Pregnancy

Can I Take Senna Tea During Pregnancy?

Pregnancy can be a truly wonderful stage in the life of a woman.
But, it is not without the various challenges an expectant mother faces.

Therefore, this phase in the life of a woman requires utmost care—towards the baby and her own health.

In this article, we shall discuss one of the most pressing discomforts ladies go through during this time—constipation.

Let us explore the reasons why constipation troubles during this time, what are the treatment options, and is senna tea pregnancy-safe for treating constipation.

 

1. How does the body change during pregnancy and various health hazards

Pregnancy is a time of a lot of changes in the physical as well as emotional health of the mother-to-be.

While on one hand, you may be happy and excited about the new member, on the other side it can be a reason of anxiety for coping with the new situation.

Even some of the symptoms may cause uneasiness.

You may notice new symptoms and changes in the body every week for approximately 40 weeks until delivery.

But you can sum them up in the 3 trimesters.

 

Black and white photo of a pregnant woman 

Image credits: Unsplash

 

2. Common Symptoms during each trimester of Pregnancy

 

First Trimester

Second Trimester

Third Trimester

Gaining about 1-2 kg of weight

Gaining about 6kg of weight

Gaining about 5kg of weight

Morning sickness

Better mood and less nausea

Tiredness

Heartburn

Breasts getting larger

Difficulty in breathing

Frequent urge to urinate

Food cravings

Lower back pain

Feeling nauseous

Swollen feet, or pain in the legs

Mood swings

Stretch marks appearing

Anxiety about nearing delivery




3. Constipation, Senna & Pregnancy - What is the link?


Constipation is a common uncomfortable symptom during pregnancy for a majority of women. It is usually common during the third trimester.

But, one may experience it throughout pregnancy or at different points in time during, and even till a one-month post-delivery.

The major cause of this experience is the increase in the hormone, progestrone.

This hormone relaxes the intestines, and bowel muscles and in turn slows down digestion and makes the excretion process slow.

Thus, you may experience constipation. (1)



Senna tea during pregnancy

Image credits: Unsplash

 

One of the common and popular ways to treat constipation is through the usage of laxatives which are intestinal and colon irritants, like Senna.

It is a leaf and fruit extract and can be consumed as a pill, powder, or tea.

Senna can irritate the intestines, and cause bowel movement, and pressure for stool release.

 

4. Is senna tea safe during pregnancy?

As per the study done on how drinking senna tea while pregnant affects women, no significant negative effects were noted on the development of the fetus. (2)

So, it can be considered an option.

But, senna does have side effects for people in general, and they include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Dehydration
  • Loss of minerals like potassium
  • Dependence due to long-term usage

Given these circumstances, one should only go for short term and regulated use of senna tea as a pregnancy tea

 

5. Dosage

Usually, a dosage of 20mg per day should be the maximum you should consume of this tea.And for not more than 1 week without consulting a healthcare practitioner.

The tea shows results in about 6-12 hours; so the best time to consume it is before going to bed. (3)

To prepare senna tea, take 1 teaspoon of the tea leaves, and boil it in water for 10 minutes.

Then, let it cool down a bit; add sweeteners as you please and sip it hot.
It would have a mildly sweet and bitter taste. 
(4)

Consuming it 1-2 times a day is fine.


6. What are the risk factors? Can it cause miscarriage?

Despite not enough study in this regard that declares senna as harmful, one may be careful on certain fronts.

Since senna irritates the intestinal walls, it may also induce painful cramps, and that may in rare cases begin uterine contractions and labor pain. (5)

So, it may not be a great laxative tea during pregnancy.
On the other hand, it can also cause diarrhea and electrolyte imbalance
.

Therefore, it may be helpful to use a fluid like Gatorade as a supplement.

 

7. Can you drink senna tea while breastfeeding?

 

a pregnant woman in denim shirt breastfeeding her kid

Image credits: Unsplash

 

A small percentage of senna consumed may pass through mother’s milk to the baby.

