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All about Fenugreek for Breastfeeding and Lactation

by Whitney Poma |

Most moms will experience concern about their milk supply

at some point in their breastfeeding journey. Inevitably, and against our best judgement, we turn to google for a quick answer. It’s here that you may learn about fenugreek which is one of the most commonly used supplements believed to increase breastmilk supply. 

Fenugreek is a galactagogue

another word likely unknown to a woman until she becomes a breastfeeding mom. Galactagogues are foods or drugs that promote or increase the flow of a mother’s milk typically by increasing prolactin levels. Increasing this flow increases the rate of removal which increases the rate of milk production.

Fenugreek is a plant

that stands about 3 feet tall with light green leaves and small white flowers. Thin pods roughly 6 inches long contain yellow-brown seeds harboring alkaloids trigonelline and choline. Fenugreek is an herb of the pea family that’s native to southern Europe and the Mediterranean region. It’s seeds have a sweet scent and are commonly used as a spice and to flavor imitation maple syrup. Aside from lactation, it has been traditionally used to aid in digestion and inflammation. 

Fenugreek contains phytoestrogens which are similar to estrogen, the female sex hormone. Diosgenin, a key compound, has been shown experimentally to increase milk flow.

Fenugreek significantly increased amount of produced breast milk

versus the placebo group according to a 2018 study. Another 2018 study found a 49% increase in milk volume at week 2 and 103% increase at week 4 of fenugreek supplementation.

The amount of fenugreek needed to see an uptick in breastmilk production pretty much requires for it to be obtained through supplementation in a capsule or herbal tea. Although fenugreek is used in many foods, the dosage of it would not be high enough to feel an impact unless you were prepared to eat an unusually and perhaps uncomfortable amount of such a food. Fenugreek can be used either as a short-term boost to milk supply or long-term augmentation to output levels and is considered safe for nursing moms as included on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) list. Women report seeing a boost within a few days of using fenugreek daily.

As with most herbs, side effects have been noted including urine and sweat that smells like maple syrup and occasional loose stool. Fenugreek reduces blood glucose levels and blood cholesterol. As with an vitamin and supplement – consult your medical professional about introducing a fenugreek supplement into your diet.

Our five-star rated Ounces lactation supplement has fenugreek

as a primary ingredient with additional galactagogues blessed thistle, fennel seed, and marshmallow root. Momful moms report a significant boost that helps them keep their supply up even throughout the chaos of mom life.


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