The idea of expecting a child can be a little overwhelming for the expectant parents. The pregnancy journey has various expectations at every phase; from the first, to second, and third trimester. These dynamics can trigger various concerns from family and friends, which often lead to suggesting numerous ways the pregnant mother can effectively manage the physical demands as a result of the pregnancy. All of a sudden, everyone has something to say or a food choice to recommend. And these suggestions can be from a place of mere personal experiences or hearsay from the majority. One of the various food myths in pregnancy is the Zobo drink.
That’s why it is important that we uncover the various food myths surrounding pregnancy, and what is recommended.
What is known
Zobo drink is made from hibiscus leaves. It is a popular beverage in some parts of Africa and often believed to have health benefits. However, there’s a myth that consuming zobo drink during pregnancy can lead to miscarriage or complications. This belief stems from the idea that hibiscus leaves contain certain substances that might stimulate menstruation or affect the uterus.
What Zobo is
While hibiscus leaves contain high levels of certain acids that can have mild effects on the body, studies examining the effects of consuming hibiscus tea or drinks during pregnancy are limited. Some research suggests that consuming large amounts of hibiscus may potentially have adverse effects on pregnancy due to its oxytocic properties (substances that can stimulate uterine contractions). However, the evidence is not conclusive, and moderate consumption of zobo drink is generally considered safe during pregnancy.
There are no strong, conclusive studies directly linking moderate zobo consumption to negative pregnancy outcomes in humans. Many medical professionals consider it safe in limited amounts. In addition, zobo drink is rich in vitamin C, antioxidants, and other nutrients that can be beneficial during pregnancy.
What we advise
- Talk to your doctor: The best way to get personalized advice is to discuss your specific situation and zobo consumption habits with your doctor. They can weigh the potential risks and benefits based on your individual health and pregnancy.
- Consume in moderation: If your doctor approves, stick to moderate amounts of zobo (e.g., one cup per day) and opt for preparations made by boiling the leaves, rather than cold extraction (soaking leaves for 72 hours), which might increase the concentration of potentially harmful compounds.
- Be mindful of additives: Watch out for added sugars or preservatives in store-bought zobo drinks. Consider making your own at home with natural ingredients.
Ultimately, the decision of whether to drink zobo during pregnancy is yours, but it’s crucial to make an informed choice with guidance from your healthcare provider. Remember, individual situations vary, and what’s safe for one person might not be safe for another.
Do you have any pregnancy food concerns? Speak to your doctor or a doctor via Telemedicine for medically accurate information about your food concerns.