Yerba mate and pregnancy... Is there anything (like potential health benefits, risks, or side effects) that parents-to-be should know?
Whether you're already expecting a little bundle of joy, or are planning and hoping to become pregnant, you'll already be carefully ensuring that only the most nutritious and beneficial foods and beverages are included in your diet.
So... what about teas and herbal tisanes, such as yerba mate?
If you're pregnant and have been thinking of adding yerba mate to your day, keep yourself (and your baby) safe and healthy by staying informed about yerba mate and pregnancy.
Yerba mate is well-known for so many health and wellness benefits, but there are a few things to keep in mind about yerba mate during pregnancy, too... (If you missed our first page about yerba mate and pregnancy, you'll find it here.)
Traditionally, yerba mate is considered a safe and beneficial beverage for pregnant women, and recent research may indicate additional support for the safety of consuming this nourishing herbal tea while pregnant.
A Brazilian study at the Federal University of Pelotas targeted the effects of yerba mate on fetal development, and found no harmful effect on fetal growth or the duration of pregnancy from regular consumption of mate.
Over 5300 mothers and their newborns participated in this study. Each mom was questioned about her mate drinking habits (and a wide variety of other factors), and her baby's birthweight and gestational age at birth (assessed using the Dubowitz score) were recorded, as well.
About 68% of the moms in the study indicated they drank yerba mate at least once per week during the entire pregnancy.
This research found no association between mate consumption during pregnancy and preterm birth or small-for-gestational-age birth.
If you're expecting a little one (congratulations!) or planning to fall pregnant, please do pay a visit to your naturopathic doctor, herbalist, or other trusted healthcare provider to chat about safe and beneficial teas and herbal tisanes for you and your baby.
If you're considering including yerba mate in your diet, ask her or him about any possible yerba mate side effects and safe amounts of mate for you and your unborn child.
Remember, too, that yerba mate is a natural source of caffeine. Due to concerns about certain potential risks associated with caffeine intake while expecting or breastfeeding, it's recommended that pregnant women or breastfeeding moms keep their daily caffeine consumption at a maximum of 150 - 300 mg (or less).
Health Canada recommends a maximum of 300 mg caffeine per day during pregnancy, while AmericanPregnancy.org indicates that moderate amounts of caffeine (between 150 and 300 mg per day) haven't been found to affect pregnancy negatively.
Yerba mate is widely consumed by pregnant women in many parts of South America - in fact, research has shown that this healthful, nourishing herbal tea is a normal part of pregnancy for about 70% of expecting moms in many South American countries.
When making this very personal choice for you and your baby, be sure to stay well informed about health benefits and potential concerns regarding yerba mate, and ask your healthcare provider for guidance, too. She or he will help you make the best decision for you and your wee one.
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