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Nursing and fenugreek

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Old 03-08-2013, 12:08 AM   #1
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Default Nursing and fenugreek

I have been 'dieting' for four days now and down 4 lbs. I have noticed my milk supply is decreasing. I reduced my calorie intake dramatically to 1105 on monday, then 1285 on tuesday and 1508 wednesday when i noticed the decrease. so thursday i did 2220. So Iam hoping it goes back up as im consuming more calories. I was reading ways to increase milk supply and came across fenugreek. It has many health benefits. for me increased milk supply but it also said WEIGHTLOSS! So of course im all over that. Any one have experience with it or know someone who did? Im gonna run out to the store tomorrow to get some.
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Old 03-08-2013, 12:16 AM   #2
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How old is your baby? If your baby is still exclusively breastfeeding and not eating any solid foods you may need an extra 500 calories a day for nursing. I am currently nursing an 18 month old and I only need an extra 150-200 to keep my milk supply where she needs it.

As far as fenugreek increasing supply, it never worked for me. I tried it with both of my kids when I was trying to increase supply for various reasons with no success. You have to take enough that you actually smell like maple syrup for it to be enough to help. I did that, smelled just like a pancake, but it didn't affect my milk.

I bought some loose leaf "more milk" tea... Maybe from the Bulk Herb Store online? And it did help. I think Earth Mama Angel Baby makes one, too.

What DID help my supply at various times was oatmeal, the real kind not instant, and lots and lots of water. Even now I have to be very conscious of water intake or I can tell the milk just doesn't flow so freely.

Kellymom has a lot of great resources on breastfeeding and weightloss. Dr. Jack Newman (LOVE him!) has a great section on his site for increasing supply. If you do decide to get fenugreek, check Amazon - I ordered some last year and they had the best price, with no tax and free shipping of course.
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Old 03-08-2013, 12:26 AM   #3
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My son is 4 months. He's exclusively breastfed, just this week i started introducing baby cereal into his milk, but no solids yet.
I hate oatmeal, but will try it, and ill try the tea as well... anything to maybe help!
Im currently drinking 1 gallon of water a day.
Im gonna go to walgreens to get the fenugreek, im impatient and dont like waiting lol
thanks for your advice!
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Old 03-19-2013, 02:44 PM   #4
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It is really dangerous to ever go below 1500 cals while nursing, and most experts suggest that most women should actually be consuming around at least 1800 calories to support nursing itself. Some women will even get supply issues if they go below 1800 etc.

I get that losing the baby weight is important, and don't blame you for working on that, but just to produce adequate supply for an exclusively nursing baby most moms need 1800 cals. It's not worth drying up your supply for, IMO.

Fenugreek does encourage my supply, but I want to point out - if you are not eating nearly enough calories, Fenugreek won't save you. Your body needs those crucial calories to support your basic body functions and produce breastmilk for your little one. Something to keep in mind.
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Old 03-19-2013, 03:03 PM   #5
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I know lots of mom who have used fenugreek successfully, but the best thing you can do to increase your supply is to breastfed more frequently (and/or pump) and eat a balanced diet.

Good luck!
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Old 03-19-2013, 05:39 PM   #6
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4 months is also a typical growth spurt for babies (mine is too btw, born Nov 5th) so eating more (1800 minimum recommended for nursing women) is essential. It can also give some women the false impression that they don't have enough milk (as baby is feeding more frequently).
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Old 03-19-2013, 07:12 PM   #7
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I'm a midwife, and I think the info shared by others here is very good. Dr Newman's site is very informative. Fenugreek is safe and useful for some, especially with blessed thistle, but should be used after you have tried the other basic techniques for increasing milk production. Increasing calories is important. You can still lose weight with gentle and increasing exercise and calorie restriction, just not too low!
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Old 03-19-2013, 08:37 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sacha View Post
4 months is also a typical growth spurt for babies (mine is too btw, born Nov 5th) so eating more (1800 minimum recommended for nursing women) is essential. It can also give some women the false impression that they don't have enough milk (as baby is feeding more frequently).
my son was born november 6th.
ive been taking the fenugreek and its working great. im averaging about 1600-1800cals daily with tons of water.
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Old 03-20-2013, 06:50 AM   #9
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Oh wow! So close in age. Congrats! Glad those 1st 4 months are over though Hehe. Are you sure you need to go so low in calories? I'm at 1800 at 132lbs. 4 months is early to wean onto solids - the more you nurse, the more calories you burn. If you decide to hold off weaning onto solids until 6 months, you might get that boost too
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Last edited by sacha : 03-20-2013 at 06:50 AM.
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Old 03-24-2013, 10:23 AM   #10
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Just thought I'd chime in about the tea and calories.

Since my son was born (he's 9 months old now) I've been drinking Traditional Medicinal Mother's Milk Tea daily, and while I'm not sure if the tea is helping my supply it certainly isn't hurting it and it tastes yummy! If anything it helps me to stay hydrated and to make sure I consume enough fluids.

Also to echo others on the calories, I set a limit for myself of 1800 when my son was 3 months old and did see a dip in my supply. I still had enough milk to exclusively nurse, but it was markedly less. As my son eats more solids my caloric needs have decreased, and I've slowly decreased my limit to 1650.

Play around with it and see what works for you, but don't be afraid to start out with a high number (1800-2000). If in doubt, try talking to your doctor or a lactation consultant.
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Old 03-28-2013, 01:44 AM   #11
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thanks for the advice ladies.
im still playing around with my calorie intake and taking the fenugreek have also added blessed thistle. so far so good
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