Fenugreek

My LO is almost 5 weeks & is BF. I'd like to express my milk so that I have 3-4 bottles worth so that my mum can look after him whilst I'm at a wedding on NYE. I have tried expressing & can't seem to get more than about 1.5oz but I need about 4oz per feed. Iv read that fenugreek increases milk supply, would this help me to express more milk? My LO seems happy with the milk directly so I don't necessarily have a low milk supply. Would fenugreek do any harm or is it worth trying?

I have a manual & electric breast pump & I get about the same amount from both.

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  • What time of the day do you try?

  • Yeh was going to say same thing as cheekymonkey..they say in morning after tht 6/7am feed is best time. X

  • I tried in the morning about 10/11am and also in the evening about 9pm. I did get more in the morning but not a huge amount. How long do you wait after a feed before trying?

  • I usually do it at same time at about 7am ish..I usually prop my son up with a pillow then do it then. Or if u wud rather feed then do it u can do it straight away. .I do anyway. Xx

  • For me same as Ceribean, I do 1 night feed, a breakfast feed anywhere between 7-9am then I would express from the one that did the night feed as has had a good few hours to replenish. I would not attempt it later in the day myself as I know I would not have any spare.

    The body works on supply and demand and is very clever at working out what's needed. You might need to just persevere every morning and over time hopefully it will increase. I can usually pump comfortably about 100-120ml but it takes time & I'll often reposition the suction cup if the flow slows. I'm not as skilful as Ceribean to do at the same time and in all honest it squeaks so much it was putting my son off when I tried. :-)

    I go to a local BF support Baby cafe and its great for getting advice and chatting to other mums. They have breast feeding councillors there. I go once a week, I definitely recommend going along, you can get info from your HV.

    Also Ceribean and my boy are both 12 weeks so our BF ritual/regime is well established now.....and you sound like your doing brilliantly.

    As for Fenugreek....I have no idea....sorry. X

  • I'd echo pumping first thing in the morning and if you can pump on one side while you feed on the other. In time you will get more.

    Alternatively the baby could be bought to you when it needs feeding-saving you all this hassle with pumping?

  • I have been using fenugreek to boost supply and found it very effective. I started on 2 caps 3x a day but reduced as got engorged. It does make your wee smell like maple syrup (!) and can cause diarrhoea, although i haven't had that.

    I'd be really cautious of using it for this purpose though as you could give yourself oversupply and cause mastitis or cause an imbalance of fore/hind milk for your baby. I think a better bet would be to improve your expressing routine. I express directly after night and morning feeds and in evening after baby gone to bed if possible.

    some people never find expressing that effective so don't worry if you dont get as much as you expect or other people get. Try little and often to make sure you are emptying breasts and it will increase gradually as other people say. You have plenty of time until ny so can build good stocks by combining small batches.

    Good luck!

  • Thanks everyone! :-)

  • Also u can freeze milk in sterilised freezer bags so if u still have no joy keep freezing the amounts and then they are all ready and I'm sure there will be enough if u start freezing now.. think u can freeze it fur 3 months not sure thou x

  • I BF my baby but he is still hungry so I have to top up with formula. The breast feeding support worker recommended fenugreek as a breast milk booster. I had 3 a day for 10 days.. I am not sure how much fenugreek helped but it didn't hurt. I also have manual pump (didn't work for me) and electric pump, which is great. I now have more breast milk but still not enough for all feeds :)

  • Thanks for everyone's comments. I was just wondering if it's ok to combine milk together if it's been taken on different days, I'm sure my HV said you can't mix them together but I can't remember the reason why. Or is that another "well you shouldn't do that" but actually lots of people do??!

  • Everything i have read says you can combine - just take the date of the earliest milk for calculations. And ideally don't add warm milk to cold as you will warm the cold up again which can help germs grow

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