Has Anyone Taken Fenugreek Pills to Increase Your Milk Supply?
March 11, 2009
Woodland Hills, CA
I am concerned about my milk supply dwindling now that I have gone back to work. i am pumping at work and there seems to be a supply & demand issue. He drinks more than I pump. I have purchased Fenugreek pills and took 2 today with meals (lunch & dinner). The bottle doesn't really say anything more than "Take one to two daily with meals". I'm curious,....does any one know more information than this? Is two enough? When will I start to see results? Does it work immediately or is it going to take time for my body to adjust? Any info or experience would be appreciated. Thanks!!
WOW!!! Thank you to all the moms that responded. Your advise is much appreciated! I called the lactation consultant and they advised me on how many to take (2-3 pills 3 times per day with meals). I have increased my water intake and am going to squeek in an extra pump session late at night. Thans Again ladies,....I love Mamasource!
I took Fenugreek along with Milkthistle and it started working within about three days. I had to cut down to 1/day after about a week and cut it out entirely after two; But I was taking them to help the milk come in right after my son was born.
I don't have any advise about the pills you are taking. But when I went back to work and was pumping I found that if I had a relaxing break with enough time I would was able to pump much more then if I was stressed an pressed for time. I also pumped more depending on the amount of water I drank. So try to relaxe and drink plenty of water. I pumped for 6 months 2x a day at work. It takes a lot of patiences but worth it in the end. GOOD LUCK!!!
1. rent a hospital grade pump..Medela Classic is what i used.it's
$3 a day and totally worth it at the Pump Station in L.A. OR better yet buy one off ebay like i did and
when you're done you can re-sell it on ebay and get your money back.
i bought one and it works great..the medela classic is supposed to be
the best pump out there.
2. get the Easy Expression bra www.easyexpressionproducts.com it
holds both cups over you bb's and it's better to pump 2 at a time
3. eat oatmeal ....get the healthy kind i add bananas also i would
think pasta would be good b/c it retains water
4. Take "Lactation Supplement" by Gaia Herbs you can find it at the
health food store
5. try to pump at the same time every day...also try power pumping..
10 minutes pumping..then stop for 10 then 10 again and then stop and
so on. even pump if you aren't getting anything.
6. Make sure the white membrane thingies that attach onto the cups
are fairly new ..over used ones affect how much milk you get
7. Drink lots of fluids including Nursing Mom's tea or Mother's Milk
tea or the tea i prefer is www.breastea.com ..also drinks with
electrolytes like Recharge...Smart Water...Gatorade i notice on days
i drink a lot of fluids i have more milk
8. Eat barley..Barley Grass supplements are great. also..they have
barley bread at Trader Joe's if you have a Trader Joe's where you
live..or just buy barley. I buy a delicious barley tea at the
japanese market and i drink a couple of cups a day..it's decaf and
i also drink Healthy Mom's drinks by Ensure
9.A warm wash cloth helps too ..apply to breasts before pumping or
try the breast heating pads that you heat up in the microwave.
10. Keep taking your prenatal vitamin..not getting a lot of milk
could mean a vitamin deficiency
even if you pump just a little ..save what you get and start adding
them together and then supplement with the milk that you pump..that's
why it's also good to pump after they've gone to sleep..then you help
build your supply and you also have more bb milk for baby..
11. nurse nurse nurse..triple up on nursing..you're going to have to
dedicate a week to it
the more you pump the more milk you'll begin to make.
12. LOTS OF REST..nap if you can ..milk builds when you rest
13. DHA supplements also are great for lactation..also found at the
health food store*
14. Alfalfa supplements are also great.
i think that's it..
15. Try a whey protein powder drink.. i use "Whey to Go" by
Solgar..you mix it with milk add some berries and a banana. it says
to check with your doc before using if you're bfing..so ask your
doc..i only drink one a day and i add a some Motherlove's "More Milk
Plus" to it.
16. Again you should double pump when you're pumping so make sure you
get the bra to make it easier on you!
17. Goat's Rue herb is also supposed to help boost
honestly drink LOTS of liquids
keep yourself moist ...don't take any birth control pills.
