Inadequate milk supply? Try fenugreek

One of the frequent problems I encounter in everyday practice is that new moms don’t always produce enough breast milk. This is usually problematic, especially in the first few days when breastfeeding needs to be established. The mother is exhausted and in pain, and baby won’t stop crying because she is hungry. Sounds like a recipe for disaster, doesn’t it!

Fortunately, there is a solution that has been around for centuries. It is a little natural herb that can be safely taken by breastfeeding mothers. Fenugreek is a known supplement in many parts of the world, and there is clinical evidence and science to back it up.(link : http://online.liebertpub.com/doi/abs/10.1089/acm.2010.0090 )

Fenugreek is what is known as a galactogague herb. That means it helps increase breast milk production. It mimics the estrogen precursor. In the United States, it is available as capsules or tea. You can also find the natural seed in some ethnic food stores.

Where I grew up, it is served to new moms as a pudding. I ate a ton of it during the first few days after I had my daughter. I recommend it to all the new moms in my practice, and they rave about it.

If you want to try it, scroll down for the recipe of Fenugreek Pudding (Madidat Hilba – مديده حلبه). This is by far the tastiest way to enjoy it in my opinion!

Be warned however, fenugreek has a musty / maple syrup odor to it, and it is excreted in sweat. Once you achieve adequate levels, you will smell a little musty! But have no fear, that goes away in a few days.

Fenugreek is known to lower blood sugar. Please make sure to talk to your doctor before you try any new supplements or medications.

Have you tried fenugreek? What is your experience with it?

Fenugreek Pudding Recipe:

Ingredients:

2 cans evaporated milk .

4 tbsp sugar (you can vary this according to taste) – I have a sweet tooth!

1/4 cup Fenugreek seeds.

1 Tbsp corn starch

1 Tbsp flour

1/4 cup cold milk

In a medium sauce pan, pour the 2 cans of evaporated milk , fenugreek and sugar and bring to a boil. While that is going, in a bowl dissolve the the flour and cornstarch in cold milk. Once the ingredients in the saucepan are starting to simmer, turn down the heat to medium low, then add the cold milk/flour/starch mix to the pan and keep mixing constantly with a whisk. You want to mix it frequently so it doesn’t clump. It should develop the thick pudding consistency. You may need to add more milk/starch/flour to the mix if you are not getting it to be thick enough. This should take about 10-20 minutes. Once you are happy with the consistency, pour your yummy pudding in bowls and let it cool.

Enjoy!