Safety of taking ginger while pregnant

The most common use of ginger during pregnancy is to help relieve symptoms of queasiness and nausea.

Researchers at the University of Bergen, in Norway reviewed its safety in these women.

First, the details.

  • 68,522 women answered questionnaires during weeks 17 and 30 of their pregnancy and when their child was 6 months old.
  • The Medical Birth Registry of Norway provided data on pregnancy outcomes.

And, the results.

  • 1,020 (1.5%) women reported using ginger during pregnancy.
  • The use of ginger was not associated with increased risk of congenital malformations.
  • No increased risk for stillbirth/perinatal death, preterm birth, or low birth weight
  • Apgar scores were not different between women exposed to ginger during pregnancy vs women not exposed.
    • Dr. Apgar devised the scale in 1952 to assess health in the baby immediately after birth based on skin complexion, pulse rate, reflexes, muscle tone, and breathing.

The bottom line?

The authors concluded, “Ginger during pregnancy does not seem to increase the risk of congenital malformations, stillbirth/perinatal death, preterm birth, low birth weight, or low Apgar score.

To treat nausea in pregnant women we know that ginger is as good as metoclopramide (Regan) and better than dimenhydrinate (Dramamine). Now, it’s safety under these conditions is confirmed.

The next question is what is the proper dose? The Dr. Weill website offers useful information about selection and dosing of ginger while pregnant.

8/1/12 9:56 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.