Most of the time, baby is unaffected by mom's use of fenugreek (except that more milk is usually available). Sometimes baby will smell like maple syrup, too (just like mom). However, some moms have noticed that baby is fussy and/or has green, watery stools when mom is taking fenugreek and the symptoms go away when mom discontinues the fenugreek.
Fenugreek can cause GI symptoms in mom (upset stomach, diarrhea), so it's possible for it to cause GI symptoms in baby too. Also anyone can have an allergic reaction to any herb, and fenugreek allergy, though rare, has been documented.
Another reason for these types of symptoms --and perhaps more likely than a reaction to the herb-- may be that mom's supply has increased due to the fenugreek and the symptoms are those of oversupply, where baby is getting too much foremilk. Fussiness, gas and green watery stools are classic symptoms of an overabundant milk supply."
Saturday, May 21, 2011
Eff You Fenugreek!
Okay... so... I picked up some fenugreek last weekend. Why? Well, my daughter only gained 2 oz from her 4 month to 6 month appointment would be reason number 1. Number 2 is that I am tandem nursing her and Chicken Little, so I wondered if increasing my supply would get her more of the good stuff as I felt bad about limiting him. And Number 3 is I wanted to continue pumping milk for donation. I know that nursing is a supply/demand situation, so my children and pumping once a day should have my body make enough milk... but I couldn't help but wonder if a little herbal assistance would do us some good. Did I think I had a supply issue? No. Everyone seemed happy and healthy, and I just about always got 3-4 oz out of a pumping session. But, I figured it couldn't hurt to try some fenugreek.
Sunday I picked up a liquid form of fenugreek. Instructions say to use 2-5 drops in some water and drink it. Saying to myself "It's just a couple drops" I immediately went to the max 5 drop dosage and did this Sunday through Tuesday.
Sunday through Tuesday both of my children, who are normally fantastic sleepers (we're talking angels of awesome here) were up every 1-2 hours. I was quickly losing my sanity. I didn't know what my toddlers problem was, but I assumed that my baby was teething (because aren't they always teething???) My baby was also going on some nursing strikes. She'd nurse for 1-2 minutes and just arch back screaming and upset. I was getting frantic because her eating habits are already first and foremost on my mind as I have been trying to fatten her up. She was also refusing to sleep on her tummy, to which she normally insists on sleeping that way. So, I was totally confused and messed up.
Wednesday and Thursday I was so tired and out of it that I forgot to take my fenugreek. Guess what... the children slept AWESOME. Not having made the connection yet I took fenugreek on Friday. Then it all clicked. Could the fenugreek be upsetting my children somehow?? Well, Friday night SUCKED... so I'm gonna have to say yes! I'm wondering if a smaller dose would be okay? Whodda thunk that a couple drops of liquid could cause so much trouble! Now, I'm thinking this is all because I don't really have a supply issue... so maybe someone who really does need fenugreek these issues don't show up. But then again I'm just taking a stab in the dark. BUT, I had no clue this was even a possibility and upon asking around I'm not the only mom to have this experience.
So, lesson is... don't mess with a good thing. My daughter looks healthy and happy... and is having plenty of wet diapers. Why did I even worry? I caused more of a problem now because of her nursing strikes and sleeplessness. Bah!!! And it's not really fenugreeks fault. It's mine for having doubting my boobs. :-/