what do you mom think or know about Fenugreek for milk supply?

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Crystal - posted on 02/11/2009

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Quoting Margot:



Quoting Holly:

What about the good old fashioned way: feeding more often. This is the supply and demand part of the miracle of breastfeeding. The more you feed, the more supply you will have the next day at that same time. So increase your feedings for a few days, then you can pump at those added intervals after that for your storage supply. I always would feed more if I felt my supply was getting low from one reason or another (i.e., dehydration). The only way your body is going to know if it needs to make more milk is if the let-down reflex is stimulated more often. Hope this was helpful.
Holly, RN and Certified Lactation Consultant in training






I totaly agree with Holly.  Nurse Nurse Nurse and nurse some more!!!  I understand that some moms have a low milk supply, just offer baby your breast as much as possible, if not then I would suggest pumping or self expressing.  I'm not a believer in using pills for an easy fix.  I think that society today is way to dependant on finding an easy quick way to fix things.  Not just with breastfeeding.  Besides who wants to smell like maple syrup?  Nurse Nurse Nurse!!!





After working with lactation consultants and pumping around the clock I still have low supply for my Preemie.  Sometimes you need every resource you can get; it's not just an easy quick fix situation.

Melanie - posted on 02/12/2009

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I can tell because when Noah is done nursing, I still have milk dripping out. I also have enough to pump and freeze. Prior to the Fenugreek, Noah would suck me dry and still act hungry....and I never had any to pump. I can also "feel" when I'm full or have extra. Before Fenugreek I was always very empty.

Margot - posted on 02/11/2009

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I'm not judging anyone. Everyone has their opinions and is entitled to them. And I understand that my comment may have made some people upset and for that I am sorry, but I honestly do believe the society today uses drugs as a quick fix. And, I have walked in your shoes with my first child. I was alot younger and was very ignorant when it came to Breast Feeding. I was dieting and working out. I thought it was okay as long as I ate 3 meals a day. Mind you these meals were not the daily required calories, they were considerably less. In the end my milk supply pretty much dried up.



I was in the military and not many women in the military EBF. I had no support from my chain of command, matter of fact it was the opposite. My family was across the world in another country. So I gave in and gave my baby formula.



Everyone has different circumstances. You have to do what you have to do and I the same. If it works for you and then that's wonderful. But I have friends that were told to use it and it didn't work. They ended up just nursing nursing nursing and pump pump pumping. They all complained that it was a waste of money for little to no results.



Again sorry if I've upset anyone, that was not my intention.

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Denise - posted on 09/28/2012

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I noticed a huge difference at 4 days. After only two hours I pumped a total of 9oz from my usual 4oz!! So excited that it really works! I take 2-4 610mg 2-3 times a day. I haven't noticed a maple smell at all.

Kimberly - posted on 02/12/2009

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I used fenugreek for a very short time. It made my baby miserable. Most likely, it was from oversupply after taking the vitamin. It sure did increase my supply. Just make sure you need it before you take it. I did not need I was just being a worry wort!

[deleted account]

Fenugreek is supposed to be great.  If you find that it doesn't work for you I used alfalfa.  Like Fenugreek it is completely natural and just feeds your body what it needs in order to make more milk.  With my first child I got sick and even though I was in great pain and couldn't eat or drink I continued to nurse him.  Well that didn't last long and my milk dried up.  Then I went nuts with drinking water, taking alfalfa and pumping and nursing.  My milk came back and I was able to nurse him until he was a year old!  With my second child I just started with taking the alfalfa at the beginning. 

Kelly - posted on 02/12/2009

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I have been taking Fenugreek and I have absolutely no idea if my supply is affected. How do you all know if your supply increases ? I have no idea how much the baby is getting or how much I produce on a daily basis - all I know is that she is gaining weight properly and seems satisfied after nursing. I do pump and seem to get at least 1 1/2 ounces within a few minutes out of each breast. My daughter is 9 weeks old and the only time I feel that I don't have enough is when she cluster feeds in the evenings. So my question is how can you tell your supply is affected ? I am going back to work in 3 weeks and have no idea how many ounces to put in each bottle for daycare.

Melanie - posted on 02/11/2009

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Fenugreek has worked great for me!! I take three capsules 3 times a day. I've taken it since my son was a couple of months old. If I stop taking it my supply lessens. I haven't noticed smelling like maple syrup...although that doesn't sound terrible to me. :) I buy it in the 180 count bottles from GNC. I had slowed down taking it, but right now I'm pumping extra because my DH and I are going on a marriage retreat in a month and I'll be without my baby for two days. As I increased the Fenugreen, my supply increased again. No side effects on the baby or me as far as I can tell. Good luck with your decisoin!!

April - posted on 02/11/2009

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I never had much luck with Fenugreek. I even doubled the recommended dose. Not much that I researched helped for me. I hope it works for you. It's worth a try.

Monica - posted on 02/11/2009

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I know that I offer the breast all the time... I nurse at least every 2 hours plus I have to pump after every feed to make sure I am very empty and by the end of the day I still have issues with not having enough milk. The fenugreek is by no means a quick fix! It is something that is helping though! Not everyone is as luck as you are to have plenty of milk. I have done everything possible before taking anything. So before you judge people you should really have walked in their shoes!!

January - posted on 02/11/2009

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I used it, but you have to take a lot to make it work... 3-4 pills 3 times a day... and it did double my supply.  I nursed, nursed, and nursed more. I nursed practicly 18-20 hours a day for a while and I still didn't produce enough but the fenugreek really seemed to help. I wished I would've know about it earlier. Once I decreased use, my supply decreased tho. I thought once my supply was up there, I wouldn't have to maintain the fenugreek, but I did. It is not a quick fix like some of the people on here are saying.... it still took over a week to really notice a big change while at the same time nursing nursing nursing. So I say go for it if it helps you and you can continue to breastfeed. It's better than getting frustrated and having to quit. IMO. Good LUCK!!!

