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Open Access The Effect of Fenugreek on Milk Production and Prolactin Levels in Mothers of Preterm Infants

Since 1980, the incidence of preterm birth has increased in the United States. The health importance of human milk is well-known. However, mothers of preterm infants are often concerned that they may not produce enough milk for their infants who are frequently too immature to breastfeed. The herb fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum) is purported to be an effective galactagogue. This double-blind placebo-controlled study sought to determine if fenugreek increased breast milk volume and prolactin (PRL) levels in mothers of preterm infants. The sample included 26 mothers of infants less than 31 weeks gestation. Commencing on the fifth postpartum day, each mother consumed 3 capsules of fenugreek (or placebo), 3 times per day for 21 days. Data analysis revealed no statistical difference between the mothers receiving fenugreek or those receiving placebo in terms of milk volume or PRL. No adverse effects were noted in the mothers or infants.


Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: November 1, 2013

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