Anyone who has done any amount of research on how to increase your milk supply has stumbled upon fenugreek. There’s a plethora of options to chose from, some pricier than others. I use the Gaia liquid filled capsule because the lady at Whole Foods told me it’s the best for reasons that went in one ear and out the other. It’s one of the more expensive options, of course, costing $18 for 60 capsules. When I was breastfeeding Hooper, I was willing to do just about anything to boost my supply. I cared less if the fenugreek worked or not because it helped me feel like I was being proactive and at the time, that was enough. This time around, I have a hearty stash of frozen breast milk in my freezer. And by hearty, I mean I cannot fit anything else in there and am considering purchasing an additional freezer for the garage or even donating some milk. I digress, back to fenugreek. I bought some fenugreek right before I started my daily pump sessions, around 4 weeks postpartum, to ensure that I’d like what I saw when I began pumping. I’ve used it off and on since then and being that my breastfeeding/pumping schedule is pretty regular, I thought I’d run a little fenugreek experiment.
Here’s the details:
-I took 3 fenugreek capsules after breakfast and another 3 capsules after dinner, for a total of 6 capsules a day.
-I recorded how much I pumped daily over a 12 day period. Results are based solely on my pump sessions for measuring purposes. I pump the same time each day (once immediately after Van’s morning feed and again one hour after that).
-I threw out the high and the low and averaged the remaining 10 days.
-I smelled like maple syrup everyday (common side effect of the fenugreek extract).
…And… dun-dun-dun… drum roll please… The Results:
-Without fenugreek, I averaged 3.8 oz. per pump session.
-With fenugreek, I averaged 4.6 oz. per pump session.
-Fenugreek gave me an added 1.6 oz. a day, based on 2 pump sessions a day.
Onto the larger question: Is it worth it? With 60 capsules in a bottle, taking 6 capsules a day lasts for a 10 day period. It comes out to $1.72/day. What do you think? Is it worth it? Have you tried fenugreek before?

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9 Responses

  • as a whole foods lady, haha, the gaia one is really good because it is an extract in the capsule instead of just the chopped up herb! so it is much stronger than a lot of the other ones out there! that is the brand i always buy if i need an herb.

  • I was not a fan of fenugreek as it messed big time with my digestive system, as did the mothers milk tea. What I found really helpful was this Filipino leaf called mallungay that is usually added in soups. Every time I would eat the stuff I would pump at least an extra 1.5 oz per session, sometimes 2. Things I also found (on accident) that helped my milk supply were clif bars, and eating beef.

  • Huh, interesting. So many things I have no clue about…
    It’s good your supply is so awesome this time though! I remember how worried you were with Hooper.

  • I didn’t use anything when breastfeeding Noah, guess i didn’t really need to produce more milk, actually it was almost the other Way around 🙂
    I’m kinda split when it comes to supplements! In one Way i Think Its great if it makes the mother feel better about herself and the breastfeeding and IF it really works! On the other hand i’m not sure i would trust that the supplements wouldn’t be bad for the baby.

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  • I drank fenugreek tea and took motilium (a gastrointestinal prescription medication that has a side effect of increasing milk supply) to kick start things. Some people don’t feel comfortable taking the drugs, but I had no side-effects and it REALLY got things rolling. I went from pumping 4 oz a day (after nursing) to 10 oz a day (after nursing). Mamas have got to do what is best for them. I was committed to pumping and with motilium I was practically busting with milk so it helped in the early anxious days.

  • I took fenugreek for awhile but found that it made my breath smell like garlic and my daughter rejected my breast so I stopped taking it…

    One tip I have heard is that dill spice works to get milk supply up. Not sure if you have tried that…


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