Pregnancy Safe Teas

Tea has been a long time interest in my life. My mother would always drink herbal teas while I was growing up. I didn’t appreciate tea when I was younger, but I have become a tea enthusiast since I started college. My first fiancĂ© was Taiwanese, and I loved going shopping in Asian food stores with him. I tried all the different teas I could find and consider myself an expert at that point. I was completely unaware that most if not all ethnic groups have different and wonderful types of tea they traditionally drink. 

Once I left college, I got a tea of the month subscription through Teavana from my ex-husband for my birthday. My tea-encyclopedia exploded past the basic jasmine, green, white, and oolong teas I found at the Asian food marts. Rooibos teas, fruit infusions, matcha, nutty/savory black teas, and many many more made their way into my life. There is almost an endless variety to be found and tried. 

Prior to finding out I was pregnant, my favorite teas were Zest tea for a caffeine kick and Yogi/Traditional Medicinal teas for a plethora of health benefit specific blends. 

Now that I am pregnant, however, I cannot enjoy these teas. So, I thought I would share a few teas that I have found to be pregnancy safe. The first tea I grabbed when we decided to try to get pregnant was this Raspberry leaf tea.

There was some confusion on my part as to what the health benefits of this tea are for pregnant women. I, like many other women, thought it was a tea to be drank to help induce labor. However, upon doing more research into this tea, I found that it does not induce labor at all. This tea actually helps strengthen the uterus and can help stabilize a woman’s menstrual flow. As such, I bought a big bag of organic Raspberry Leaf Tea right away. This tea is best drank paired with another, more flavorful, tea, but it can be drank by itself. If you are anything like me, though, and like to forget you are steeping tea, I will warn you that this tea can get quite bitter if left to over-steep. 

To replace my sleepy time tea with heavier hitting ingredients, I have opted for my local grocery stores organic brand of lavender/chamomile herbal tea. While searching for this tea, I ran across Celestial’s Tea Well – Gut Health tea. Normally, I drink detox teas and Traditional Medical’s Smooth Move tea to keep things flowing. So, I was excited to find this Gut Health tea as a pregnancy safe option to keeping my gut on track. Instead of herbal laxatives and detoxing agents, Celestial’s Tea Well – Gut Health tea offers prebiotics, probiotics, and fiber all wrapped up in a warm, creamy cinnamon oatmeal flavor that is both comforting and tummy friendly. 

I also grabbed a box of Bigelow Benefits Calm Stomach to pair with my Raspberry leaf tea. Calm Tummy tea is a good precaution for any nausea I might experience. I was very lucky with my son not to get any nausea unless I absentmindedly took my prenatal on an empty stomach. However, I know that every pregnancy is different. So, I figured I was better of safe than sorry. Plus, the tea tastes yummy whether I need it to settle my stomach or not. 

These are just a few teas that I am currently enjoying. As with most things during pregnancy, if you are unsure if it is safe to use, take, eat or drink; check with your doctor. I am not a medical professional and am only speaking from my experience. 

What teas do you enjoy? Are there any other pregnancy safe teas you recommend? 

Another Bun

I am going to have to spill the beans here, because I cannot keep such a monumental life change out of my writing. A week ago, we confirmed that I am pregnant! This will be my second child, my husband’s biological first child, and it’s a whole new ball game this time around. 
The first major difference of this pregnancy this far is the fact that I don’t have health insurance. Last year was the first year of my life I haven’t had health insurance through my employer, and this year will be no different. We signed up for a plan through the Market Place; however, I cannot pay the premium and start coverage until they have confirmation that my state plan has been terminated. So, I am sitting in this uncomfortable limbo waiting for paperwork before I can schedule an appointment with a doctor. It’s not an ideal place to be at the beginning of a pregnancy.
On the plus side, I have been alcohol and nicotine free since prior to becoming pregnant. I started taking a prenatal about a month before conceiving as well and have cut out all other medications, caffeine, and risky foods. It has only been five years since I was last pregnant, but I was surprised to realize how much I had forgotten already. 
No more medicinal teas. No more melatonin to help me sleep. No more eggs medium done or soft (unpasteurized) cheeses. No more energy drinks; even the “healthier” ones. No high intensity (high impact) exercise. No super hot baths (a necessity for surviving Chicago winters). 
It sounds terrible, and initially it is uncomfortable to not be able to reach for something in the medicine cabinet to fix all my problems. However, after a week of grumbles and growing pains, I am surprised with just how well, healthy, and pain free I can live without those things. Herbal teas, staying hydrated, meditation, heating pads, and Reiki seem to be keeping this formerly medicated momma pretty happy. How lovely is that? It makes me wonder how much time, money, and energy I have unnecessarily expended putting chemicals in my body. 
I will say, however, that I have yet to master sleeping well throughout the night without any form of chemical assistance. I have gone from hardcore prescription sleeping medications during college to medicinal tea with passion flower and melatonin supplements to help me fall and stay asleep. I am, somehow, able to fall asleep on my own relatively fast these days with the aid of SleepStories in the Calm app, but I am waking up several times a night and tossing and turning. This could be attributed to hormonal changes, but it is probably largely a transitional hiccup from no longer being on anti-depressants and sleep aids. I am also sure that it would be much worse if I was not exercising regularly. 
Regular exercise during the winter is more challenging this year than normal. Usually, I look in to a gym membership, but that is not a risk I want to take in this pandemic. So, I am left to lean back on my tried and true YouTube fitness channels to keep me on track. Thankfully, owning a home for the first time has given me the advantage of having a whole room to exercise in. Woohoo!
As with my first pregnancy, I anticipate a lot of research into healthy nutrition, exercise, and more, which I look forward to sharing with you along the way. So, stay tuned for lots of pregnancy tips and updates to come!!