Exclusively feeding breast milk for the new-born babies is an excellent option at least for the initial six months. The breast milk comprises of all the required nutrients that are required by the baby and it even helps to build the immunity of the baby. This is important for healthy growth and development. The breast milk has antibodies in it that make the baby’s strong enough to fight with infections. However, it is ironical that all mothers who give birth to the babies do not always have enough supply of milk for feeding the new-born baby, one of the foods is fenugreek.
Let us see how safe it is to have fenugreek while breastfeeding, if consumption of fenugreek really helps in increasing milk supply, how consumption of fenugreek improves the supply of milk, the side-effects of fenugreek for the lactating mother and the baby, the amount of fenugreek that should be taken during breastfeeding, the proper ways to consume fenugreek for effective results.
Can You Have Fenugreek When Breastfeeding?
It is safe to have fenugreek in seeds form or as fenugreek leaves once the new mom starts breastfeeding. Fenugreek seeds are however considered to have more capacity to increase the breast milk supply than the fenugreek leaves. The fenugreek seeds cannot be taken just like that, so the mother should be given capsules, tablets, tea or fenugreek powder. You can definitely use the advantages of this herb if:
You Are Not Asthmatic: It is better to stay away from this herb if you have asthma as this herb can aggravate asthmatic symptoms.
You Have No Gestational Diabetes: Having fenugreek are found significantly lower the blood glucose level of some woman with diabetes.
Does Fenugreek Help Increase Milk Supply?
Research has indicated that the consumption of fenugreek seeds in any form is known to be effective for boosting the milk supply for breastfeeding mothers. A direct link has been seen between the consumption of fenugreek seeds and better nursing. There have been instances where consumption of fenugreek seeds has been so effectual that it has led to the baby’s weight gain in a few weeks, due to the boost in milk production. Fenugreek can be taken in powdered form, prepared in tea or water, capsules, tablets, etc, all seem to work well as far as increasing breast milk production is considered.
How Does Fenugreek Improve Breast Milk Supply?
From the above, the consumption of fenugreek is effective for boosting breast milk production. This is owing to the fact that this herb has a compound called phytoestrogen which has a drastic resemblance to the female hormone estrogen. This compound present in the seeds has the same effect as estrogen that boosts the production of breast milk. It is believed that this herb stimulates the glands that produce the milk. Anyway, it is evidently proved that fenugreek boosts the quantity of breast milk within 24 to 72 hours after ingesting it the first time.
Are There Any Side Effects Of Fenugreek On A Breastfeeding Mother?
Fenugreek no doubt is an ideal choice to be given to the lactating mothers. This is known to boost milk production as well, but it has its side effects as well which are not too acute but medium ones. Some of the side-effects are given below:
- The different smell of urine
- The sweet smell of sweat
- The breast milk also has a strange smell and that gets noticed once milk is expressed.
- Excess dosage of fenugreek can even lead to lower levels of blood sugar.
- Few people also have allergies, especially the ones who are allergic to peanuts, soya bean, etc.
- Large consumption of fenugreek seeds at times can lead to excess milk production as well.
The side effects disappear in a few hours of consuming fenugreek. These effects are most common in the women who show sensitivity to fenugreek or take it in excess.
Can Fenugreek Have Side Effects On The Breastfeeding Baby?
Fenugreek is shown to have side-effects for the lactating mother and the mother’s consumption of food also affects the baby so does the side effects. The mother-baby duo undergoes similar side-effects and some symptoms and indicators to watch out for side-effects are given as under:
- Cramps in the abdomen area
- Difficulty in breathing
- Chest Congestion
- Swelling of neck muscles
Excessive consumption of fenugreek can result in the above side-effects. The side-effects start disappearing as the baby’s tolerance level increases. Another thing that should be remembered is that in case the baby shows allergic signs the fenugreek consumption should be stopped instantly.
How Much Fenugreek Is Safe During Lactation?
The consumption of fenugreek works wonders to boost milk production, but one needs to know the right dosage that is safe to be consumed during breastfeeding. There is as such no set limits but as per lactation specialists, the breastfeeding lady should have an intake of 4.9g daily from any form of fenugreek consumption. Few reports also advise taking about 6-8 grams for enhancing the production of milk but with no harmful reactions towards the baby.
What Are The Ways Of Having Fenugreek While Breast Feeding?
Fenugreek, the ideal choice to be given for women who are having problems with lactation can be consumed in varied forms. Let us now have a look at some of the ways in which one can have a proper consumption of fenugreek, and they are as below:
- The fenugreek powder that is prepared from dried seeds that are powdered. It is also a special element that can be brewed with water or other food products like lactation tablets or cookies.
- The fenugreek tea, which is made with powdered fenugreek seeds in water, mixed with other herbs can be taken as well.
- The capsules prepared from fenugreek powder are another good option that is also referred to as fenugreek supplements.
- The fenugreek supplements come in varied sizes and dosages.
- The dosages of the fenugreek supplements need to be consulted with lactation experts as all the women can have a different requirement.
Thus, it does not matter which form is the fenugreek seed consumed, it is always advisable to follow the right dosage as excess consumption can have harmful effects for the mother as well as the baby. The consumption of fenugreek seeds should always be followed strictly as advised by the lactation experts as all that mothers eat or undergo is also faced by the baby, so no risks should be taken in this regard.