Fenugreek? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 9 Old 04-13-2012, 09:01 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hello,

 

My wife has been pumping for a couple months now and her supply is decreasing. Our daughter feeds from the breasts as often as possible. I've researched fenugreek and found no "serious" side effects......I'm wondering if anyone out there has experience with fenugreek and any precautions we should take.

 

It's to the point where I'm going to have to buy formula soon.......not looking forward to that.

 

Any other suggestions are welcome.

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#2 of 9 Old 04-13-2012, 12:35 PM
 
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When you say that she is breastfeeding as often as possible, how often is that?  How much pumped milk does she get on a daily basis?

 

How old is baby, and how has her weight gain been?

 

Has your wife seen an IBCLC (board-certified lactation consultant)?


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#3 of 9 Old 04-13-2012, 08:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Our daughter is 4mo, she is bottle fed from 7am to 4pm (weekdays), her weight gain is excellent (16+ lbs), and we haven't asked a lactation specialist about fenugreek. We have spoken with lactation specialists in the past and they only say to pump as much as possible and to have her nurse as much as possible......unfortunately supply is still decreasing.

 

I should contact the lactation specialist, but typing doesn't wake my lo during naps.

 

Have you had any experience with fenugreek?, it was mentioned to us by a la leche member.

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#4 of 9 Old 04-13-2012, 08:56 PM
 
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I used fenugrek and oatmeal to increase my supply and it worked well for me. Also make sure your wife gets enough water tons of water. Fenugrek was recommended by the pediatric doc. Good luck and welcome.

SAHM to Chloe«- 6/2008 (10 lbs, 5 oz), Hannah- 9/2010 (9 lbs, 12 oz), Liam- 2/2013 (9 lbs, 6 oz)

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#5 of 9 Old 04-14-2012, 05:00 AM
 
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I was on fenugreek for a few months when I felt my supply had decreased (my son was 18 months). It was effective, I dosed according to bottle directions. Then I ceased taking it as I no longer needed it.

It does have the ability to change glucose levels. Also I experienced gas from it and babies sometimes experience gas and change of bowel movements. I wonder if that is also related to dosage though, and bowel tolerance. If that does occur a decrease in dosage may be an option.

One thought, pertaining to supply, does your wife share the bed with baby? Night feeds are helpful with increasing supply. Prolactin levels peak 1-5am and so does milk supply, so the more consumed during this time, the stronger the signal to produce more milk (supply and demand).

Okay, one more thought, 'baby wearing' is also helpful with increasing supply. Having baby in a sling, thus in close proximity to the breast, encourages suckling. The motion is also frequently helpful in encouraging baby to latch on.

Good luck I hope that your wife experiences an increase. FWIW, my supply evened out at about 4 months, the breasts were no longer engorged but still produced a good milk supply.

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#6 of 9 Old 04-14-2012, 07:19 PM
 
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There are very few precautions with the fenugreek (refer to http://kellymom.com/bf/can-i-breastfeed/herbs/fenugreek/).  Fenugreek did not work for me when I found my supply was low.  I tried various forms with minimal change in supply.  I was also pumping regularly and "power pumping" (e.g. every ten minutes for an hour) a few times daily with minimal change.  Stress was a huge factor in my situation as I had previously nursed two babies/toddlers with too much milk as the problem.  When I worked with #1 and #2, I pumped frequently, if this is possible during the 7-4 time period.  My milk supply did drop during that time, but evening and weekend feeds helped pick it back up.  With my current baby/low-supply baby, I ended up taking domperidone.  It dramatically, successfully improved my supply and I was able to quickly back down from a high dose (90mg) to a low dose (20mg).  I have not stopped taking it completely but was grateful to find it, as we, too, were looking at formula and not thrilled about that.  Best of luck; your interest and encouragement is surely a help to your wife!

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#7 of 9 Old 04-14-2012, 11:06 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrMom1 View Post

Our daughter is 4mo, she is bottle fed from 7am to 4pm (weekdays), her weight gain is excellent (16+ lbs), and we haven't asked a lactation specialist about fenugreek. We have spoken with lactation specialists in the past and they only say to pump as much as possible and to have her nurse as much as possible......unfortunately supply is still decreasing.

 

I should contact the lactation specialist, but typing doesn't wake my lo during naps.

 

Have you had any experience with fenugreek?, it was mentioned to us by a la leche member.



What kind of pump is your wife using?  Many pumps need regular maintenance after 3 months, including replacing the white membranes on the flanges.  


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#8 of 9 Old 04-16-2012, 05:00 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Medela pump......we'll look into replacing the membrane. 

 

If that doesn't work we'll give fenugreek a shot, she drinks LOTS of water and co-sleeps so that's not the issue. I had read that gas is one of the side effects so that will be fun :).......thanks for the help everyone.

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#9 of 9 Old 04-20-2012, 09:39 AM
 
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I used fenugreek when I went back to work and it did increase my supply by about 2 ounces every 4 hours...  It does make your milk  and the babies stool smell like maple syrup.

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