Fenugreek Boosts Breast Milk Supply

Fenugreek Boosts Breast Milk SupplyFenugreek is a culinary and medicinal herb that hails from the Mediterranean, Europe and Asia.  It has a rich history as a powerful ancient herb that, among other uses, can increase breast milk supply.  It is formally known as Trigonella foenum-graecum L. and it contains unique properties that can make it a truly majestic herb for new mothers.

While research is lacking on exactly how Fenugreek boosts breast milk supply, lactation experts and moms agree that it really works for many breastfeeding mothers.  Fenugreek is generally considered an effective and safe galactagogue, a fancy way of saying it boosts breast milk supply.  And because it is a natural herb, it is probably a better choice than pharmaceutical solutions to low milk supply.

Researchers believe that Fenugreek may be effective at stimulating breast milk supply because of a phyto-estrogen known as diosgenin, which acts like estrogen in a lactating mother’s body.  Estrogen is one of the essential hormones required to produce breast milk.  The theory is, by supplementing with Fenugreek, mothers increase their estrogen-like factor and therefore produce more breast milk.

Fenugreek Boosts Breast Milk SupplyStudies show that using the proper amount of Fenugreek – approximately six grams a day – breastfeeding moms can improve their milk supply within three days.  Some women experience increases by up to 900% when they take Fenugreek regularly.  Most moms take Fenugreek until they reach their desired results and then discontinue its use.  Once breast milk supply is elevated, normal breast stimulation through breastfeeding usually sustains milk supply.

Although herbal supplements are not monitored by the Food and Drug Administration, Fenugreek is considered safe by most obstetricians and pediatricians for both lactating mothers and babies.  It is labeled GRAS or Generally Recognized As Safe when purchased from a reputable supplier.  The major reported side-effect for lactating moms besides an increase in breast milk production is sweat or urine that smells like maple syrup.  This is due to the natural sugars found in Fenugreek.

Fenugreek comes in capsule, powder or tea formats.  Many people find the taste bitter and therefore mix it in other foods such as soups, stews and salads.  The spice is a staple in Indian and Mediterranean cuisines.

Additionally, Fenugreek contains a host of other great nutrients for mothers to pass along to their babies.  These include Vitamins A, C and several of the important B vitamins.  Plus it contains trace minerals such as calcium, iron, folate, choline, magnesium and potassium as well as many others.  And being a seed, Fenugreek has a good deal of plant-based protein.

Fenugreek should not be taken by pregnant women because it can cause the uterus to contract. This could lead to preterm labor and premature birth of a baby.

If you find that your milk supply is low, ask your doctor if it is safe for you to take Fenugreek to boost your breast milk supply.