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How is Fenugreek Useful in Postnatal Care?

If all spices were one big happy family, fenugreek would be that bitter aunt who would surprisingly have all the solutions to your problems. Well, all jokes apart, fenugreek, popularly known as methi, may be bitter to taste, making it your least favourite spice, but it is immensely beneficial for your overall health and wellbeing. And one of its winning features is that its seeds are also an effective herbal galactagogue or the means to help improve milk supply in lactating women. You didn’t know that? Well, worry not. If you’re pregnant or a lactating mother and want to know how to nourish and support the baby's overall growth and development, you’ve come to the right place. In this blog, we shall discuss at length, fenugreek’s role in postnatal care and the best supplement by Wellbeing Nutrition to opt for, for postnatal women.

What Is Fenugreek?

Scientifically known as Trigonella foenum-graecum, fenugreek is a herb that grows not more than 2-3 feet in height. This herb/spice has a bitter after-taste and is used extensively in curries. Having said that, it is generally recognized as safe as a flavoring agent by the US Food and Drug Administration (US FDA). The fenugreek plant has small, white flowers and leaves, which we call methi leaves, used to make different delicacies like thepla, dal, sabzi, and the like. Fenugreek leaves and seeds contain vitamins B, C, and E alongside zinc and biotin, nutrients that have the potential to curtail postpartum hair loss. However, it’s the tiny golden methi seeds in particular that we are interested in and shall look at their efficacy in supporting breastfeeding women.

How Does Fenugreek Support Post-Natal Women?

Yes, as mentioned above fenugreek provides amazing post-pregnancy benefits. However, before we delve into it much deeper, let’s quickly brush through its health benefits. Fenugreek is an excellent immunity booster that helps to protect the body against various infections and diseases. It also helps reduce cholesterol levels and improve cardiovascular health.

Additionally, it’s rich in antioxidants, flavonoids, and vitamins which are beneficial for lactating mothers. Studies are underway for researchers to deduce how fenugreek works in producing milk, but researchers believe it’s something to do with it containing phytoestrogens, which are plant chemicals similar to estrogen. It helps stimulate the breast milk ducts to grow.

Additionally, fenugreek contains a compound called diosgenin, which enhances milk flow in lactating women. It is also known to increase oxytocin secretion which promotes breast milk production. Perhaps that’s why mothers who have problems producing milk to nourish their babies are recommended to consume fenugreek in order to enhance their milk supply. Apart from stimulating milk production in lactating mothers, it also enhances the mother’s milk quality by being rich sources of vitamin A, B, C, D, calcium, and iron to the milk.

There’s plenty of anecdotal evidence that proves fenugreek is the go-to solution for all things related to postnatal. Women have been consuming fenugreek seeds since ages to help induce contractions and relieve pain during labour. Women in prolonged labour are often recommended to consume fenugreek seeds to hasten the labour process. Additionally, women with gestational diabetes are advised to consume soaked fenugreek seeds, which aid in stabilizing blood sugar levels. However, given that these seeds can induce contractions, it's best to consult a doctor or naturopath for the same to avoid any unwanted complications.

Speaking about fenugreek seeds as a galactagogue, a 2018 study published in the Phytotherapy Research Journal demonstrated that when 122 mothers were administered fenugreek, there was a significant increase in the milk they produced. Another 2018 study published in the Breastfeeding Journal, divided a group of 50 women into half, with 25 women taking a super mix of fenugreek ginger and turmeric, and the other 25 women who took placebo. The study concluded that those who took the super-mix experienced a 49 percent increase in milk volume just after two weeks and then a 103 percent increase in the fourth week. While the super mix was a combination of ginger, turmeric, and fenugreek and not of fenugreek alone, it is still noteworthy and showcases the efficacy of fenugreek as a galactagogue.

Wellbeing Nutrition’s Slow Post-Natal: The Best Postnatal Vitamins

Wellbeing Nutrition - Post-Natal capsules are scientifically-developed delayed-release multivitamins for lactating women that are designed to nurture and protect. These capsules combine the most powerful nutriscience with fast absorbing fenugreek oil & slow release plant-based multivitamin beadlets with B-complex, iron, and vitamin D- all necessary for providing lactation support and a stronger immunity for both mother and infant. The delayed-release technology is designed to release over 8 hours, in the less sensitive areas of your gut to ensure maximum bioavailability and absorption.

Around 92% of women experience physical, emotional & psychological postpartum stress, affecting the flow of breast milk. Slow Post-Natal is a complete postnatal formula for lactating mothers to help them meet the increased nutritional demands for nearly 6 months postpartum and throughout the lactation phase. These capsules contain 100% RDA of Iron, B-complex, and Vitamin D to aid in energy production, and postpartum recovery for the mother. They provide quality nutrition for the breastfed infant as well. The fast acting oil extracted from Fenugreek helps increase milk supply in lactating mothers as it contains a precursor of the hormone oxytocin, stimulating milk production.

Fenugreek, one of the most popular herbs to enhance healthy breast milk volume. It's also a digestive aid that helps support a healthy gut and induces gastrointestinal comfort, improving lactating mothers' appetite. The vitamin B complex used in the capsule helps provide energy to the mothers and ensures proper development of the baby’s brain and nervous system. It also helps reduce the risk of mood swings among postpartum women. Meanwhile, folic acid, vitamin B12, and iron influence critical functions such as DNA regulation and haemoglobin synthesis, which are vital for the good health and immunity of both the mother and child. These capsules also contain vitamin A, which is vital for their visual health, immune function, as well as their growth, and development.

All of these reasons contribute to making Slow PostNatal supplements the best postnatal vitamins out there!

References:

Khan TM, Wu DB, Dolzhenko AV. Effectiveness of fenugreek as a galactagogue: A network meta-analysis. Phytother Res. 2018 Mar;32(3):402-412. doi: 10.1002/ptr.5972. Epub 2017 Nov 30. PMID: 29193352. (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29193352/)

Bumrungpert A, Somboonpanyakul P, Pavadhgul P, Thaninthranon S. Effects of Fenugreek, Ginger, and Turmeric Supplementation on Human Milk Volume and Nutrient Content in Breastfeeding Mothers: A Randomized Double-Blind Controlled Trial. Breastfeed Med. 2018 Nov 9. doi: 10.1089/bfm.2018.0159. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 30411974. (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30411974/)

Drugs and Lactation Database (LactMed) [Internet]. Bethesda (MD): National Library of Medicine (US); 2006-. Fenugreek. [Updated 2021 Aug 16]. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK501779/

Parrish, Britain MD; Brand, Garth MD Is fenugreek effective at increasing breast milk production?, Evidence-Based Practice: November 2021 - Volume 24 - Issue 11 - p 49 doi: 10.1097/EBP.0000000000001309. (https://bit.ly/3Q2qpL7)

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