Tea and Breastfeeding

Safe Tea for Breastfeeding Mothers

Drinking lots of tea and breastfeeding? If you are drinking tea while breastfeeding, you need to remember that most teas contain caffeine.

Caffeine is not recommended in large quantities and breastfeeding mothers are advised to stick to no more than two or three cups per day.

Also, when drinking caffeinated tea, it's best to drink a cup after breastfeeding, instead of before, to ensure that the caffeine does not enter your breast milk.

Excess caffeine can cause your baby to become fussy and may cause sleep problems. The mother can start consuming more tea, once her baby is about six  months of age.

Most herbal teas are caffeine free (always read the label ). So, why not substitute your regular tea for some herbal, decaffeinated tea?

Some herbal teas are safe to drink while breastfeeding and can even help with several breastfeeding problems, such as low milk supply and thrush.

Herbal Breastfeeding Tea

Tea and Breastfeeding

herbal tea and breastfeeding

Herbal teas can sometimes be used as medicine; this is why it is essential that you first contact your doctor before drinking any herbal tea if you are breastfeeding.

Precautions when Drinking Herbal Teas while Nursing

  • Make sure that it is caffeine free if you are drinking more than three cups daily.
  • Make sure that the specific herb is safe to take while breastfeeding. List of safe and unsafe herbs can be found below.
  • Make sure that the specific herb in the tea does not decrease breast milk supply.
  • If you are allergic to plants or pollen, it’s best to stay away from related herbal plants.
  • Always buy teas with proper labeling of ingredients.
  • Avoid pharmacologically active herbal teas.
  • Always check with your pediatrician before drinking any herbal teas while breastfeeding.

Teas that a Breastfeeding Mom should Not Drink
(not a complete list)

  • Borage tea, Comfrey tea.
  • Teas containing any of the following herbs:

Bladderwrack, Buckthorn, Chaparral, Coltsfoot (Farfarae folium), Dong Quai (Angelica Root), Elecampane, Ephedra / Ephedra sinica / Ma Huang, Ginseng (Panax ginseng), Evodia, Black Cohosh, Valerian, Indian Snakeroot, Kava-kava (piper methysticum), Petasites root, Phen-fen, Rhubarb root, Star anise, Tiratricol (TRIAC), Uva Ursi, Wormwood, Sophora root, Ginkgo, Coptis, Aloe, Senna, Borrage, Licorice, Basil and Rue.

Herbal Teas that may Reduce Milk Supply

  • Sage, Menthol, spearmint or peppermint teas. (Peppermint is safe in small amounts and is often used to reduce colic and tummy ailments while breastfeeding)
mother drinking tea, tea for breastfeeding
  • Teas containing any of the following herbs: Black Walnut, Chickweed, Cocoa, Herb Robert (Geranium robertianum), Lemon Balm, Oregano, Parsley (Petroselinum crispum), Periwinkle Herb (Vinca minor), Sorrel (Rumex acetosa), Thyme and Yarrow.

Teas that are Safe to Drink while Breastfeeding
(Also not a complete list)

Ginger tea, Linden flower tea, Orange peel & Citrus peel teas, Rosehip tea (contains extra vitamin C), Orange cinnamon tea, Lemon tea and Raspberry teas.

Herbal Teas Safe for Increasing Milk Supply

  • Organic mothers milk tea ~ Mother's milk tea ingredients: Mothers milk herbal tea contains fennel, aniseed, and coriander. Does mother's milk tea work? Organic mother's milk tea works well for mothers who have periods of decreased milk supply, or for extra milk during nighttime nursing.
herbs, herbs and breastfeeding

Lactogenic Foods

Specific Herbs / Teas and Breastfeeding

  • Green tea and breastfeeding: Can you drink green tea while breastfeeding? Most green teas do contain caffeine, but you may be able to find green tea that is caffeine-free. High amounts of green tea are not recommended for breastfeeding women. This herb has not been tested for safety while nursing.
  • Fennel tea while breastfeeding: If you are taking the fennel tea to help a gassy baby, small amounts are safe.
  • Feverfew and breastfeeding: Not enough information is available on this herb, and it should be avoided while breastfeeding. Mothers might want to use this herb to relieve headaches, and it is best to get the advice of a professional or use something else in its place. 
  • Red raspberry leaf tea breastfeeding: This is an excellent tea for lactation ( increasing milk supply ) and contains loads of minerals.
  • Nettle tea breastfeeding: This herb is usually combined with other herbs to make lactation teas that increase milk supply.
  • Chamomile tea breastfeeding: Chamomile tea is sometimes used to help a mother rest or sleep better and can even help calm a teething baby.

Make sure it’s decaffeinated. If it's not decaffeinated, you may drink three cups per day, depending on whether you are consuming other caffeine products like chocolate, coffee, etc.

Here are a few comments by other Moms who have used chamomile tea while breastfeeding. 

chamomile flower, chamomile tea
  • Alfalfa breastfeeding tea: Can be used safely to increase milk supply. Can increase milk supply from 50 – 100%. Can also be used in combination with fenugreek, blessed thistle, and marshmallow.
  • Milk thistle breast feeding tea: Used as a powerful galactagogue to increase milk supply.
  • Echinacea breastfeeding immune support tea: Is safe, if taken in small amounts (1 cup per day). No harmful side effects have been reported.
  • Ginger tea breastfeeding: Ginger tea is excellent for soothing tummies and increasing circulation and is safe to drink while breastfeeding.
  • Oregano breastfeeding tea: Oregano tea can decrease your milk supply.

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Q & A

Aloe Vera Tea While Breastfeeding?

by Tammy

"I drink 8oz at night before bed and in the morning before breakfast, should I stop?"

Re: Aloe Vera tea and breastfeeding

by: Tracy

"Hi there, not many herbs have been studied or researched extensively when it comes to breastfeeding, but Aloe Vera tea is on the list of teas to avoid while pregnant or breastfeeding and has been said to be harmful.

Maybe if you are taking the tea for medicinal purposes, you can find another safer alternative herb or herbal tea.

Hope this helps"

Thai Tea While Breastfeeding - Is It Safe?

"Is it safe to drink Thai tea, if breastfeeding?"

Re: Thai tea and breastfeeding

by: Lisa

"I don't think there would be a problem, as long as you drink it in moderation. Caffeinated drinks should be kept to a minimum.

Tea has much less caffeine in it, compared to coffee. I would suggest that you have a look at the caffeine content before buying.

Also look out for any strange symptoms in the baby after drinking it, such as a change in sleep pattern, fussiness and so forth."

Hibiscus Tea

by Misty (Nevada)

"Is Hibiscus tea safe to drink while breastfeeding?"

Re: Hibiscus tea and breastfeeding

by: Tracy

"I've never heard or read of hibiscus tea not being safe to drink while breastfeeding. I drank it during pregnancy and breastfeeding. I drink plain hibiscus tea, which is stronger than most of the tea blends that include hibiscus as an ingredient.

There does not seem to be any research on it though. Drink small amounts at first and keep an eye on your baby for anything out of the ordinary."

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