But, in small dosages, it does not affect the child’s stool.

So, just like consuming senna tea during pregnancy, while breastfeeding, one needs to regulate its dosage. (6)

You may also try raspberry leaf tea while breasfeeding

 

8. Precautions and other remedies to soothe constipation 

There are a number of other treatment options for treating constipation that can be considered relatively safer than senna tea when pregnant.


  • Eating plenty of fibrous foods and drinking plenty of water. They will help in making the stoof softer and bulkier, and thus easier to pass. (7)
  • Practicing prenatal exercises. This helps with bowel movement. (7)
  • Consuming bulk-forming laxatives like bran & isphagula. They can bulk up the stool inside and help them get excreted. (8)
  • Using lactulose. They have certain sugars that do not get digested and draw water inside the intestines and bowels. Thus they soften the stool, and support excretion. (8)

9. Tips for maintaining good health during pregnancy despite constipation

 

a pregnant woman laying her hand on her belly

Image credits: Unsplash


  • Keep a balance between rest and activity.

  • Use a cushion behind your back to alleviate lower back aches.

  • Maintain a good overall mood by indulging in healthy activities, and reading uplifting literature.

  • Consume raspberry tea to increase immunity, strengthen uterine walls, and prevent postpartum haemorrhoids.

  • Replace dehydrating drinks like soda, and coffee with coconut water, fresh juices, and plain water.

 

10. Other Teas That You Can Consume During Pregnancy For Constipation

There are many alternatives to senna tea during pregnancy. Here are a few of them

 

Ginger Tea

Ginger root is commonly used as a digestive aid, and ginger tea is often recommended for people suffering from poor digestion.

Ginger root can help to promote the production of bile, which helps with the digestion of fats.

It also helps to stimulate peristalsis, the waves of muscle contractions that push food through the digestive system.

 

Ginger tea

Image Credits: Unsplash

 

As a result, ginger tea can be helpful for people suffering from indigestion, bloating, or constipation.

Additionally, women also may use ginger tea for fertility

While it is always best to speak with a doctor before starting any new remedy during pregnancy, drinking 1-2 cups may help to provide relief from constipation and other digestive problems.

 

Dandelion Tea

Dandelion tea is a popular herbal remedy for digestive issues like bloating, gas, and constipation.

When made from the root of the dandelion plant, dandelion tea is especially effective in stimulating the production of bile from the liver.

This can help to relieve symptoms of constipation by easing the passage of stools through the digestive tract.

 

Dandelion tea

Image Credits: Unsplash

 

For best results, drink dandelion tea during pregnancy after meals to help with the digestion process.

If you are pregnant and suffering from constipation, dandelion tea can be a safe and effective way to relieve your symptoms.
However, be sure to check with your healthcare provider before drinking dandelion tea or any other herbal remedy during pregnancy.

 

Licorice Root Tea

Licorice root tea during pregnancy may help with digestion and inflammation.

A cup of this drink after eating can settle your stomach while it also has anti-inflammatory effects that could be beneficial in healing any digestive problems you have!

 

Have more queries about Pregnancy? Use our guides to the following topics for support:

1. Can I drink Nettle tea during pregnancy?

2. Is Hibiscus tea during pregnancy? 

3. Benefits of Jasmine Tea for pregnancy

4. Is decaffeinated tea safe during pregnancy?

5. Can I drink Red Raspberry tea during postpartum?


11. Conclusion

Pregnancy is laden with a number of challenging symptoms, and one of them is constipation.

To get relief from it, there are a number of ways.
The best ones include a fibrous diet, drinking plenty of fluids or drinking pregnancy tea, and exercising.

Besides, there are over-the-counter medicines available too.
Senna is consumed in tea form to prevent constipation.

But, due to the known side effects of senna tea, pregnancy may not be a great time to consume it.

It is advisable to use alternate laxatives or consume senna in moderation.

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