Fenugreek for Lactation - Milk Supply Mama

Fenugreek and Breastfeeding: Does it Increase Milk Supply?

Last Updated: January 8, 2024By 6.2 min read

For breastfeeding moms, a balanced diet is essential for lactation and maintaining healthy milk production. However, there may come a time when a mother’s milk supply is low, and they may need to consider additional supplements. One such supplement herb is fenugreek, which is used in many countries as a natural remedy to support lactation and boost milk supply. In this article, we’ll explore the benefits of fenugreek for breastfeeding, how it works, possible side effects, how to take it correctly, and tips for taking it for breastfeeding. We’ll also provide some further readings of the scientific literature on fenugreek for breastfeeding and answer some frequently asked questions about this useful potential milk-boosting natural herb.

Article Overview

What is Fenugreek and How Does it Help with Lactation?

Fenugreek, commonly referred to in South Asia as methi and by its scientific name Trigonella foenum-graecum, is an annual herb in the Fabaceae family. It is native to western Asia and the Mediterranean region and has been used for centuries as a natural remedy for a variety of health issues, including supporting lactation, milk supply and milk production. Fenugreek is believed to contain compounds that can help increase the production of breastmilk and is commonly used as an ingredient in lactation teas and supplements.

Fenugreek is available in many forms, including capsules, tablets, powders, and teas. It is also commonly used as a culinary herb, and the seeds are used to make essential oil. Fenugreek seeds are commonly thought to be quite bitter, while the leaves are quite light and floral in taste. Fenugreek has a sweet, nutty flavour and is often used as an ingredient in Middle Eastern and Indian cuisine.

Taking Fenugreek for Breastfeeding: Benefits of Fenugreek

Fenugreek has been used for centuries to support lactation, and modern research is beginning to confirm its effectiveness. There are several ways that fenugreek can benefit breastfeeding mothers, including:

Increased milk production: One of the primary benefits of fenugreek for breastfeeding is that it can help increase milk production. A 2018 study found that mothers who took fenugreek supplements had a significant increase in the amount of breast milk they produced.

Improved milk quality: Fenugreek can also help improve the quality of breast milk. A 2015 study found that mothers who took fenugreek supplements had an increase in the fatty acid content of their breast milk, which can be beneficial for a baby’s health.

Improved lactation: Fenugreek can also help improve the amount of prolactin in the body, which is a hormone that is essential for lactation. A 2017 study found that mothers who took fenugreek supplements had an increase in their prolactin levels, which can help improve lactation.

Reduced stress: Taking fenugreek can also help reduce stress and anxiety levels in breastfeeding mothers. A 2016 study found that mothers who took fenugreek supplements had lower levels of cortisol, which is a hormone that is associated with stress.

Overall, fenugreek can be a great supplement for breastfeeding mothers who are looking to increase their milk supply and improve the quality of their breast milk. Please note to speak to your health care professional before starting any herbal medications.

How Does Fenugreek Help Increase Milk Supply?

Fenugreek is believed to contain compounds that can help increase the production of breast milk. These compounds are known as phytoestrogens, which are plant-based compounds that mimic the effects of estrogen in the body. Estrogen is a hormone that is essential for lactation, and increasing the levels of estrogen in the body can help stimulate milk production.

Fenugreek also contains saponins, which are compounds that can help stimulate the production of prolactin, a hormone that is essential for lactation. Research has shown that taking fenugreek can increase the levels of prolactin in the body, which can help increase milk production.

Potential Side Effects of Fenugreek

While fenugreek is generally considered safe, there are some potential side effects that breastfeeding mothers should be aware of. These include diarrhea, bloating, and gas. Additionally, fenugreek may lower blood sugar so it is best to monitor any symptoms. Further, it is recommended not to take fenugreek capsules that are mixed with thyme.

It is important to note that fenugreek can interact with certain medications, including those used to treat diabetes, so it is important to talk to your doctor before taking it. With any herbs or supplements, it is important to consult with your physician before starting any medications.

How to Take Fenugreek for Breastfeeding

If you are looking to take fenugreek for breastfeeding, it is important to talk to your doctor first. They can help you determine the proper dosage and make sure that it is safe for you to take. Generally, the recommended dose is two capsules three times a day, but this may vary depending on your individual needs.

It is also important to note that fenugreek can take several days to take effect, so it is important to be patient and give it time to work. Additionally, it is important to stay hydrated and eat a balanced diet while taking fenugreek to ensure that you are getting all the nutrients you need.

When taking fenugreek for breastfeeding, a few tips can help ensure you get the most out of this supplement.

Take it with food: Taking fenugreek with food can help ensure that your body absorbs the supplement more effectively.

Take it consistently: It is important to take fenugreek consistently to ensure it works effectively.

Track your progress: Keeping track of your progress can help determine if the supplement is working and if you need to increase or decrease your dosage.

Listen to your body: Be aware of how your body is responding to the supplement and be sure to speak to your doctor if you experience any side effects.

There are many traditional herbs in various cultures that have been used to increase milk supply in new moms. Common traditional herbs include moringa, shatavari, fennel, and blessed thistle. While the scientific evidence on their effectiveness is limited, these herbs have been used for centuries as galactagogues, or substances that promote lactation. Here’s a closer look at the anecdotal benefits of each herb:

Moringa: Moringa is a nutrient-dense herb that is rich in vitamins and minerals such as iron, calcium, and vitamin C. It’s believed that these nutrients can help to increase milk supply. Moringa also contains phytoestrogens, which can stimulate milk production.

Fennel: Fennel seeds have been used for centuries as a galactagogue. They contain anethole, a compound that can stimulate milk production. Fennel is also believed to have a calming effect on babies, which can improve the let-down reflex.

Blessed Thistle: Blessed thistle is a bitter herb that is believed to stimulate milk production. It’s thought to work by increasing prolactin levels in the body. Blessed thistle is also believed to have a calming effect on the body.

It’s important to note that while these herbs are generally considered safe, there are some potential side effects to be aware of. As with any herbal remedy, it’s important to speak with a healthcare provider before using these herbs while breastfeeding.

Fenugreek To Increase Milk Supply: Further Reading

Here are three articles related to Fenugreek and its impact on breastfeeding and milk supply:

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