breastfeeding herbs

Herbs to Increase Breastmilk

fenugreek seeds on a spoon and leaves / herbs

If you are concerned that you might not be making enough milk for your baby, you might want to try an herb supplement. Herbs that are used to increase milk supply are called galactagogues. One of the most popular supplements for increasing milk supply is fenugreek. Fenugreek has been used safely and successfully by many moms.

Although long term use of fenugreek does not seem to cause any problems, most moms use it on a short term basis. Once milk supply is increased to the desired level, fenugreek can be discontinued. As long as baby is nursing consistently or you are pumping regularly, your supply should stay at the heightened level.

To increase your milk supply, you will need to take between 3,500 mg and 7,500 mg of fenugreek a day. Start with the lower dosage and gradually work your way up. You are taking enough when your breast milk, sweat and urine start to smell like maple syrup. Once you have established the correct dosage, you should see your milk supply begin to increase in two or three days.

Fenugreek is completely safe for most women; however you should be cautious if any of the following are true for you:

  • You have a peanut or chickpea allergy - fenugreek is in the same family as peanuts and chickpeas.

  • You have diabetes or hypoglycemia – fenugreek reduces blood glucose levels.

  • You have asthma – fenugreek powder can worsen asthma symptoms in some people.

  • You have migraines – fenugreek can trigger migraines, though for many it can relieve symptoms.

  • Blood pressure problems or heart disease – fenugreek may lower or raise blood pressure.

In addition to fenugreek, there are several other herbs that have been reported to increase milk supply. These include fennel seed, anise seed, blessed thistle, and alfalfa. You can get all of these herbs plus fenugreek in Nursing Time Tea. Another option is to take Nursing Blend a supplement which includes a proprietary blend of herbs, including Fenugreek, Fennel Seed, and Coriander Seed, to help increase milk supply along with important vitamins and minerals.

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