Fenugreek and Breastfeeding
According to Breastfeeding Support, women have taken fenugreek for increasing breast milk in the Middle East and India since ancient times. Very clearly, it is one of the oldest known medicinal herbs. In fact, fenugreek is a Middle Eastern spice that has been used for thousands of years in curry and chutney. It is also eaten as a salad in addition to being used as an artificial maple syrup flavoring. Not only is it beneficial, but it is also quite tasty. The Washington Post shares that New Yorkers complained of a strange maple syrup aroma in the air years before realizing that it was actually fenugreek. Some even believe that the spice cures fever and relieves arthritis. The name literally means “ram's horn clover.”
Fenugreek Milk Supply
How much breast milk a mother produces depends on the removal method of milk from her breasts by a baby. The more milk that is taken, the more milk will be made. That is because the milk has to be replenished. It is possible to identify reasons for potentially low milk supply with a specialist or IBCLC lactation consultant before resorting to a galactagogue, which is a food, herb, or medication that increases milk supply, such as fenugreek. Even with fenugreek, frequent breast drainage would still be needed, but that should not deter anyone from using fenugreek as the pros outweigh the cons in this case, keeping fenugreek highly viable.
Mothers Milk Supplement
When it comes to fenugreek for nursing, it is regarded as an effective galactagogue. It is thought that fenugreek stimulates sweat production. The breast is a modified sweat gland, allowing fenugreek to affect breast milk production. In fact, a recent study examined the effects of a mixture of fenugreek, ginger, and turmeric, finding an increase in breast milk volume in the participants of the study.
What is the needed dose?
The short answer is 2 to 3 capsules of 500 mg each taken 3 times a day. However, each mother will respond differently to doses just like different people respond differently to different medications. Herbs can be bought in capsule, tablet, powder, tinctures, or tea form. Different forms suit different mothers. Start with a lower dose and increase it to see if fenugreek upsets your stomach or even your baby. Patience is key when dealing with something like fenugreek, but it does usually take quick effect. Take enough fenugreek to smell maple syrup on your skin, which should actually be a pleasant smell. You might even take enough fenugreek to always have a pleasant smell and save money on perfume.
What is the turnaround time?
You should feel an effect in as soon as 12 to 24 hours. If 72 hours pass with no effect, then there will probably be no effect. Two weeks later, you should take the hint. Do ensure that you use it within the first few days after birth, but some mothers have also reported success months after.
What is the duration of supplementation?
Conveniently, most mothers found that they could stop as soon as they see an improvement.
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Majdi Shahein | Naturopathic Doctor and a Detox Specialist with Detoxification Works ®