18. there is also this stuff called Motilium aka DOM a lot of mom's
use this ..it's for reflux but it builds up your supply.. you can
read about it on Kellymom.com http://www.kellymom.com/newman/19a- domperidone1.html
and you can buy it here... http://www.inhousepharmacy.com/general/ motilium.html
When you are with your son, have him nurse rather than you or anyone giving him a bottle. Your milk supply will increase with actual nursing - pumping does not give your body the same effect.
I've heard good things about fenugreek - when my daughter was tiny, I would drink a cup or two of the Yogi Nursing Mother tea (has fenugreek in it) and I've always had an abundant supply of milk. Have no idea whether to attribute that to the tea, however :) Also whole grains supposedly work for maintaining a good milk supply. Try oatmeal in the morning, and whole grain main or side dishes with lunch and/or dinner.
Drink more water and your milk supply will increase. Drink less and it will decrease.
What you eat goes into the type of milk your baby nurses, not the quantity. ie, if you eat a lot of broccolli, it may make your baby a little gassy, one of my babies was lactose intolerant and if I had any dairy she would get a rash and other problems, so for that length of time I just avoided dairy.
Go to www.motherlove.com and order "More Milk Plus" capsules and "Goat's Rue" capsules. Take as directed and pump, pump, pump when you are at work, even an extra 5-min. pump is better than none.
Go to www.kellymom.com and seach "low milk supply" and you'll find everything you could ever possibly want to know about increasing your milk supply.
I pumped at work for both of my kids until they were 16 months old. I found with my first that I had to pump 4 times a day (before work, twice at work and once at bedtime) plus twice each day on the weekend in addition to nursing on demand to produce enough milk for him. And I had to pump for at least 30 minutes each time on both sides (I double pumped with an Easy Expressions Bustier - I also have an Easy Expressions Halter - you can get them off ebay pretty cheap and they are a lifesaver!) to keep my supply up. Fenugreek works okay for some people but you actually have to take enough of it to make yourself smell like maple syrup (much more than it says on the bottle). Some folks find that it upsets their stomach or that it upsets their little one's stomach. It is also a legume like a peanut so watch for allergy symptoms in both you and your baby. Oh and it can mess with your blood sugar so if you've got any blood sugar issues, make sure you are really careful. One thing that really helped me was joining this group: http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/PumpMoms/ I don't know anyone IRL (in real life) who has nursed more than a few weeks and I don't know anyone who has done any significant amount of pumping. Having an online support group and the ability to ask questions, get opinions and talk to other women who are nursing and pumping about what has worked for them was really helpful.
Good luck to you! Nursing and pumping can be quite a bit of work but it is well worth the effort!
I take funugreek. You need to take a lot more than the recommended dosage to get results. I take 3 capsules 3 times per day. One indication that you are getting enough is that you will smell a bit like maple syrup, particularly your sweat and your urine. I have had great results. I hope you do as well. God bless.
HI- A friend of mine just brought me some fenugreek SPROUTS and boy do they ever work well for increasing milk supply! She got them at a local farmer's market, but if the capsules aren't working I would try to sprout some seeds.
Fenugreek pills will "help", but you have to be a little more aggressive to really increase your supply.
When your baby nurses, he stimulates more production. As he grows, he would naturally increase the supply as needed. During increase times, he will nurse more often and for longer intervals to get what he needs and stimulate more production to satisfy his appetite in the future.
If you are gone at work, you have to continue to stimulate increase. Pump longer and more often until your supply increases. When you are home nurse long and often. Try not to supplement with a bottle when you are home. Let him nurse and nurse and nurse. (I don't know how much you have "dwindled", so don't let him go hungry, but let him work at it a little. He is much more efficient than any pump. When he is done nursing... pump for 10 minutes or so on each breast.
Also, it is very important that you drink lots and lots of water. You can not produce enough milk if you are dehydrated. I'm talking 4 Liters (about a gallon) a day (you are drinking for two :) )
Don't give up! You can do this! It is a lot of work for a few days, but if you are aggressive about it, you will have success. The gift of breastfeeding for your baby is so important and so rewarding.
I have taken Fenugreek and More Milk Plus (the liquid tincture, not the pills). The Fenugreek made me smell like maple syrup :). The More Milk Plus worked the best for me. My lactation consultant recommended it. Within 24 hours I noticed an increase in my milk supply. By the end of 48 hours, I was "flowing" nicely.
