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Using Fenugreek to Assist in Breastfeeding

Itís not uncommon for women to have problems producing enough milk for their babies. This can happen for a number of reasons. The baby could have a healthy appetite, the mother could be dehydrated or the mother may simply have trouble producing milk. In most cases, not having enough milk occurs among mothers that are just having their first child at an older age.

Thankfully, there are several things you can do to increase your milk supply. Drinking more water will certainly help, especially if youíve been feeling dehydrated. You can also try heat packs and massaging the breasts to stimulate milk production. But when all else fails, you have another option Ė fenugreek.

Fenugreek is a natural herb thatís been used for centuries to help women lactate. You can purchase it in capsule form from any herbal retailer or natural foods store or you may also be able to purchase the herb in its raw form from an herb shop. With the fresh herbs, you can learn to make teas from it for quicker and more thorough absorption.

The typical dosage of fenugreek is one to three capsules, three times per day. The herb works by stimulating glands, particularly those that produce sweat. Since mammary glands are similar to sweat glands, it stimulates these as well, helping you to produce more milk.

However, there are some side effects to fenugreek that you should be aware of. One side effect can be embarrassing, but isnít really harmful. Your body may produce sweat and urine that smells like maple or curry. You may also notice your urine changes color, and youíll produce more sweat because those glands are being stimulated. Make sure you drink plenty of fluids to counteract this side effect or you may become dehydrated.

You should also be aware that fenugreek interacts with other medications to produce severe effects that could be life threatening. If youíre diabetic, you shouldnít use fenugreek as it can lower your blood sugar to dangerous levels when combined with medications that lower blood sugar. There may be other medicinal drug interactions as well, so talk to your doctor about possible complications if youíre on any medications.

In addition, some people are allergic to fenugreek. If you notice any allergic symptoms, such as difficulty breathing, hives or swelling you should discontinue use immediately and seek medical help. You should also be aware of any of these symptoms, as well as increased fussiness or other effects, in your baby, as the fenugreek is passed from you to him through the milk.

In general, you should check with your doctor before starting to use fenugreek or any other supplement to help you produce more milk. Check also with your pediatrician and consult with a lactation consultant Ė you may be able to come up with another solution thatís healthier for you and your baby. Remember, not only do you have to consider the side effects for yourself, but also for your baby Ė everything you ingest will also be ingested by your baby through your milk.

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