Degree Name

Master of Science


Department of Public Health and Nutrition


This study sought to investigate herbal tea consumption during pregnancy. The sample was drawn from women involved with homebirth support groups in N.S.W. who were pregnant or had given birth in the last two years, and who consumed herbal tea during their pregnancy. Thirty seven women participated in the study. Each participant completed a two page postal questionnaire which requested information on the variety of herbal teas consumed, patterns of consumption, and reasons for consuming herbal tea as an alternative to tea/ coffee during pregnancy, as well as information sources these women would use if questioning the safety of consuming a herbal tea during pregnancy. The majority of the sample (79 percent) increased their intake of herbal tea during pregnancy. Sixty two percent (23 women) stated they consumed herbal tea as well as tea/ coffee during pregnancy, while the remaining 38 percent (14 women) consumed herbal tea as an alternative to tea/ coffee during pregnancy. Nineteen varieties of herbal teas were identified by the women as being consumed during pregnancy. The most popular herbal teas were chamomile, raspberry, and peppermint, consumed at least once during pregnancy by 78 percent, 68 percent, and 57 percent of the women, respectively. If questioning the safey of consuming a herbal tea during pregnancy, the majority of the women (76 percent) would seek information from a midwife. Forty three percent would consult a naturopath or herbalist, while 5 women (14 percent) would use a book. Not one of the sample would ask a dietitian for the information.