If you’re reading this, you’re probably a new mom who just can’t seem to produce enough breast milk for your little one, and you’d like to know how fenugreek breastfeeding supplements could help you.
Well, you’ve come to the right place!
Fenugreek breastfeeding supplements are made from the herb of the same name and have been used for centuries by mamas all over the world to boost their milk production – including myself, of course.
During my first pregnancy, I was pretty determined that I was going to breastfeed my baby girl, no matter what.
That turned out to be easier said than done, as I’m sure many of you have realized as well.
Luckily, fenugreek supplements did the trick when it comes to improving my breast milk production and I was able to not only keep my daughter full, but I also had a healthy supply of breast milk stocked up.
So keep reading if you’d like to hear more about this amazing herb!
And if you’re not too crazy on fenugreek, I’ve got a couple of alternative recommendations to help you increase your milk volume.
One day, I ended up ordering the Fenugreek+ capsules on a whim after reading up on all the amazing experiences that other moms have had with this supplement.
I figured it couldn’t hurt to try, even though I was always a bit hesitant when it comes to herbal remedies and their effectiveness.
As recommended, I took two capsules a day with a glass of water.
In just a few days, though, I began noticing an increased milk supply – I even had additional milk to store, which had never happened before!
So, suffice to say, I was pretty happy with the outcome, even though my sweat began smelling like maple syrup (this is a common side-effect, nothing to worry about!)
I’ve heard some moms also report that their milk smelled like maple syrup (in some cases, even the baby), but this is something I did not experience.
And in addition to improving my milk supply, I also noticed I felt a lot calmer and at ease.
I’ve always had trouble letting go of stress and relaxing at the end of the day, but fenugreek definitely helped me release some of that pent up tension I had been holding onto.
2. Traditional Medicinals Organic Mother’s Milk Women’s Tea
When a close friend of mine had her first baby shower a few months after I had given fenugreek capsules a try, I made sure to include a pack in her baby shower gift.
Turns out, I completely forgot that she had a really bad gag reflex, so there was no way she could ever swallow a single capsule.
I wasn’t going to let her down though, so I scoured the internet to find an alternative.
And I did – in the form of tea!
Organic Mother’s Milk herbal tea contains other galactagogues in addition to fenugreek, such as anise, fennel, coriander, and blessed thistle.
I have to admit, I was slightly worried that the taste might be a little bitter – since it is a herbal tea, after all – but my friend told me it has a really pleasant taste (even without adding sugar or honey).
And most importantly, she has also noticed great improvements to her breast milk supply!
What to know about fenugreek breastfeeding supplements
Low milk supply is a serious problem for breastfeeding moms.
One study even found that one half of all American mothers stop breastfeeding because they don’t have enough milk, which is why herbal remedies are still highly sought after.
While there are many galactagogues (ingredients that can increase breast milk production and milk supply), fenugreek is one of the most popular ones, as its use goes back centuries and moms have seen great results.
Today, it’s usually sold as fenugreek tea or capsules.
You’re probably curious as to how or why it works.
While scientists have not officially agreed on this, some believe it’s because fenugreek triggers the production of sweat – and since breasts consist of glands that are similar to the sweat glands, this helps increase the milk supply.
Even though fenugreek is natural and generally recognized as safe, it falls in the category of dietary supplements of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which means that it doesn’t need to undergo a rigorous evaluation process compared to medication used for treating serious illnesses, for example.
This is why it’s super important to get in touch with your doctor or lactation consultant before starting any type of treatment.
I know that as moms we’re already short on time as it is, but you may have an underlying health issue that could lead to side-effects if you begin taking galactogogues of your own accord.
So, what are these side-effects?
- Smelling like maple syrup
This is a very common side-effect and one that’s not serious either.
Like I’ve already mentioned, I experienced this as well and, while it was strange in the beginning, the smell itself wasn’t unpleasant at all.
Your urine can also smell like maple syrup – this is normal too.
Some moms even choose to stop taking fenugreek at this point since it’s a way of your body letting you know that you’re taking the right amount.
In my case, I continued taking it for another couple of weeks just to be sure.
- Uterine contractions
It’s perfectly normal to assume that you should get a head start on your milk supply and begin taking fenugreek even before your baby arrives.
But this is something you shouldn’t do under any circumstances.
In addition to being a lactating supplement, fenugreek has also been used to induce labor because it creates uterine contractions.
So, it’s super important not to take fenugreek while you’re still pregnant as it could lead to premature labor.
- Loose stools
While this is not necessarily serious, tummy trouble is a nuisance and could have you spending more time on the toilet than necessary.
