Let’s Find Out – Is Fenugreek Safe for Breastfeeding?
If you are a new mom, who is looking for better ways to produce more milk to nurse your little one. And, especially if you have heard about the benefits of fenugreek during breastfeeding. But are unsure of how it exactly helps, read on to know more.
Fenugreek is a well-known spice used in the various cuisines. Fenugreek can be used as seeds, in the form of powder or just leaves for adding to curries, gravy, dal etc. The spice is known to enhance the flavour and aroma of food also has many health benefits. One such health benefit that we may or may not be well aware of is using Fenugreek to increase breast milk.
A lot of people have claimed that fenugreek has helped them with breastfeeding. While people who are guided by old Indian ayurvedic hacks abide by this ingredient. The new generation is still unsure if fenugreek is ? safe to use or not.
Fenugreek for breastfeeding was used even before the new age researches started proving its effects, so we know for sure that the ingredient does help. Let’s check out this article to learn about the pros & cons as well as the effects of Fenugreek.
How to Take Fenugreek for Breastfeeding?
Fenugreek can be consumed in multiple ways to enhance the production of breast milk in nursing mothers. Some of the easy ways to consume it are,
1) As Sprouts:
Fenugreek can be soaked in water which then leads to it sprouting like other sprouts. You can eat this in the form of a quick salad with some chopped veggies and a dash of lime, an easy fenugreek recipe for breastfeeding or just with some chaat masala (famous Indian spice mix) to enhance its taste.
2) Capsule Form:
If there is an ingredient known and proven to very beneficial, then chances of you finding it in the form of a capsule or a tablet are very high. Similarly, we can find Fenugreek capsules for breastfeeding that are available at drugstores, we can consume it like a normal pill but only on durations suggested by a doctor to stay safe.
3) Fenugreek Seeds:
Now, this may not sound very delectable or appealing but swallowing some fenugreek seeds with a glass of water is the easiest way to consume Fenugreek and help with lactation due to a significant amount of increase in the breastmilk. If you are terrified of this idea, you can stick to fenugreek tablets for breastfeeding.
4) Fenugreek Powder:
Keep some ground seeds of fenugreek powder for breastfeeding. This small jar should be specifically how much fenugreek to take for breastfeeding. Store this in an airtight jar and just use some amount to sprinkle on your food right before you start eating your meal. Don’t add it while preparing the dish as that will lessen its impact on being cooked so always makes sure to consume it raw.
5) A Fenugreek Concoction:
Soak the seeds in water for a few hours or rather overnight. After waking up boil this mixture for a few minutes until the seeds ooze out all their colour in the water, that is when you know the nutrients have also dissolved in the water. Strain it with a strainer and sip on this freshly prepared concoction daily until you start seeing the desired result.
Benefits of Fenugreek (Methi) for Breastfeeding :
While we have managed to learn different simple ways to consume fenugreek. The question that still lurks on our head is what exactly are the benefits of methi for breastfeeding,
A) Increase in Breastmilk Production:
Every woman’s body is unique while some lactate more than enough others can have some problem with the production of breastmilk. Consumption of fenugreek in raw as well as other forms helps in rapidly increasing the production of breastmilk which means your baby will not be too cranky as they are getting their food properly.
B) Helps With Irregular Breastmilk:
There are some instances when a woman produces breastmilk but not as regularly as they should. In such a case, a woman can rely on fenugreek to help with the regular production of breastmilk. Which will keep the baby full and help them grow healthier.
Even though fenugreek is a very good ingredient to help lactating women. There is no such compulsion to use this ingredient. The spice does not have to be consumed if you are producing a good amount of milk, sufficient for the baby. Using it only when required is more suitable for the mother and the baby.
[ See More: benefits of mustard in pregnancy ]
Side Effects of Fenugreek While Breastfeeding:
Just like everything has some benefits, they may also have some consequences. While the consumption of fenugreek has no significant side effects, there surely are some effects.
- Fenugreek is a spice that creates a lot of heat within the body. Thus the passing of stools more often is one of the commonly noticed side effects of fenugreek during breastfeeding. Another side effect that is noticed when people consume a higher amount of fenugreek than suggested is the drop-in blood glucose levels in the body.
- Apart from these, the stools also become loose, other body releases such as urine and sweat start smelling more pungent. There will be intestinal distress that will have a direct impact on your skin in the form of reactions or acne and oily skin.
Methi (Fenugreek) Side Effects for Baby:
While consumption, even though the majority impact of fenugreek during breastfeeding is on the mother’s body, babies too experience some side effects,
- Babies may also experience loose and greenish stool release; the intestinal distress can also make them a bit cranky. But all this will easily wade off in a matter of a few days. Even though the body may feel a little distress. The ample amount of milk for consumption will keep them full and help them sleep better.
Fenugreek is indeed a very good spice/ingredient that can be consumed in multiple ways to enhance your breastmilk. Though the ingredient is very beneficial, it does have a few side effects. So always make sure to use the ingredient in suggested quantities. As well as only during the timeline suggested by the doctor on when to start taking fenugreek for breastfeeding. Eventually using the ingredient is not a compulsion for all mothers; if your baby gets sufficient milk, the deed is done.
Frequently Asked Questions and Answers:
Q1. Do we have to chew or swallow fenugreek during breastfeeding? Is powder better or seeds better?
Ans: Fenugreek can be found at any grocery store; you can find the seed as well as fenugreek in powder form. Fenugreek we find in stores is the refined version of what one can see in the farms. You can use fenugreek in either form. You soak fenugreek overnight, drink the water and swallow the soft seeds without chewing them as they are bitter in taste. Another way to consume fenugreek during breastfeeding is to add fenugreek powder to your food recipes or add a teaspoon to a small glass of water and drink it up.
Q2. When to start taking fenugreek for breastfeeding?
Ans: If you are a breastfeeding mom experiencing a deficit in milk supply, you can start taking fenugreek for breastfeeding as soon as you identify the deficit. Also, you need to wait for at least 24-72 hours to see a difference. In some women, it may take a week to see the difference. Consult a physician if you see any unforeseen symptoms.
Q3. How much fenugreek should I consume in a day to increase breastmilk?
Ans: It is always better to start using small quantities to check if your body does experience any changes or not and then gradually increase the amount. Try with 3.5 grams a day and then gradually increase the amount, make sure not to use it excessively or else there can be significant consequences. If unable to find a perfect quantity, please take the help of a doctor.