Many moms need a little help with stimulating milk production at some point in their breastfeeding journey and turn to Fenugreek to help with milk production — this herb is a holistic aid that offers many health benefits! Moms should always consider speaking with a physician before using any supplements to ensure there are no health risks involved for them or for their little one.

Fenugreek supplements

Fenugreek is an herb that is often used to flavor artificial maple syrup, as a basic ingredient in curry powder, and is used in a five spice mixture used in Asian cooking. Fenugreek and breastfeeding is safe for moms if supplemented in moderation. Some moms tend to notice an increase in milk production 24-72 hours after ingesting the herb, while others notice a difference in two weeks. The results truly vary. Fenugreek can be used for a short-term boost in milk or as a long-term alternative for moms having milk production issues that continue over many months. Most moms tend to discontinue the use after a sustainable milk supply has been achieved.

Are there any side effects?

Safety is a huge concern for moms, and rightfully so! Fenugreek sometimes produces a maple syrup smell in sweat, urine, and breast milk. Using over 100 grams daily can cause intestinal distress, nausea, or undesirable skin reactions. Fenugreek should not be considered if mom has a peanut of chickpea allergy, a history of diabetes, hypoglycemia, or asthma. There are possible side effects for the baby as well, though most of the time babies are not affected. Some babies tend to have a maple syrup smell, just like mom. Other infants can get fussy with green loose stools, but this will subside when mom discontinues eating Fenugreek. Moms should consider discontinuing the herb if baby is suffering from any irregular symptoms.

Where to purchase Fenugreek

Fenugreek can be found in various forms and is available in most health stores.
  • Fenugreek seed capsules, tinctures, and teas can be purchases in health food stores or online.
  • Fenugreek tea is the weakest form of the herb.
  • Fenugreek sprouts can by bought in bulk in health stores, or Indian/eastern food stores.
To propagate your own Fenugreek: soak 1-2 teaspoons of seeds in water overnight, rinse in clear water, place the seeds in a sprouter, and place near sunlight—seeds will sprout in about five days.

Alternative uses for Fenugreek

Though Fenugreek is a great source for stimulating milk production, it can be used many other ways as well.
  • Fenugreek seeds can be used for mastitis or engorgement — after the seeds are prepped, place them on a clean, warm cloth around the affected area to help with let-down and sore spots.
  • Fenugreek was traditionally used to treat diabetes, coughs, congestion, bronchitis, fever, high blood pressure, headaches/migraines, diarrhea, anemia, irregular menstrual cycles, and arthritis.
  • There is also research being implemented to see if fenugreek can help with high cholesterol, inflammatory bowel disease, and gastric ulcers.