- Low blood glucose levels
Fenugreek can lower the level of glucose, or sugar, in your blood, which can lead to serious health complications for moms with diabetes, for example.
Allergic to chickpeas or peanuts?
It’s best to avoid fenugreek in this case since it could cause an allergic reaction.
Now that you’re well-informed about fenugreek and when to use it, maybe you have decided that it’s not for you.
But that doesn’t mean you’re all out of options!
From plants to cookies, I’ve got you covered with these fenugreek-free alternatives.
1. Legendairy Milk Lactivist
So if you’ve already given fenugreek seeds a try and you weren’t very happy, or if you’d simply like to skip it altogether, Lactivist drops are a great alternative for you.
The moms I know who have opted for Lactivist usually do so because they’re worried about some of the fenugreek side-effects, and they’ve found the drops to be really effective as well.
The recommended dose is one dropper 3 to 4 times a day.
It contains torbangun, a plant that many breastfeeding mothers use to increase milk supply.
On the plus side, there is no alcohol, so the taste is sweet and easy to swallow.
On the other hand, torbangun can decrease blood sugar levels just like fenugreek, so diabetic moms should take note and talk to their healthcare provider to make sure they have the all-clear to take Lactivist drops.
2. Milkmakers Lactation Cookie Bites
Just looking at the picture of these cookies is making me forget everything I ever said about “cutting down on sugar this year.” New Year’s Resolutions, what?
But there really is no need to feel guilty after tucking into these cookies, since they contain fiber, whole grains, and iron, in addition to vitamin B.
But the most important Cookie Bites ingredients that have a positive impact on breastfeeding are brewer’s yeast, flax seeds (which contain omega-3 acids), and oats.
These Milkmakers cookies are also delicious and come in three different flavors – raisin, chocolate chip, and salted caramel chocolate.
3. Lactation Cookies — Oatmeal Chocolate Chip By Cafe Baby
These lactation cookies by Cafe Baby are made with brewer’s yeast and flaxseed, and taste so good that I had a really hard time not eating them all in one sitting!
The recommended amount is just one a day, but if your milk volume is giving you lots of trouble, then you can have two.
Although they come in only one flavor (oatmeal chocolate chip), the cookies are soft-baked and really big, which is why I slightly prefer them over the Milkmakers.
All-natural tips to increase milk supply
While I did rely on fenugreek breastfeeding supplements for increasing milk supply, I also made sure to stay healthy and incorporate natural ways of boosting my breast milk volume.
- Water is your friend!
For example, I always had a bottle of water around to make sure I stayed hydrated.
Although I never had any trouble remembering to drink water, there are many mobile apps you can download that will remind you to take your daily dose of H2O.
- Eat food that’s kind to your body
When you’re absolutely sleep-deprived, preparing healthy, nutritious meals feels like running a marathon.
But eating take-out all the time only made the situation worse for me, so I had no other option but to make serious changes to my diet.
Foods with lots of protein made a big difference to my milk volume, for example.
- Nurse as much as you can
I totally understand that not all moms are privileged enough to do this, but I always nursed my little one every time she was hungry.
In addition, I let her nurse until each breast was completely empty – this also created more breast milk every time.
You might also want to try using a breast pump if your baby doesn’t drain all the milk.
This way you will not only build a stash of breast milk, but also increase the amount of milk you produce.
- Vitamins are key
Everybody knows that vitamins are super important, and especially for breastfeeding moms.
Not only will they help you have a steady supply of milk, but your baby will get all the nutrients she needs to develop into a healthy tot.
Vitamins B6 and D3, for example, are especially important for breastfeeding.
To boost your B6 and D3 levels, you can take postnatal supplements or eat food such as eggs, fish, poultry, and dairy.
To wrap up
Sadly, no one ever tells you that breastfeeding can be a long and tough process.
It can be so stressful, that many moms who were so excited about nursing their babies completely give up and switch to formula.
But just because your body is struggling to keep up with your baby doesn’t mean you should give up just yet!
Fenugreek breastfeeding remedies have helped so many women get their breast milk supply back on track.
Whether you decide to try it in the form of tea or capsules, this is a solution you should definitely consider before giving up breastfeeding altogether.
Already decided that fenugreek is not for you?
That’s no problem – a lot of really delicious (think homemade lactation cookies) remedies can help you with increasing milk supply as your baby grows.
And there are also small yet significant changes you can incorporate into your everyday life in addition to herbal supplements that will definitely improve your milk production.
Whatever you decide to go for in the end, I hope I was able to help you continue with your breastfeeding journey!
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