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is fenugreek safe to take?

(20 Posts)
issywoo Tue 04-May-04 11:20:41

my milk supply is dwindling fast and my baby is 9 weeks old. when i express i can now only get about an ounce and a half out of both together (at my peak i could get 4oz out) don't want to give up so did some reading about fenugreek but am worried it might be bad for the baby. there is a warning on the bottle for bf mums to seek medical advice first.

Caribbeanqueen Tue 04-May-04 11:28:00

Hi Issywoo, I take fenugreek seed (when I remember) and have done on and off for a while. It was recommended to me by LLL both here and abroad so must be OK.

I think all herbal supplements have to have a warning to consult your doctor. If you are taking any drugs, herbs may react, so if this is the case then definitely consult your GP.

Hope this helps.

issywoo Tue 04-May-04 11:52:28

thanks for that caribbeanqueen. did it increase your supply? how do you know when to stop taking it? i'm not on any other medication

hercules Tue 04-May-04 11:59:11

I suggest you speak to a bfc. The nct are really good and number is on the website. I dont think you should judge your supply by how much you can express.

gloworm Tue 04-May-04 20:40:33

I used Bioforce Urtica to increase milk suppy when I wanted extra to express, and it worked.
I own a health shop and the label,by law, will almost always say to consult gp if preg/feeding. in the case of urtica it is ("off the record"safe to take while feeding.
sorry dont know about fenugreek

fairyprincess Wed 05-May-04 09:43:27

Hi issywoo

have you tried a babymoon to up supply? You take a complete day if you can just lying in bed feeding & being next to little one. A good rest can really be a boost. What you express isn't always correlated to what your baby gets when it bfs. I could never express much but had enough milk for my dds.

Best wishes

throckenholt Wed 05-May-04 19:21:56

I took fenugreek when I needed to express for my twins - it is fine, and does increase your supply after a couple of days.

However, how much you can express is not necessarily related to how much your baby can suck (they are much better at getting it out !).
Make sure you are drinking lots of water. And talk to a breast feeding counsellor.

Why are you expressing ? If you need to then try massaging the breasts first.

issywoo Wed 05-May-04 20:02:07

i am expressing because ds has tongue tie and can't suck effectively so i wanted to boost my supply so that its there for him if he does get the hang of it (he gets so exhausted after only a few minutes). he still has problems with the teat but seems a lot more satiated after ebf than when i bf him.have seen numerous counsellors and the positioning is correct and despite days when he went on every few hours my supply didn't seem to increase.the other thing is that he has hidden reflux so i have given him bottles on enfamil which i feared would reduce my supply also

throckenholt Thu 06-May-04 07:31:01

ok - well in that case expressing may well be the way forward for you (I did it for 9 months for my twins because they wouldn't feed directly - hard work but possible).

Definitely fenugreek capsules will help increase supply 2-3 3 x per day to start with, takes a couple of days to kick in, then increase or decrease the dose as appropriate.

Make sure you are drinking lots of water, and try massage before and during pumping. I found the ameda electric pump was very good.

Good luck.

issywoo Thu 06-May-04 09:19:00

thanks for tips. am now taking the fenugreek and am feeling very thirsty so will drink plenty. i presume i stop taking it when the supply is better?

throckenholt Thu 06-May-04 09:21:52

nope - sorry - you keep taking it until you stop feeding ! I think it is a fairly short-term effect.
I think it works on the stimulating the sweat glands, of which the milks ducts are a modified version apparently !

Pretty much a suck it and see approach is best - vary the dose until you get something that suits you.

tiktok Thu 06-May-04 11:49:15

Issywoo, fenugreek has enough pos anecdotal evidence to make it worth a try, but the most effective way to increase supply is to make more demands on it - in your case, it means expressing more often. When mothers are expressing and not feeding direct at all, they need to express at least 8 times in 24 hours inc at least once at night, to build up and maintain the supply.

Hope this helps.

throckenholt Thu 06-May-04 12:04:30

actually by 9 weeks I would say you don't need to express as much as tiktok says. Go for 6 or 7 times each of about 20 mins - no longer in each session. But definitely don't drop the middle of the night one - that really helps supply. If you do a google search there are support groups on the net for people exclusively expressing.

issywoo Fri 07-May-04 22:16:53

thanks for your advice everyone but i really have very little milk left - i'm now lucky to express even an ounce when at my peak i could get 4oz out (which i was very proud of).
i won't give up just yet - surely where there's even a little milk theres hope of increasing supply if i keep up the expressing and some direct feeds? not smelling of maple syrup yet so maybe i'm not taking enough?!
will try direct feeds in the middle of the night - the medela will wake the neighbours!

throckenholt Sat 08-May-04 14:29:34

Direct feed as much as possible - will help stimulate supply. Try and express/feed every 3-4 hours. Try and relax when expressing - stressing about how much you are getting really depresses supply !

Try upping the fenugreek a bit for a few days. Give it time - if you persevere it will increase.

Good luck.

mears Sat 08-May-04 15:36:31

Issywoo - the more you express, the more milk you will produce. Don't be downheartened if you initially get very small amounts, it will pick back up again. If you find the Fenugreek doesn't help you then get the GP to prescibe Domperidone (you can actually but it over the counter) The other name for it is Motilium and it's main use is for bloatedness of the stomach. However, it's side effect is to raise your prolactin levels which increase your milk supply. Our hospital gives it to mothers who are expressing for their babies in SCBU if their upply dwindles.

Have you considered referral to get the tongue-tie divided? We have now changed our policy abd babies with tongue-ties who have difficulty feeding will be referred to have it 'snipped'. There is no need for an anaesthetic and mothers repost a fairly instant improvement.

issywoo Sat 08-May-04 19:46:01

mears, thanks for your great advice and encouragement. today i expressed a measley 1.5r oz and ds only went on me twice today and soon got fed up with nothing coming out. my let down used to be very strong and now i barely feel it. have i blown it? is it too late to get it going again?
have been taking fenugreek 3 per day so may be i should up it?
if motilium is available over the counter i'll ask for it at the chemist as my GP is not all that helpful.
i will pursue the tong tie snip, especially if it can be done without a general. i wish someone had pointed it out when we were in hospial (i had a c-section) and not when he was 7 weeks old - if they had then i would have been more positive about the bf instead of just believing i was starving him.

mears Sat 08-May-04 23:24:13

It most definately isn't too late to get it going again. Express at least every 3 hours if you do not feed directly. Have you ever been able to directly feed? If so, did it cause you pain? Have you stopped direct feeds because of pain or because you think you haven't got milk?

The best way to stimulate milk is to feed or express every 2-3 hours if you can. The dosage of Motilium we use is 10mg three times a day for 10 days. You must express as well though. The best thing is to actually breast feed first before expressing though.

It might be helpful to see your B/F counsellor again since you have a new problem. You need support when you run into diffculties. Good for you for carrying on. You can fix it

issywoo Sun 09-May-04 17:25:51

mears i did directly feed but he wld always come off after a few minutes doing lots of clicking noises with his tongue and then he cld never seem to get on again. i believed that i could get more out by expressing coz i wld push down at the same time and more would seem to come out (it really helped me to be able to see it). i will express 2-3 hourly and direct feed as well and see if the motilium helps - will keep you updated

throckenholt Sun 09-May-04 19:23:41

fenugreek - try 2 or 3 capsules three times per day (not just 1 capsule each time).

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