Nature’s secret weapon for breastfeeding mums
This powerhouse herb is loaded with nutrients and should be in every breastfeeding mum’s arsenal.
It might have an unusual name, but there’s nothing odd about the many benefits fenugreek brings.
It comes loaded with nutrients including protein, magnesium, manganese, iron and vitamin B6.
And there’s one extra benefit that might surprise you – fenugreek can also help support milk production in breastfeeding mums.
What is fenugreek?
Native to Asia and the Mediterranean, fenugreek has been used for centuries for health and wellbeing.
It’s even mentioned in detail in Egyptian papyrus writings as far back as 1500 BC.
Today, the seeds are made into capsules, powders, teas, liquid extracts and as dressings for the skin.
Fenugreek seeds have a strong maple taste – so much so that the spice is sometimes used to flavour imitation maple syrup.
The importance of breast milk
As a baby’s first food, breast milk is packed with macro and micro-nutrients as well as vitamins, hormones, and anti-infective and anti-inflammatory factors.
The World Health Organisation recommends women exclusively breastfeed their babies for the first six months if possible.
One of reasons women may stop breastfeeding is poor milk supply – and that’s where fenugreek can come in.
How fenugreek helps increase milk supply
The superstar herb is the most popular galactagogue used in traditional Western herbal medicine to help increase milk production in new mums.
A survey of 124 lactation consultants published in Breastfeeding Medicine found fenugreek was the most commonly recommended folk remedy to help increase breastmilk.
One study in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine found the volume of pumped milk from mums who consumed fenugreek tea doubled, compared with mums who didn’t.
Another study by IPB University found that mums taking 600mg capsules of fenugreek seeds three times daily for a month increased breast milk production by 20 per cent.
It’s thought the herb increases the production of breast milk by stimulating sweat production. (Mammary glands are sweat glands modified by hormones.)
How to increase your fenugreek intake
Fenugreek comes in a few different forms, including tea and powder or seeds that can be mixed with a little water or juice.
Mums and mums-to-be can also use supplements to help up their fenugreek intake.
Swisse Ultinatal Breastfeeding Support formula is tailored to increase breastmilk production with fenugreek, as traditionally used in Western Herbal Medicine, and to provide nutritional support for mum and bub during the breastfeeding cycle.
It also contains B vitamins to support energy production and reduce tiredness during the demanding, sleep-deprived stage of early motherhood.
This post is brought to you by Swisse Ultinatal Breastfeeding Support.
Always read the label. If symptoms persist, talk to your health professional. Supplements may only be of assistance if dietary intake is inadequate. Follow the directions for use. Fenugreek is traditionally used in Western herbal medicine to help increase breastmilk production.