Breastfeeding: Can Fenugreek and Mother's Milk Tea help increase your milk supply?

I am still nursing my nine-month-old daughter and I've noticed my milk supply has decreased dramatically. I know it's because she's eating more solids, sleeping through the night and my period has started up. I read that fenugreek and Mother's Milk Tea, two herbal remedies, may increase milk supply. Can I try both of these at the same time or should I just try one?

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Debbi Donovan

Debbi Donovan is a Board Certified Lactation Consultant, as well as a retired La Leche League Leader. For more than a decade, Debbi... Read more

Right, your supply may go down once she's on solids and sleeping better. Here's what you can try:

To help increase your milk supply:

  1. Increase the number of times you breastfeed. Nurse prior to offering her solid foods. If you can swing it, pump some milk during the night (going for long periods without breastfeeding can cause a decrease in milk supply.)
  2. Pump if you miss a regular feed.
  3. Get enough rest and relaxation. (Eh, hard to do with a 9-month-old, we know!)

These herbs do seem to help, but if you go this route, don’\'t use them together (the tea has fenugreek in it). Mother's Milk Tea is a commercially-prepared tea made from these herbs: fennel seeds, coriander seeds, spearmint, lemongrass, borage leaves, blessed thistle leaves, althea root, lemon verbena, and fenugreek seeds. In general, a well-known brand of tea is not likely to produce negative side-effects unless taken in large quantities (over four cups a day), but always check with your doctor before drinking it.

A few things to keep in mind when using herbs:

  • Herbs with pharmacological action should be used with caution (as you would any drug.) If you or your baby develop any side-effects, stop using the product.
  • Potency can be dramatically affected by the way an herbal tea is prepared (short or long brewing period), so read the labels carefully.
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