FYI: If your body says it's going to decrease your milk supply, it will no matter what. Although taking the supplements can help to keep your supply, it doesn't work for everyone. For me, my supply started to dwindle at 3 months, even though I was only breastfeeding. And by 6 months I was dried up. Same thing happened to a friend of mine with her first pregnancy. But with her second pregnancy she was able to breastfeed for a year.
Don't forget to drink a TON of water during the day....that helps.
I would strongly recommend Fenugreek for your breastmilk. I have been taking them myself since my baby was born on Dec 31st. She had to stay in the hospital for the first month because she was 8 weeks early. It was suggested I take it by the nurses in the NICU, I take 2 pills 3x a day. My only complaint is they make me smell like syrup - including my urine. But I did notice the change in my breastmilk, it took a few days but I would definately recommend. Good Luck!! =)
I used mother's milk tea and that Fenugreek in it. It did help a bit. You can find the Mother's milk at most health food stores and sometimes at the grocery store. Also I know most physicians won't recommend this but I tried this on the advice of other breast feeding moms I knew who did the same. I would drink one dark beer a day and I got results from that pretty much the next day. From my experience that worked great but it's up to go this route. I guess the hops helps with production and the beer itself helped ease tension to aid in my milk let down.
Also can I just say that you're Awesome. I know how trying first time breast feeding can be. Lots of trail error finding the best positions and getting the schedule right but the benefits are so rewarding. Night feedings were so much easier for us when breast feeding I love not having tote or prepare bottles. This is such a wonderful gift you are giving your family. Right On Mama!
While I have not had experience with this for some time (my "baby" will be 9 this week), I did need to take Fenugreek in an attempt to increase my supply. If I remember correctly, my IBCLC told me to take far more than the bottle says to take. On the bottle, I believe their suggestions are for dietary supplementation. Try to contact a lactation consultant and see if she can answer your question with accuracy though. Fenugreek works well for most people! Good luck!
2 a day won't make a difference. You need 2 3 x day. And of course plenty of water. I also found that raising my arms and massaging along the armpit toward the breast improves the lymphatic flow and fills the breasts more. The key is to take deep breaths and relax. I'd do this especially before nursing. Have you tried pumping the other breast when he nurses the other. The stimulation increases the milk output of the other. Good luck!
I would strongly suggest you google "dangers of fenugreek", surprisingly there are some. I was told to take it by someone at la leche and I ended up in the e.r. I now have a heart condition because of it. It gave me heart palpitations. They started about 4 days after I started taking it and now it is a permenant condition! I wish someone would have warned me so I am warning you. I am not saying it will happen to you, but I am not alone I found after research. Good luck to you, I know it is stressful to loose your supply. Try to eat healthy, get rest, and drink alot of water. Best of luck to you.
I have taken Fenugreek capsules, but they didn't seem to help me much. I had low milk supply with both my boys. Don't bother with Mother's Milk tea since it doesn't have much of the milk-making herbs that you need--plus I don't like the taste. What really helped me is Goat's Rue and More Milk Plus (they were recommended by my lactation consultant). They both come in capsules or liquid tinctures. They taste kinda nasty so the capsules are much easier to take but more expensive to buy. I think you can find More Milk Plus at Whole Foods, but the Goat's Rue I've only been able to find online. They are distributed by a company called Motherlove, but I bought them through Amazon. I've done tons of research on what to take to increase milk supply, and these are the only ones that helped me. My OB GYN didn't even know about them, so you may not hear as much about them as the other herbs, such as Fenugreek.
As for how long the Fenugreek might take to work, I don't remember. Do a google search for fenugreek and milk supply and you should be able to find something that tells you about how much you can take per day. I think if you wait about a week it should work, if it's going to work. I've read that it has helped lots of women, but it doesn't work for everyone, like me. Good luck!
Hi I am a birth and postpartum doula and I recommend fenugreek all of the time you are taking it correctly and I also recommend taking drinking Mothers Milk Tea. If you are only pumping once a day you might not be making enough milk. I recommend pumping once or twice while you are goine and then pump after your last feed of the evening. Just like having a let down while nursing your body will start to produce more milk and you can even start to have a really great back up supply. Good Luck and relax and don't worry if you had enough milk before you will have enough milk now!
I used fenugreek with my first son and it did help a lot. It's not an overnight response, but after a week or so you'll start seeing differences. I've also heard if you drink beer, from that you'll get an overnight response. I've never tried that though.
