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After giving birth to your baby, you can’t simply go back to your old eating habits. You will still have to make healthier choices for the well-being of your baby. What you eat and drink while breastfeeding will be passed on to your baby through your breast milk, hence you will have to pick the healthy stuff. And if you are looking to increase your breast milk supply, obviously, your first-line option would be natural remedies such as ginger or ginger tea. Ginger is no doubt a power food and offers various benefits, increasing breast milk supply being one of them, but is it really safe to eat fresh ginger or consume ginger tea while breastfeeding? Find out!
Is Consuming Ginger and Ginger Tea Safe During Breastfeeding?
Consuming ginger or ginger tea is said to be absolutely safe while breastfeeding. However, it should be consumed in moderation; daily intake of ginger tea should not exceed 2-3 cups. And if a woman has had a lot of blood loss during delivery, she should avoid ginger completely.
Does Ginger Change the Flavour of Breast Milk?
If you eat something with strong odour while nursing, it will penetrate into your breast milk. The smell of ginger may get into your breast milk. But if your baby stops feeding the breast milk, it could be because of the smell of the ginger.
Benefits of Consuming Ginger and Ginger Tea While Breastfeeding
Although ginger and ginger tea makes the breast milk smell, it has some benefits too. Listed below are some of the benefits of drinking ginger tea while breastfeeding.
1. Helps Increase Breast Milk Supply
As ginger has lactogenic properties, it ensures effective milk flow. Consuming fresh ginger or ginger tea can increase the supply of milk during the nursing stage.
2. Helps Provide Relief From Colic to a Baby
Our saliva contains the digestive enzyme amylase and ginger contains another digestive enzyme zingibain. These two enzymes combine and reach the child through breast milk and provide relief from colic to a newborn, by helping him pass the trapped gas.
3. Helps Treat Digestion Problems in Nursing Moms
Ginger has been used as a medicinal herb for thousands of years and for good reasons. During the nursing phase, it can provide relief from digestion-related issues, constipation, and more. Consuming ginger or ginger tea also helps with vomiting and nausea in the breastfeeding phase.
4. Helps Boost Immunity
This medicinal herb is known to boost immune strength and fight infections that cause cold and cough. A woman’s body tends to be weak after delivery, but eating ginger can help. During the breastfeeding phase, consuming ginger on a regular basis (in moderate amounts) can enhance immunity. Its anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties also help in warding off infections and inflammations.
5. Keeps the Body Warm
Consuming ginger also has a warming effect on the body. Eating ginger or drinking ginger tea in the breastfeeding phase will prevent nursing moms from contracting a cold and cough.
6. Helps Reduce Bloating
Ginger dispels gas, thus helps reduce bloating too. It also helps in absorption of nutrients and in eliminating waste from the body.
Side Effects of Consuming Ginger While Nursing
As you know every coin has two sides. Ginger sure has many benefits, but it has its share of side effects too. Listed below are some of the side effects of eating ginger while nursing:
- Women who have had a considerable amount of blood loss during delivery should refrain from taking ginger for the first few months after delivery. In such a case, she can run the risk of haemorrhage.
- Prolong and too much use of ginger could result in a scaly and itchy rash which appears first in the face.
- It can cause heartburn, diarrhoea, and mouth irritation.
- In some cases, it can even result in an increase in blood pressure and heart palpitation.
- Since ginger is said to clear out toxins from the body, it can cause allergies.
- Too much intake of ginger by a nursing mother could result in bloating of the stomach and the baby becoming too gassy and irritable as a result.
Ways to Consume Ginger
There are multiple ways in which ginger can be consumed, such as:
1. Ginger Tea
This hot beverage is a favourite among many. Drinking ginger tea (with or without milk) works as a saviour when someone is down with the flu, cough, or cold. Ginger tea will make your body warm, bring down the cold, and relieve nasal congestion.
2. Pickled Ginger
Pickled ginger no doubt tastes delicious but it also provides relief from motion sickness. It is also said to cure digestive problems and thus can be consumed after a heavy meal. You can enjoy it in your nursing phase after consulting with a doctor.
3. Juice of Ginger
A spoonful of ginger juice mixed with honey and a little warm water can keep your immune system healthy. It helps with a sore throat but of course, while nursing, it is best that you take it after checking with your doctor!
4. Grated Ginger
You can use grated ginger in soups. It gives more taste to the soup and is a sure-shot way of curing cough and cold.
5. Ginger Paste
It is a common ingredient in almost all the Indian curries. It enhances the taste of the dish and makes it more appetizing.
Things to Remember Before Consuming Ginger Tea While Breastfeeding
Ginger tea is, of course, a common beverage, but while breastfeeding there are certain things you should consider before consuming it:
- Always remember that tea contains caffeine, even if it is ginger tea, so limit your intake.
- Stick to 2-3 cups per day. Too much of ginger tea may make your and your little one’s stomach bloated and gassy.
- Do not drink ginger tea just before breastfeeding your baby. The caffeine may enter your breast milk making the baby fussy and deprived of sleep.
- Women who have suffered a significant amount of blood loss while giving birth should avoid taking ginger.
How to Make Ginger and Honey Tea
Ginger and honey tea is a delicious concoction that helps soothe a sore throat and clear the phlegm. Ginger ale is also somewhat similar in taste. Both ginger honey tea and ginger ale while breastfeeding is absolutely safe but should be taken in moderation. Here’s how you can make this tea.
What You Will Need
- Freshly grated ginger – 1 tbsp
- Honey (pasteurized, if possible) – 1 tbsp
- Fresh lemon juice – 1 tbsp
- Hot boiled water – 1 cup
How to Prepare
- Take some grated ginger in a cup.
- Pour hot water into it.
- Cover the cup with a lid and let it remain so for 5 minutes.
- Strain it into another cup.
- Add honey and stir.
- Lastly, add lemon juice.
- Your ginger and honey tea is ready.
Not many are aware of the benefits and side effects of consuming ginger while breastfeeding. Although it has been used as a spice in cooking food and as medicine since long, it should be consumed in moderation, especially while one is breastfeeding.
Also Read: Drinking Green Tea during Breastfeeding