Is Fenugreek Good for Breastfeeding Milk Supply?

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Fenugreek is a popular herb traditionally employed to enhance health in a variety of ways, including aiding in low milk supply. It has a long history of use as a natural remedy to increase milk supply, reduce pain, and improve digestion. Although it is a popular supplement among breastfeeding moms, is fenugreek good for breastfeeding? Does it work effectively, and is it really safe?

In this article, we will discuss the benefits of fenugreek while breastfeeding, as well as the potential risks and side effects associated with its use. Well also explore the appropriate dosage so that you can know how much to take in order to get the full benefits of fenugreek for breastfeeding.

Figuring out what to eat while breastfeeding can be a challenge at times. The information here can help you make an informed decision about whether, or not to use fenugreek as a supplement while breastfeeding.

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The advice included in this article is meant for informational purposes only. Please consult your care provider before making any decisions regarding your health.

What is Fenugreek?

Fenugreek is a plant that is native to the Mediterranean region and the middle east. The plants seeds are utilized in both cooking and medicine. Fenugreek is rich in minerals, vitamins, and phytosterols, which are compounds that have been found to have a variety of health benefits.

fenugreek good for breastfeeding in simple white bowl

In addition to being used as a galactagogue, or a substance that promotes lactation, fenugreek is also used to lower blood sugar levels, improve digestion, and reduce inflammation.

One great thing is it can be consumed in the form of seeds, powder, capsules, or tea.

Benefits of Fenugreek for Breastfeeding Mothers

Fenugreek is said to have several benefits for breastfeeding mothers, including:

1 - Increased milk supply

Fenugreek is a popular galactagogue that promotes lactation, or an increase in breast milk supply making it a great supplement for mothers who are struggling with not making enough milk.

The active ingredients in fenugreek are believed to mimic the effects of the hormone prolactin, which is responsible for stimulating the mammary glands. Clinical trials have found that participants consuming fenugreek have a significant increase in the amount of breast milk produced compared to the control group.

2- Improved milk quality

Fenugreek is rich in minerals, vitamins, and phytosterols which are beneficial for the babys weight gain and health.

3- Reduced symptoms of engorgement

Engorgement is a common problem experienced by breastfeeding mothers, characterized by swollen and painful breasts. Fenugreek is believed to help reduce engorgement by increasing milk flow.

4 - Helping to relieve the symptoms of mastitis

Fenugreek is said to have anti-inflammatory properties that can help to reduce pain and inflammation associated with mastitis. This method uses a compress made with fenugreek seeds to get relief.

5 - Promote healthy digestion

Fenugreek can also help improve digestion, which can be beneficial for both mother and baby.

6- Reduce stress levels

Additionally, it can help reduce stress levels, which can also be beneficial for both mother and baby.

Fenugreek is perhaps one of the most studied galactagogues, but more research is needed to confirm its effect on breastfeeding mothers.

How Long Does Fenugreek Take to Improve Milk Supply?

The time it takes for fenugreek to increase the production of breast milk can vary depending on the individual woman. Some women may notice an increase in milk production within 24-72 hours of starting to take the supplement, while others may take a few days or even a week to see a change. However, Its important to note that not all women will experience an increase in milk volume from taking fenugreek and some mothers may not notice any change in their milk supply.

How to Incorporate Fenugreek into Your Breastfeeding Diet?

There are lots of ways to consume fenugreek seeds for breast milk production. Here are a few options:

Fenugreek supplements: Fenugreek supplements can be found in various forms, such as capsules, tablets, or extracts, and can be taken according to the recommended dosage.

This is perhaps the easiest as there is no flavor involved, as long as you can remember to take the pills. They are also fairly inexpensive and easily found at most large grocery stores.

Fenugreek tea: Fenugreek seeds can be soaked overnight and then boiled to make tea. This can be consumed up to 3 times per day. Its also a popular ingredient in many lactation teas like Mothers Milk.

Fenugreek powder: Fenugreek powder, which is basically ground fenugreek seeds, can be added to food such as:

Fenugreek sprouts: Fenugreek seeds can be sprouted and eaten raw or added to salads or sandwiches. A great option for vegan breastfeeding moms.