Hi D.... I fell into a similar situation but in my case my son was getting Cleft lip surgery and couldnt breast feed for 3 weeks after surgery..so all I could do was pump. The Lactation nurse suggested Fenugreek 3 capsules, twice a day. It became too much for me to take cause I am not good with pills at all and those were pretty good sized so went back to the lactation nurse and she sent me to my local health food store and got "More Milk Plus" There was a drastic increase in my milk supply and it helped me so much. I credit it for me being able to keep up with the breast feeding for as long as I needed to. Hope you try it.. it contains fenugreek but is much easier than Fenugreek pills..and if you do try it..always go for the pills..the liquid is beyond bad tasting..it's horrendous..LOL. Take care !
Hi D.! I used the motherlove More Milk Plus pills also. I started taking them when my baby was a few weeks old and I don't remember exactly how long to see an improvement, but I know it took a couple of days. I had the tea, but only used it when my little one was about 6 months as we had a terribly stressful and difficult situation that we were in the middle of and I was desperate to keep my milk supply up, as the stress made it dwindle and I was going through all of what I would pump and all of the frozen milk.
One really helpful thing that I used to do was pump on the breast that she wasn't eating on in the morning. Eventually, I would get an entire bottle of milk on that one side and it helped build up my supply. It just became habit that the first morning feeding we sat on the couch, where I had set up the pump the night before and I would pump as she nursed. As some people mentioned, the before the bed pump also works well to build up your supply. I think often times the little ones can get the milk quicker from the bottle than from the breast, so they drink more.
Lastly, as mentioned by previous responses, drink lots of water. In fact you can pump at work without having had lots of water and if you drink water as you pump you can even notice an increase. Sounds insane that it would work that fast, but it did for me! Best of luck to you! Congrats on breast feeding too! It can be very challenging to get started and can have some challenges along the way, but it's the absolute best thing for your baby and very rewarding for mama to get that special time each day as you cuddle and nurse.
Fenugreek worked wonders for me. I noticed an increase within 48 hours. A lactation consultant recommended them for me, however she had me taking about 5-6 capsules a day. The only side affect I noticed was that I smelled like maple syrup. If possible, I recommend talking to the lactation consultant where you gave birth. (it's a free call)
I wish you all the best!
hi! i am currently taking moringa capsules for my milk supply. it has really worked for me and for my friends too. it is also a very healthy supplement. it is high in calcium, vitamin c, potassium, has plenty of antioxidants, to say the least. you can check the following link:
I took 3 pills 3x per day according to my lactation specialist's advice. But I think what ended up helping me was drinking MORE WATER! Easy to get distracted from this easy solution but it always increased my supply -- along with an extra pump (and maybe a beer) during the day.
I took fenugreek (2 capsules 3x/day) and it helped some. It took about 3 days to show much of an increase. What helped me more was Lactate Support capsules by Gaia Herbs. It has fenugreek, anise, marshmallow root and some other stuff. With that, I noticed a difference within a couple hours of taking my first dose. It was significantly more expensive (about 3x the cost) of the fenugreek, but it more than maid up for the cost in effectiveness. If you go to http://www.gaiaherbs.com you can type in your zip code and find stores near you that sell their products.
I took the pills as instructed. Drank Mother's Milk tea, and More Milk Plus comes as tincture and pills. Everyone reacts differently try and see. Oh I also ate oatmeal for breakfast.
Most of all relax. Easier said than done. One last advice take it easy on yourself.
Check out the brand Motherlove for amounts; they make drops with Fenugreek in them called More Milk Plus - I would imagine that you could compare doses without having to switch to their brand. Also, I'm working and experiencing the same thing and have been drinking the Mothers Milk Tea (available at Whole Foods)...not sure how much it's helping, but I think at least a little. Good luck!
I have taken it with both of my babies and it does seem to aid in increasing supply. The key is to try to sneak another pumping session or two in per day. I found it easier to take one of the late night feedings as an opportunity to pump after the wee one finally nodded off. Why not you're up anyway? It may take a week or two to notice a big difference but make sure you keep taking it. If you start smelling maple syrup at odd times during the day...it's the Fenugreek so don't freak out. There are worse things you could smell like and other people can't smell that. Good luck! Keep up the good work.