Why I started to drink Yerba Mate while pregnant
I didn’t become pregnant until later in life. I was 38 and delivered my daughter when I was 39. All the obstetricians I met with gave me warnings about pregnancy at that age, and seemed to be quite reluctant to take my case on. You would have thought I was 85!!! There was talk of invasive tests and genetic workups. It all was so depressing! Finally, I found an incredibly strong practitioner who took my case and was immensely helpful throughout both my pregnancy and birth.
This woman looked at me straight in the eyes and said I was strong and was going to do great. She agreed with me, that the testing suggested was unnecessarily dangerous. She assured me that I could deliver my baby in the manner I had always dreamed of, naturally. And then, she added that what was most important now, was my self care.
So, one of the first things she was told me to do was to get off coffee.
Dear lordy!! When she told me that, I truly thought it was a death sentence. At this point, I had been drinking coffee for over 10 years, and the thought of giving it up was unbearable. You see, when I was in my 20s, I was given an incredible coffee maker. As the years went on, I started getting better blends and eventually grinding my own beans. I was the “most amazing coffee brewer of all time,” if only in my own head. I loved everything about it, the smell, my mug, the warmth…I was devastated at the thought of not being able to drink my morning coffee. Lamenting to my mother, she suggested I drink Yerba Mate. Yerba Mate was something that I had always shared with my mom, grandma and other relatives. I loved it! But, I rarely drank it alone. I gave it a try.
How Yerba Mate helped my pregnancy
The next day, I put the coffee maker away and made a pot of hot water. I took my mate out of the cupboard and got the yerba out. I became quite emotional while filling my gourd. The last time I had mate was with my grandmother, in her home in Argentina. Drinking mate was always so special to me, yet it was something I did “with” someone else. It felt funny and strange to prepare it for myself. Yet, being thousands and thousands of miles away from my grandmother, my eyes welled up with tears as I felt her close. I knew she would approve and be so happy. She would love the fact that I was drinking mate and strengthening my body. After all, I was carrying her great grandchild! For the first time in a long time, I poured hot water into my thermos, filled my mate with yerba and sat down and at my table. I sipped slowly and immediately felt the rush of the yerba and how good it made me feel; I had almost forgotten how amazing it was. I felt instantly calm and soothed.
Later that day, I waited for the headache. You know the one I am talking about, the one you get when you stop drinking coffee. Getting off coffee always gave me a headache in the past. But, the headache never came, nor did the craving for coffee. That was it. From one day to the next, I was off of coffee and onto Yerba Mate. I never looked back.
I can report that my pregnancy was strong. I had no issues at all. In the beginning, when I was nauseous, I had yerba over ice to help me feel better. As the months went by, my belly continued to grow, and I felt great. I seriously attribute so much of my strength and well-being to drinking Yerba throughout my pregnancy.
The “warrior” spirit
Towards the end of my pregnancy, I took pictures of my belly, which I am including in this article. I described my pregnancy to my photographer before the shoot and, due to the descriptive words I used, she styled the day around me looking like a “warrior.”
At 39, I delivered a strong baby girl at 7 pounds 14 ounces. I am incredibly grateful to my medical practitioner, who to this day remains the strongest woman I know. And, I am grateful to the universal spirit that took my body through the miraculous process of pregnancy, the generations of women who went before me that shared their universal intelligence, and the miraculous herb, Yerba Mate.
And, by the way, my body did return! I think mate was the cause of that, too!
The effects of Yerba Mate on pregnancy
Here is why I think Yerba Mate made for my strong pregnancy:
- Aided my digestion. It helped alleviate my nausea, digest food and lessened heartburn.
- Yerba Mate has adaptogenic properties. It contains theobromine and theophylline. It soothes when you need it to, and lifts when you need lifting. And, believe me, I needed soothing and lifting!!
- Curbs your crazy appetite. I seemed to be hungry so much of the time. Drinking mate would totally stop the hunger pangs and the feeling of an empty belly. I had the feeling of fullness after I drank it, and the need to keep endlessly snacking would end. I was told that it was due to the fact that yerba slows gastric emptying. So helpful!
- Yerba Mate is an herb that contains large quantities of antioxidants. I never got a cold during my pregnancy.
- Anti-inflammation. The anti-inflammatory properties in Yerba Mate made for no swelling!!!! My wrists, hands and ankles never got swollen. I wore the same shoe size all during my pregnancy.
- Got my body back! After the delivery, I know my body bounced back because of the mate. It helped lower my appetite and lose weight. It helped soothe me when I was stressed. Yerba increases energy levels and helps speed the metabolism. And since I had no time to work out, I needed help with that!!
I can’t imagine how my pregnancy would have gone without Yerba Mate, and I don’t want to. I know pregnancies often differ from women to women, but Yerba Mate was truly a saving grace for me! And, for that I am immensely grateful and will continue to do all I can to spread and educate others on the benefits of the drink that is truly “more than a drink.”