Can anyone who understands the role of estrogen in milk supply explain it to me? I have a 7 week old and supplementing with donor milk. After doing a LOT of research, I'm confused... On the one hand, I've read that estrogen (in excess) limits your milk suppy - which is why people with estrogen dominance may have problems, as can women taking estrogen-based contraceptives. On the other hand, half of the stuff I'm taking for low supply seems to contain phytoestrogens! Alfalfa is estrogenic, as is Fenugreek I believe, and a handful of the other herbs commonly recommended. (So are some other greens I believe, which many report increase supply...)
If phytoestrogens are what we want to increase supply, then should I go straight to the strongest one I know - soy? And if they harm supply, why am I eating all this alfalfa??
I don't really understand the role of estrogen, but I was under the impression that nursing mamas had very low levels of it. I had hormone testing done for infertility while still I was still nursing and my estrogen levels doubled after weaning. I was under the impression that a lot of the supplements, etc that increase supply do so by increasing prolactin levels. I am vegetarian and I never noticed soy to have an effect on my supply.
I hope someone with more knowledge than me jumps in. :-)
Mama to my veggie girl (1/09) and my sweet rainbow baby (9/12).
I don't recommend soy... unless it's organic. It also contains something we cant' digest... but I can't remember what it was!
Plus, I don't think soy is a galactagogue. Alfalfa is.
You should join this group. The low-milk-supply and LC ladies there are knowledgeable.
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