Kimberly - posted on 02/10/2009

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I had a breast reduction 15 years before I had my baby and was told I wouldn't be able to nurse. I was determined, though!



1. I took Fenugreek. Lots of it. 9 capsules spread out in the day. 3 each time.

2. I let my baby nurse on demand and let him stay latched on as long as he liked. Sometimes this was an hour or even hour and a half.

3. I pumped 3 or 4 times a day in the beginning and eventually down to 1 or2 times. But enough to make my body produce a little more than baby was requiring.

4. I ate oatmeal for breakfast every morning. Sometimes again for lunch! :)



After all that, my son became exclusively breastfed. I know these things might not work for everyone, but the combo worked for me and I'd recommend it to anyone and everyone. I totally agree that the added nursing is realy your BEST way to increase production. The other stuff also really helps. Good luck!

Jamie - posted on 02/10/2009

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My baby had a hard time latching at birth so I chose to pump and feed her. She is eating 5 oz at every feeding and she is eating 5x a day. So with the help of oatmeal, fenugreek and blessed thistle I am able to keep up with her 25 oz of milk a day supply. I never have experienced the "maple syrup" side effect but it seems to be helping.

Melissa - posted on 02/09/2009

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I'm a total believer in Fenugreek! It has saved my supply! I pumped myself dry several times a day, increased my fluid intake, increased nursing frequency...all of it and nothing helped as much or as fast as Fenugreek. I noticed a difference within a few hours. Some people do complain of side effects like maple smell in urine, of mom or baby. Also some women notice THEY smell like maple. Honestly, I haven't experienced any of these side effects. I've not had any intestinal issues and neither has my daughter. It has worked out perfectly for me. There are some people who shouldn't take it for medical reasons though. Check out this website: http://www.breastfeeding.com/all_about/a...



I currently take 3 capsules 2x a day and have been for about 6 weeks now. I rarely have moments of supply issues, even during growth spurts.



Good luck!

Margot - posted on 02/09/2009

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Quoting Holly:

What about the good old fashioned way: feeding more often. This is the supply and demand part of the miracle of breastfeeding. The more you feed, the more supply you will have the next day at that same time. So increase your feedings for a few days, then you can pump at those added intervals after that for your storage supply. I always would feed more if I felt my supply was getting low from one reason or another (i.e., dehydration). The only way your body is going to know if it needs to make more milk is if the let-down reflex is stimulated more often. Hope this was helpful.
Holly, RN and Certified Lactation Consultant in training



I totaly agree with Holly.  Nurse Nurse Nurse and nurse some more!!!  I understand that some moms have a low milk supply, just offer baby your breast as much as possible, if not then I would suggest pumping or self expressing.  I'm not a believer in using pills for an easy fix.  I think that society today is way to dependant on finding an easy quick way to fix things.  Not just with breastfeeding.  Besides who wants to smell like maple syrup?  Nurse Nurse Nurse!!!

Monica - posted on 02/09/2009

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I use Fenugreek to help with re-occuring duct blockages. I use blessed thistle to increase milk production.

Katie - posted on 02/09/2009

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I used it when my preemie was in the NICU and my supply was depleting because I wasn't around him enough. If I spent 6 hours holding him in the NICU with breaks for pumping I'd only be able to pump an ounce. With the Fenugreek I more then doubled my supply. You have to take a lot. If you don't smell like maple syrup then it's not enough. I think at the height of it all I was taking 10 a day, but I attribute the fact that I breastfeed my 6 month old to the Fenugreek that helped me keep my milk.

Carley - posted on 02/09/2009

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I used Fenugreek when i started dropping feedings just to make sure my supply stayed up enough for the evening and morning feedings and it really worked. Some people have better luck than others though. It was recommended by my midwife and i did lots of research before i used it just to make sure it was safe. Its pretty cheap at GNC. I would try it and if it works great and if not, then you might try other things. I know some people who it did not work for, but for me, it continued my "leaking" amount way longer than i wanted to be "leaking"... but the baby wasnt hungry!

Jonellyn - posted on 02/09/2009

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they actually make fennel tea its pretty okay too, I dont nurse any more but I did for 18 months and i stopped 2x due to med ication but i was able to continue b/c of the fennel... at least that is what I believe

Holly - posted on 02/09/2009

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What about the good old fashioned way: feeding more often. This is the supply and demand part of the miracle of breastfeeding. The more you feed, the more supply you will have the next day at that same time. So increase your feedings for a few days, then you can pump at those added intervals after that for your storage supply. I always would feed more if I felt my supply was getting low from one reason or another (i.e., dehydration). The only way your body is going to know if it needs to make more milk is if the let-down reflex is stimulated more often. Hope this was helpful.

Holly, RN and Certified Lactation Consultant in training

Kary - posted on 02/09/2009

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I used just fenal seed and crushed it to make a tea (it tasted really bad), It really boosted my supply. I agree with the oatmeal thing and I was told by a lactation consultant to avoid peppermint (even little peppermint candies) because that can decrease your supply.

Crystal - posted on 02/09/2009

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Fenugreek is supposed to help increase your milk supply.  It is available from health food / vitamin type stores in pill form, and it smells vaguely of maple syrup (just so you aren't alarmed if YOU smell somewhat like that after a while).  I've been taking Fenugreek along with Reglan for milk supply issues and have seen some benefit, though I don't know which is mostly responsible. 

Valerie - posted on 02/09/2009

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I used it and all it did was make my pee smell like maple syrup. i didn't notice much difference in my milk supply.

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