After pregnancy, you might be surprised to learn that you have to continue watching what you eat and drink if you are breastfeeding. This is because the things you consume are passed to your baby through your breast milk. Ginger and honey tea is a good option in most cases and is generally safe for most breastfeeding mothers. Talk with your doctor before adding it to your diet.
Tea made with ginger and honey is soothing and offers relief from cold symptoms when breastfeeding. Most doctors recommend avoiding medications when nursing because the ingredients may have negative side effects for your baby. Ginger may be effective for relieving breathing problems and coughing. Honey soothes a sore throat and helps alleviate a cough. This makes both good alternatives that are safe for you and your baby in most cases. Ginger may also be effective for milk flow, which helps make breastfeeding successful.
How to Prepare
Ginger and honey tea is easy to prepare at home and only requires four ingredients. Colleen Vanderlinden, author of "Edible Gardening for the Midwest," provides a recipe that calls for four cups of water, a piece of peeled ginger measuring 2 to 3 inches, honey and lemon. Bring the water to a boil on the stove. Slice the ginger thinly, add it to the boiling water and allow it to simmer for 20 to 30 minutes. Strain the ginger from the liquid and discard. Fill a cup with the tea and add lemon juice and honey to taste.
Research is limited regarding the safety of ginger while breastfeeding. Advice regarding its use varies among doctors and other medical professionals. MedlinePlus recommends avoiding it altogether while nursing, but the Baby Center website maintains that it is safe in moderate doses. Talk with your doctor about the appropriateness of ginger and honey tea while you are breastfeeding.
Even though ginger is given a rating of "generally recognized as safe" by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, it might not be right for every breastfeeding mother. If you take medications for diabetes, blood pressure, blood clotting or heart disease, ginger may interfere with their effectiveness. Sometimes, foods and drinks you consume while nursing may cause reactions in your baby. If you notice a rash, fussiness or diarrhea soon after nursing, your baby may be sensitive to honey or ginger. A food diary helps with tracking these symptoms, allowing you to determine the trigger food. Honey is typically safe while breastfeeding, but Matthew Beshara, M.D., assistant clinical professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Pennsylvania, recommends choosing pasteurized honey because it is less likely to be contaminated with bacteria that could make you or your baby sick.
- In the Garden Online: Weekend Project: Make Honey Lemon Ginger Tea
- National Honey Board: Natural Cough Suppressant
- Drugs.com: Ginger Use While Breastfeeding
- MedlinePlus: Ginger
- MOBI Motherhood International: Lactogenic Foods and Herbs
- Baby Center: Breast Milk Interactions Chart
- Baby Center: Are There Any Foods I Should Avoid While Breastfeeding?
- Baby Center: Is It Safe to Eat Honey During Pregnancy?
Eliza Martinez has written for print and online publications. She covers a variety of topics, including parenting, nutrition, mental health, gardening, food and crafts. Martinez holds a master's degree in psychology.