Fresh Ginger & Breast-Feeding

Nursing mothers who experience low milk production may look to natural remedies as a first-line option to promote and support a healthy supply of breast milk. Ginger is a power food with many health benefits and may be well suited as a dietary addition to increase milk supply. Fresh ginger is generally recognized as safe; however, due to limited clinical studies on the use of ginger by lactating women, breast-feeding mothers must consult a health care professional before using it as an herbal supplement.

History of Ginger and Health

Ginger is a rhizome, or “mass of roots,” commonly used fresh, powdered, dried or as an oil or juice. People in Asia have used ginger widely as a medicinal herb for thousands of years to address conditions such as:

  • arthritis
  • rheumatism
  • sprains
  • muscular aches
  • pains
  • sore throats
  • cramps
  • constipation
  • indigestion
  • vomiting
  • hypertension
  • dementia
  • fever
  • infectious diseases
  • parasitic worm infections

Modern-Day Ginger Benefits

close-up of a ginger root

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Ginger now lands on lists of lactogenic foods -- those thought to aid in the production of breast milk. The substances in ginger believed to contribute to its therapeutic effects are ketones, specifically gingerols.

Ginger and Breast-Feeding Specifics

The foods and beverages a breast-feeding woman consumes not only pass through to her baby, but ultimately have an effect on the production of milk itself. Moms who experienced significant blood loss during birth should not consume ginger in early postpartum, advises lactation expert Hilary Jacobson on the website of MOBI Motherhood International; it can increase the risk of hemorrhage.

Incorporating Ginger

close-up of a ginger root

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A simple technique for ginger consumption is boiling fresh ginger root to make an herbal tea. Cut two to three thin slices of peeled ginger root, steep in 1 to 2 cups of simmering water for a few minutes and then pour into a mug. Alternatively, moms can add fresh ginger to an array of entrees and side dishes.