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galactagogues and pregnancy

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
on another thread someone mentioned that Fengureek is not to be taken during pregnancy but you can take other galactagogues (Blessed Thistle, Marshellow, etc ). why is that?

the only thing i've come arcoss was on the MDC board:


One of the reason many galactagogues are contraindicated in pregnancy is because they promote the production of Oxytocin, which can trigger contractions. However, there are very few Oxytocin receptors in the uterus early in pregnancy. They increase over time. In principle, Oxytocin should not trigger labor until you are ready because there aren't enough Oxytocin receptors.

If you have a history of early or "short" delivery you may want to avoid anything that may increase the production of Oxytocin. Kellymom will let you know how many contractions in how short a period of time may be of concern. BTW, this is another good reason to drink a lot of water. For some reason dehydration may make you more prone to BH contractions.

Nursing itself helps produce Oxytocin so some doctors recommend against nursing during pregnancy.

since nursing does produce oxytocin (and you can nurse throughout your entire pregnancy) then why is it concern if a galactagogue produces oxytocin?

i also found this from Dr Jay Gordons website


Sometimes a mom finds herself needing to maintain a supply in order to nurse through a pregnancy. In some cases mom finds that the supply and demand system works out nicely and they have no problems nursing right through pregnancy. In other cases mom finds she needs a little help. There are mild galactagogues that are safe to take in pregnancy. These herbs can also be used in combination of two or three.

Nettle up to 2 capsules 3 times a day
Blessed Thistle up to 3 capsules 3 times a day
Dill up to 2 ml tincture 3 times a day
Marshmallow up to 4 capsules 3 times a day

DO NOT take fenugreek, fennel, or alfalfa while pregnant.

this website says Fenugreek is a uterine stimulant. that's the first time i've heard Fenugreek having that effect.

any thoughts? anyone use any galactagogues during pregnancy and experience "uterine stimulant"?
post #2 of 3
I think that the things that you listed are safe. Nettle, in particular, is something that I recommend for the whole pregnancy.

I work with a number of women who are from the Middle East (specifically Egypt and Lebanon and Palestine) who drink fenugreek tea with honey as a sort of pregnancy tonic. It is supposed to have a number of health benefits. None of them have had trouble with early contractions, but I would guess that the dose is lower than the one used for increasing milk supply.

Good luck!
post #3 of 3
I did a lot of research on fenugreek in pregnancy when I unexpectedly fell pregnant and my DD was only 12mo, not really eating much in the way of food yet. The fenugreek warnings I found were based on 1 kind of suspect study. I ended up choosing to continue on fenugreek tincture throughout my first 20weeks. Unfortunately, I think that the hormones of pregnancy are so powerful that there is not much you can do to really sustain your supply if it's on the way down. Eventually I discontinued taking the fenugreek because my milk was just gone anyway. I actually had LESS cramping in this pregnancy than I did with my previous pregnancies. I also took nettles and blessed thistle. I guess my advice would be to listen to your body.
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