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Did fenugreek increase your supply?

(45 Posts)
hollowtree Tue 31-Oct-17 19:52:34

I'd like to feed DD exclusively BM but I'm struggling with my supply. She was EMCS and I'm suffering with PTSD as birth was very traumatic. She never latched, getting upset and fighting at the breast from the minute she arrived. The midwives were fantastic but we just couldn't get a latch. Instead I was given the electric pump to use every 2 hours which I did. With just the pump my milk never 'came in' and I have never experienced real 'let down' so we had to use formula which is not what I wanted. I am in no way judging, it just wasn't what I wanted for me and her.

I still pump every 2 hours and for a while my supply was enough to feed 50:50 BM and formula. However, since the return of my period, my supply is less and less everyday.

Has anyone had any luck with fenugreek? I am desperate to increase my supply. We still try to BF and have been advised that more milk may help encourage her to latch and feed as there is more of a reward for her.

What worked for you?

Coldhandscoldheart Wed 01-Nov-17 06:21:01

I had a similar experience with my first. I did think fenugreek helped, although I think more regular expressing would have helped more.
I ended up able to give a bottle of bm (sometimes two) daily for four 'months, that’s partly because it was an altar I chose not to die on iyswim, and was probably the right balance for my mental health.

OTOH, fenugreek is properly grim, and I nearly burned th house down when I bought seeds instead of ground & had to prepare them. The smell of scorched fenugreek took a long time to leave.

FamilyOhNo Wed 01-Nov-17 06:33:08

I used it too. It did help a lot.

I bought tablet for from Holland and Barratt.

Milk smelled of maple syrup, but DS didn't seem to mind.

Good luck.

Youcanstayundermyumbrella Wed 01-Nov-17 06:33:34

Fairly late in my long breastfeeding journey, I found out that some people are receptive to fenugreek and some not. So it may we'll work for you. Conventional breastfeeding wisdom is that it

Youcanstayundermyumbrella Wed 01-Nov-17 06:39:25

oops. It will work if you start smelling of fenugreek yourself, which I never did.

Have you had a look on the Kellymom website? Different things work for different people and fenugreek isn't the only option.

FWIW, all mine ended up mix fed because my supply just wasn't enough. Something that helped me was thinking that I was giving them all the milk I had - and they just needed pudding. Keep trying her at the breast if it's not distressing either of you, but even if she never latches, you and she can still cuddle loads while she feeds, which to me was the main joy of breastfeeding anyway.

Has she been checked for tongue tie? And does she latch with a nipple shield? They get a bad rap sometimes but they can get a reluctant latcher going sometimes.

singadream Wed 01-Nov-17 06:41:42

Nope. I took handfuls every day and it did nothing

HartlandRoad Wed 01-Nov-17 06:44:28

The only thing that worked for me was domperidone. Milk production is one of its side effects. Not all GPs will be happy to prescribe it though...

0ccamsRazor Wed 01-Nov-17 06:45:31

I know people that have had positive outcome with using fenugreek for increasing milk supply, so yes for some it works. That and offering her your boob as often as you can.

However Op, don't go knocking yourself out trying to bf, if you are finding it really difficult and you feel dispondant in any way, there are other options for your baby's nutrition.

You sound like a fab mum and you deserve to enjoy being a mum.

However you decide to go with this, I hope that you know that you are doing great and should be proud of yourself.


RavingRoo Wed 01-Nov-17 06:52:25

Dill tea is given to Indian women to increase supply. If you’re near an Indian shop ask for Suva. You then boil as much as you can, stalks and all, in as much water as possible to get a month’s supply. You then take a shot of it every morning. You can when baby is older mix a tsp in water as it’s really good for colic/ wind.

Youcanstayundermyumbrella Wed 01-Nov-17 07:31:32

Domperidone worked for me a bit too (to be honest, I had additional issues so full supply was never going to happen) but between first and last child there were health warnings about it (not ones that worried me, but they put the wind up GPs about the drug in general I think) and it became significantly harder to get a prescription for it, particularly as to have any effect you really need to be taking at least triple the recommended dose, for an off-licence reason. I faced quite a lot of opposition from pharmacists in getting my prescriptions filled too. Luckily I did have a supportive GP for most of the time, and the pharmacist got to know me, but you may need to talk to more than one GP. Our surgery also went down a frustrating route of turning repeat prescriptions over to a pharmacist to deal with, at which point of course I was told no more, and had to take it back to the original GP.

