gas that many pregnant women complain about during pregnancy,” explains the nutrition professional.

However, pregnancy is a very delicate period in a woman’s life, for this reason it is necessary to be extra careful with what you eat and drink. In this case, Janiele mentions that chimarrão and anise form a combination that should not be used.

And if the patient wants to benefit from this last plant, it is necessary to talk to the doctor. “ In very high dosages , anise has a toxic effect”, complements the nutritionist.

Mint tererê (mint)

Another very common question among pregnant women is the use of mint tererê . For those who don’t know, tererê is the cold version of chimarrão, which is why it is also banned during the period in which the woman is expecting the baby.

In addition, mint or mint is also contraindicated in pregnancy. According to some studies, this plant presents the risk of teratogenicity, increasing the possibility of the child being born with congenital malformations. ( 3 , 4 )

What teas can pregnant women take?

In addition to anise and ginger teas, pregnant women can enjoy other infusions sparingly. Check out some of them and their main benefits:

  • Garlic tea : indicated from the third trimester of pregnancy and with medical supervision can prevent anemia in the mother-to-be
  • Lemon balm/melissa tea : recommended after the third month of pregnancy and helps to control anxiety
  • White rose tea : unlike the two previous options, this infusion is not meant to be ingested, but to prepare a therapeutic bath. It is indicated to calm pregnant women
  • Indian chestnut tea : it is possible to make a decoction with this oil, which is indicated for the treatment of edema in the legs.

In the breastfeeding period, the recommended infusions are: fennel tea, cotton tea and parsley tea. All of these drinks contribute to increased milk production. ( 3 )

What to avoid in pregnancy?

In the same way that yerba mate tea, the famous chimarrão or tererê, is contraindicated during pregnancy, there are other foods, drinks and habits that are also unnecessary during pregnancy.

Check out some of them below:

  • Consumption of alcoholic beverages, cigarettes and other drugs: the use of these products not only harms the woman’s health, but can also negatively influence the growth of the fetus or increase the risk of a premature birth
  • Drinking soda during pregnancy :  soda and all other carbonated and industrialized beverages should be banned during pregnancy. This is because these products increase the risk of complications at this stage of a woman’s life, providing excess weight, gestational diabetes and even high blood pressure
  • Use of salt and processed foods:  hypertension can also be a consequence of excessive use of salt or processed foods, such as hamburgers, jerky, sausage, ham, snacks, etc. In addition to high blood pressure, other problems can arise from these items, such as heart, kidney and excessive body swelling.
  • Fat consumption:  avoiding fatty foods, the patient protects herself against obesity
  • Drinking fluids with meals: by  avoiding this habit, it is possible to prevent common pregnancy symptoms, such as heartburn or “burning”. ( 2 )

Putting all these tips into practice and avoiding taking mate and its combinations, the pregnant woman can enjoy a peaceful and healthy pregnancy.

But, any problems or questions regarding this period, the doctor should be consulted.

Ellie Lauderdale

My name is Ellie Lauderdale, MD and I am USA based professional Nutritionist .

I am a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and board certified specialist in sports dietetics who is trained in integrative medicine. I have worked with hundreds of clients, from those suffering with chronic disease to professional and olympian athletes. My goal is to help optimize you from the inside so that you can feel, perform, and look your best on the outside.

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