Fresh Ginger & Breast-Feeding

close-up of a ginger root
Boost milk supply with a dose of ginger. (Image: Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

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 and parasitic worm infections.

Modern-Day Ginger Benefits

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. While the specific mechanism of action requires additional research, the constituents of ginger regulate immune function, counteract the formation of tumors, prevent cell death, reduce inflammation, decrease blood glucose, reduce lipids in the serum, and suppress nausea and vomiting.

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

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.

REFERENCES & RESOURCES
Comments
PARTNER & LICENSEE OF THE LIVESTRONG FOUNDATION

Copyright © 2018 Leaf Group Ltd. Use of this web site constitutes acceptance of the LIVESTRONG.COM Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Copyright Policy. The material appearing on LIVESTRONG.COM is for educational use only. It should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. LIVESTRONG is a registered trademark of the LIVESTRONG Foundation. The LIVESTRONG Foundation and LIVESTRONG.COM do not endorse any of the products or services that are advertised on the web site. Moreover, we do not select every advertiser or advertisement that appears on the web site-many of the advertisements are served by third party advertising companies.