Thursday, 30 October 2014

Fenugreek tea - one way to help with your milk supply

I know I said I'd post this ages ago, but... well, just new baby really.

As I mentioned previously because of a premature birth, emergency caesarean section and being separated from Harry directly after the birth, it took ages for my milk to come in. Distressingly so. Harry was fed by naso-gastric tube during this time, and I felt like a total failure. Breastfeeding was so important to me and it felt at the time like another thing in the list of things I couldn't do right. I can see now that it was ridiculous getting so upset about something that was outside of my control, but - well, hormones.

When my milk did come in (8 days after Harry was born) I needed to increase my supply and once we came home from the hospital I started attending our local breastfeeding support group. Staffed by two amazing midwives and a Breastfeeding counsellor they were awesome. Extolled the virtues of box sets and cake, have a nursing holiday - go to bed, take the baby with you, have lots of skin to skin time and feed feed feed. Hence the box sets and cake.

The recipe for this Fenugreek tea was given to me by the midwives at the Breastfeeding support group. I've changed it a little to make it less startling taste wise. I would also recommend diluting it, by measuring out half a cup into a strong fruit juice. You can also dilute your tea into a mug of hot water, but the flavour is still too strong for me. You see, I fundamentally dislike fenugreek.

The effect of fenugreek on breastmilk is purely anecdotal, however - I have seen results as have other women at our support group. To my eyes, if you're worried about your supply why wouldn't you try it?

Fenugreek tea

2 litres of water
1 tablespoon of dill seeds
1/2 tablespoon fenugreek seeds
1 teaspoon of ajwain (I had to order this from Steenbergs as my local Health food shop didn't stock it)

Fill a large pan up with the water, and add the spices
Bring this to the boil and boil rapidly for 5 minutes
Drain the liquid through a seive or fine colander into a jug or jar
Allow to cool

You should drink 1/2 a cup of the tea daily - either diluted or neat (if you're a braver woman than me).

If you can't find the ingredients for the tea - remember that you can get Fenugreek capsules from Holland & Barrett - 2 capsules, three times a day.

My original post on Breastfeeding is here If you didn't see it when I first posted, do give it a look as it gives more of an overview of my breastfeeding story and other things we did to support me.

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