Dr Jack Newman in Canada pioneered the use of domperidone for boosting milk supply, and the starting dose of 90mg daily, and has a good website, including material you can take to your GP on this. I originally had a letter from a lactation consultant requesting a prescription which was given without a quibble back in 2011, so if you're seeing one of those through the hospital, maybe ask them about it? If you haven't seen one, and you either have access to an NHS one or about £100 to see one privately, they are worth their weight in gold.

ThursdayLastWeek Wed 01-Nov-17 07:33:48

I took fenugreek after a traumatic labour and recovery.
I smelled of curry and I woke up soaked in milk every damn day.

After DC2 I realised I have a lot of milk anyway but I don’t thunk it can hurt to try OP

ThursdayLastWeek Wed 01-Nov-17 07:35:17

Oh and both of my children were mix fed in spite of my successful supply because honestly, really, as long as they’re gettng milk they’ll be ok. You’ve got to look after yourself too.

TheMendedDrum Wed 01-Nov-17 07:37:42

It worked wonders for me. Literally transformed my supply in a few days. Definitely use the tablets from H&B or similar, don't go for grinding your own seeds! Good luck OP

SomedayMyPrinceWillCome Wed 01-Nov-17 07:42:40

It worked for me but I did smell like a curry!

Coldhandscoldheart Wed 01-Nov-17 08:19:34

To be clear, I didn’t prep my own all the time, just the once. We were quite poor at the time, hence trying to give bf a decent go, the rest of the time I bought powdered from Indian stores and mixed a teaspoon into a glass of oj (which also contains vitamin c which will help your iron absorption if you’re anaemic - win/win) . I recall the H&B tablets being really quite expensive.

I would echo what everyone else says about not breaking yourself over this, it’s worth remembering that it does take two. My madam worked out fast that bottles were easy food, and breast was work and she knew which she liked!

KarateKitten Wed 01-Nov-17 08:20:27

Not that I could ever know. The baby increases your supply daily so I don't know how you could separate out what the fenugreek did it not.

Youcanstayundermyumbrella Wed 01-Nov-17 08:39:07

The baby doesn't always increase your supply, Kitty. That's how it works in an ideal world!

hollowtree Wed 01-Nov-17 10:50:37

Thanks everyone! This has been really helpful! I was concerned the 'try harder' brigade would be out in full force! I did gather from websites and reviews that it works for some and not others. I've ordered the Holland and Barrett ones to give them a go. The way I see it, this is my last attempt to increase my supply and then I will just accept what I make is what I make and continue to mixed feed.

Thank you all for your helpful reviews and advice!

Branleuse Wed 01-Nov-17 10:54:26

Yes it definitely helped. Whenever i felt my supply was dipping, I would take some fenugreek and the next day id feel a lot more full

FlaviaAlbia Wed 01-Nov-17 10:55:21

I took the ones from Holland and Barrett too, I think I took the max dose at first and had to cut down as it made such a difference.

DS had a tongue tie and couldn't actually latch at all so I know it wasn't him!

hollowtree Wed 01-Nov-17 11:08:07

What does the 'fullness' feel like when your milk comes in? And what does 'let down' feel like? I want to look out for these things so I know if it is working!

FlaviaAlbia Wed 01-Nov-17 11:13:55

Fullness felt like I'd been inflated with a bicycle pump! The difference was visible.

Let down was a kind of toe curling discomfort for me which passed after maybe 5-10 seconds. It's hard to describe but I could tell the difference from it not happening iyswim?

hollowtree Wed 01-Nov-17 11:16:20

Did you get the let down even with just the pump?

FlaviaAlbia Wed 01-Nov-17 11:22:19

I did, I found looking at DS, or a photo of him or smelling some of his clothes definitely helped with it.

Chickchickadee555 Wed 01-Nov-17 12:30:08

Just a thought, OP, are you pumping through the night as well? How old is LO now?
Anecdotally, fenugreek can also lower supply so do be careful. Have you had any breastfeeding support since leaving hospital?

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