My first experience with breastfeeding was a shambles. Then baby #2 came along a couple of months early and I was fully expecting the same issues. As he was unable to breath unassisted, among other issues, it was 12 days before he even got a go at the boob so I had to work hard to bring in that milk! Soooooo much pumping, water guzzling, porridge eating – if it was recommended to help breastmilk supply, I was on it!
One supplement I found that had lots of positive reviews was fenugreek. But the small bottle in the local health food store was $40! So I did my own research and decided to make my own at a fraction of the cost. Fenugreek for increasing breastmilk supply doesn’t have an exact prescription. Everything I read said you basically take enough until your sweat starts to smell sweet. Nice. So I knew the dose inside the pills didn’t need to be exact.
I purchased some size 00 capsules from a local organic, wholefoods store (Cornucopia). They were really cheap at 200 capsules for $9.90 (NZD). The whole fenugreek seeds I got from a from another wholefoods store (Bin Inn), just $8.99 (NZD). The Indian store owner asked me if I was making a curry. I laughed and said no, breastmilk. He had no idea there was a link but suggested maybe that’s why most Indian women have plenty of milk. Who knows?
I ground up the fenugreek seeds in the Nutribullet using the milling blade – you know that random other blade that came with it and you’ve never used? It worked perfectly, grinding the seeds to a fine power within seconds.
Then came the tricky part: getting the fenugreek powder in to the capsules. You can buy tools for this purpose but, as I am no pharmacist, it seemed a waste of money so I literally popped the capsule open with my fingers, scooped it though the fenugreek, then popped it closed again. I would recommend wearing thin gloves if you don’t want your hands to smell like fenugreek for a day or two afterwards!
And there you have it! DIY fenugreek pills for increasing breastmilk supply. So simple and so much cheaper than the store bought ones.
I started by taking 2 capsules, 3 times a day. Within 48 hours I noticed an increase in my supply – I was pumping maybe 20% more than I had been. I did notice a distinct change to the smell of my, um, body odour. Not entirely pleasant but at that point I was simply obsessed with making milk so it wasn’t a big issue for me.
If you’re reading this post in the hopes of increasing your supply – I truly hope it works for you. It can be so stressful not having enough milk for your little one. Have you tried any other supplements or “old wives tales”? Have you had an success with them? Let me know in the comments below.