Breastfeeding Shakes: if youd like to drink your fenugreek and also want added nutrition, lactation protein shakes are the way to go. This one contains fenugreek plus a host of other herbal galactagogues to help milk supply and postpartum weight loss. Read my Milk Dust Review to learn more about how to increase milk supply the easy way (IMO).

Fenugreek Capsules For Breastfeeding

Fenugreek capsules are a popular and commonly used option among breastfeeding mothers who are looking to use fenugreek to increase their milk supply.

The pills typically contain ground fenugreek seed powder. Fenugreek pills can be found in various forms, such as capsules, or tablets. While you can just add fenugreek powder to food or drinks, many Moms prefer the pill form for convenience and to avoid the flavor of fenugreek.

How Many Fenugreek Pills Should I Take a Day?

While there is no scientific evidence clearly establishing what a safe dosage of fenugreek for breastfeeding moms actually is, there are quite a few studies that have researched the topic.

Most studies on the use of fenugreek to increase milk production have used a dosage of 3 capsules, each containing a 500mg dose of fenugreek seed powder, 3 times per day.

Its important to note that supplement dosages vary depending on the brand and product, so make sure to read the label and apply this information to get an appropriate dosage.

Potential Negative Side Effects of Fenugreek for Breastfeeding Mothers

While fenugreek is generally considered safe for breastfeeding mothers, there are some possible side effects associated with its use. So please make sure to read these before trying Fenugreek and make sure that you dont fall into any of these categories.

Some potential adverse effects of fenugreek for breastfeeding mothers include:

Allergic reactions: Fenugreek may cause an allergic reaction, which can be severe or even life-threatening. Symptoms of an allergic reaction include itching, hives, a swollen face, mouth, tongue, or throat, difficulty breathing, chest tightness, and low blood pressure. If you have other nut allergies, this is one supplement to avoid.

Digestive problems: Fenugreek may cause an upset stomach, diarrhea, or gas.

Blood sugar levels: Fenugreek may lower blood glucose levels, so it may be particularly risky for women with diabetes.

Thyroid issues: if you take thyroid medication, its best to avoid using fenugreek as it may cause issues with your thyroid and actually lead to a decrease in milk supply.

Medication interactions: Fenugreek may interact with certain prescription medications, including blood thinners and blood-sugar-lowering medications.

Maple syrup smell: Consuming large amounts of Fenugreek can make your sweat and urine smell like maple syrup. Some moms dont mind this, but others find it too much.

Fenugreek side effects baby

There is little documented research on the sides effect of fenugreek on breastfed babies. But there is a lot of anecdotal talk from mothers who have experienced the side effects in their babies.

When taking fenugreek while breastfeeding, watch for any of these fenugreek baby side effects:

  • excessive gas
  • excessive fussiness
  • watery, green stools

Learn more about your babys side effects to foods to avoid while breastfeeding so that you can have a happy breastfed baby.

Its important to consult with your healthcare providers before taking any supplement, especially when you are breastfeeding, to discuss any potential risks and side effects. Its also important to monitor yourself and your baby for any unusual symptoms or side effects while taking fenugreek. If you experience any severe or persistent side effects, its important to stop taking the supplement and seek medical attention.

The good thing is there are many other breastfeeding foods and herbs that boost milk supply that you can try that have less potential for side effects.

Some Other Methods to Increase Milk Supply

You can also consider some of these other methods to increase milk supply:

The bottom line is fenugreek can be a beneficial herb to promote breast milk production. It can help increase milk supply, improve the quality of breast milk, reduce pain and inflammation, and improve digestion.

However, it is important to be aware of the potential risks associated with its use such as digestive issues and allergic reactions, especially for moms with diabetes, thyroid issues, and babies with gas. Ultimately, it is important to consult with your healthcare provider or lactation consultant before taking any dietary supplements to ensure its right for you.

More Breastfeeding Foods to Explore

Milk Thistle for Breastfeeding

Malunggay for Breastfeeding

Foods to Boost Milk Supply (to ALWAYS have on hand!)

Breastfeeding Diet Tips (I wish Id known the 1st time!)

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