Background: In Thailand, ginger is a popular natural galactagogue among breastfeeding women. However, there has never been evidence to support the effectiveness of ginger in increasing the breast milk volume.
Objectives: To compare breast milk volume on the third and seventh day postpartum between lactating mothers who receive 500 mg dried ginger capsules twice daily with those receiving placebo.
Materials and methods: A randomized, double-blind controlled trial was conducted. Women who deliver a term baby were randomly assigned to receive dried ginger or placebo for 7 days postpartum. Breast milk volume was measured on third day postpartum using test weight method for a period of 24 hours and on seventh day postpartum using 1 hour milk production. We also compared the third day serum prolactin level between the two groups.
Results: Data from 63 women were available for analysis, 30 from the ginger group and 33 from the placebo group. The two groups were similar regarding baseline characteristics. Women in the ginger group have higher milk volume than the placebo group (191.0 ± 71.2 mL/day versus 135.0 ± 61.5 mL/day, p < 0.01). However, the seventh day milk volume in the ginger group does not differ from the placebo group (80.0 ± 58.5 mL versus 112.1 ± 91.6 mL, p = 0.24). The mean serum prolactin levels were similar in both groups (321.5 ± 131.8 ng/L in the ginger group, and 331.4 ± 100.7 ng/L in the placebo group, p = 0.74). No side effect was reported in this study.
Conclusion: Ginger is a promising natural galactagogue to improve breast milk volume in the immediate postpartum period without any notable side effect.