Mate safe during pregnancy?

Healthy herbs, rooibos, honeybush, decaf tea, and yerba mate.

Mar 22nd, '09, 12:23
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Mate safe during pregnancy?

by libertyguy » Mar 22nd, '09, 12:23

Hi all,

I purchased from Teavana their MateVana tea (half-blended with Rooibos Chai) and my wife loves this tea but is also in her 2nd trimester of pregnancy.

I'm wondering if this is safe in limited amounts? I'm not sure if it's just the caffeine or if there's other components of this tea that's unsafe for the baby?

What I've found, as far as technical details go is what's posted on the Teavana site here regarding the xanthine makeup:
It does contain caffeine, but many people have a different reaction to this stimulant since it is blended with the other natural xanthines found in Mate (theophylline and theobromine). Together they create energy without jitteriness or addictive tendencies.
Regarding coffee and caffeine in general I've found that the rule of thumb seems to be that 300mg of caffeine per day is the maximum allowed limit while pregnant, and this is about three 8oz cups per day. Though I cannot find the caffeine content of Mate tea if this rule of thumb would apply.


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Mar 22nd, '09, 13:13
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by kymidwife » Mar 22nd, '09, 13:13

I'm a Certified Nurse-Midwife, and for my pregnant patients, I encourage abstinence in all stimulants as the best approach, with fairly strict moderation encouraged if the woman can't or won't abstain... specifically, trying to limit to no more than 1 or 2 standard servings per day.

I could only find one clinical study on mate':

In the population studied, 30% of childbearing-aged women drink mate, with the average amount being 1800 ml per day! Nearly 2 liters, wow. The results of this study seems to support that preterm labor incidence was not higher, and they initially thought babies might be born small for gestational age more often, but this factor seems to be related to other variables more than the mate' (education, economic status, etc.) This study only focused on caffeine and not other components, and did not focus on other concerns such as miscarriage, fetal death, neonatal caffeine withdrawal, or long-term outcomes for exposed infants.

This is an interesting article reviewing some of the current literature on caffeine during pregnancy... and makes a specific note of yerba mate.

From what I can find, there's not much research out there on the components of yerba mate other than caffeine. So again, in a perfect world... abstinence from chemical exposure is my recommendation for my patients, and I include in this things like caffeine, nicotine, artificial sweeteners, poorly-studied herbals, and medications not considered absolutely necessary.

Hope this helps.


Apr 3rd, '09, 01:56
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Location: New York

by Eugene » Apr 3rd, '09, 01:56

It is good to avoid certain kinds of tea, and to be aware of their ingredients, also important to check the caffeine level. Rooibos is caffeine free and it’s high in antioxidants and safe for pregnant women. You can use Adagio or Talbotttea brands of rooibos.

Jul 28th, '09, 13:14
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Re: Mate safe during pregnancy?

by myteaismate » Jul 28th, '09, 13:14

Being from Brazil and having a midwife mother I have observed several mothers drinking mate during their pregnancies, with no adverse effects. That is not a scientific study, but I think is is generally accepted that in moderation, mate will not have any adverse effects on the infant or the mother.

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