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KET_2010's picture
Joined: 08/13/11
Posts: 1737

I was wondering if any of you had ever taken any herbs with this or previous pregnancies? Or even afterwards!

I didn't with DD1, but then I read to help produce more breastmilk you could take Fenugreek and it would help. I did that with DD2 when I noticed my supply wasn't a lot (when pumping in the morning I would only get about 1 oz per breast when I had been getting about 4 per). Anyway, I never noticed a change in supply with that.

This time around, I've heard of red raspberry leaf and evening primrose oil to help bring on labor or strengthen the muscles to make labor go faster and even possibly for it to make your milk supply bigger.

I asked my dr about things like this at my last appt and all she could say was she doesn't recommend it nor does she deny using it. I've read some drs encourage it. Has anyone ever tried these things? I ask because I'm wondering about the red raspberry leaf since that's the one that I read was suppose to help with labor going faster and easier. I think I also read that was suppose to help bring up milk supply too. Anyway, any input?

AnnaRO's picture
Joined: 07/06/08
Posts: 7033

I have red raspberry leaf tea that I bought when I was pg with DD. I haven't started taking it yet, but I may now since you reminded me. It's supposed to help strengthen the uterus from what I understand. A lot of ladies on my DD board used Fenugreek for supply issues, with great success, but I never used it myself. I had oversupply issues with DD, so I'm kind of hoping to have the same problem this time.

jolly11sd's picture
Joined: 02/02/05
Posts: 3327

I've used many of those with all of my pregnancies. I drink red raspberry leaf tea a few times a week (or a tea with that and other herbs some days) throughout my whole pregnancy. Can't say that it made my labors faster but even though my 2nd was long it wasn't what I would call hard at all. Evening primrose Oil I start taking orally at 36 weeks in addition to vaginally at 37 week (sorry if that is TMI for anyone). I used Fenugreek while nursing DS1 without much success (think I took too little) and then with DS2 with loads of success. It totally makes you smell like maple syrup. Also I've used blessed thistle with Fenugreek for milk supply and plan on starting Alfalfa soon to help with vit. K production before LO is born. I've never had any problems using any of these herbs and continue to use them.

KET_2010's picture
Joined: 08/13/11
Posts: 1737

Joy - did the evening primrose seem to do anything for you? I have heard about doing it both orally and vaginally.

If my supply is seeming to be low this time after DS is born then I may try the herbs again to try and boost my supply.

jolly11sd's picture
Joined: 02/02/05
Posts: 3327

I don't know if it really did anything for me or not. With DS1 started labor at 38w5d with my water breaking. I always wondered if it was the EPO but I also had some sweeps from my hospital MW that could have brought that on as well. With DS2 I went into labor at 40 weeks exactly. I took it with my 2nd since I had had a c/s with my first and EPO is supposed to be good for scar tissue and the such. Even though I had a really long 40 hour labor I didn't feel like it was really hard or unbearable so maybe it helped in that way by softening things up. Personally I don't believe that it actually triggers or helps to induce labor but more that it helps by softening up the cervix and getting things nice and ready.

Joined: 06/15/11
Posts: 611

[QUOTE=jolly11sd;8872922 It totally makes you smell like maple syrup.[/QUOTE]

It so totally does I think it is funny, and crazy thing is it made me want pancakes all the time LoL

Jeffininer's picture
Joined: 11/07/07
Posts: 1796

I took a ton of fenugreek when BFing DD, I honestly didn't notice a change in supply. But, continued because I was afraid of loosing it completely.

mommyof1.5's picture
Joined: 08/06/07
Posts: 897

I haven't used tons of those kinds of things - I HAAAATE the mother's milk tea, because it tastes so strongly of black licorice, which I can't stand. I've heard good things about EPO, and only heard that castor oil can cause only severe diarrhea/abdominal cramping.

KET_2010's picture
Joined: 08/13/11
Posts: 1737

I had a friend do castor oil and I wouldn't do it only because I read that it can cause the baby to have a BM as well and the LO could get sick from it. The reason she did castor oil was because she wasn't far enough along in labor to be admitted and so she did it just to help it along (her water wasn't broken but she was having strong contractions but wasn't dilated enough to be admitted).

Plus I don't think I would enjoy the possibility of diarrhea while I'm pushing DS out LOL!

I also read that the mother's milk tastes a lot like black licorice which I'm not a fan of (DH LOVES black licorice and if he was the one breast feeding I would definitely recommend it lol.)

TyrantOfTheWeek's picture
Joined: 12/26/05
Posts: 1147

I've been on alfalfa and rrl the entire pregnancy as well as dandelion to help keep pre eclampsia away. I'm also on a prenatal vitamin that I take 6 of a day. (Prenatal forte. Its made from real food not chemically synthetic crap)

PsycheGal's picture
Joined: 12/07/08
Posts: 768

With my first I started the Red Raspberry Leaf Tea in the second trimester and it made me have severe BH contractions so I stopped taking it and started again at 34/36 weeks, however, it did NOT make me go into labor or anything of the sort. The doctor and midwife I had at the time made me go by my LMP instead of my Ovulation date so according to them I was over 42 weeks when according to me I was just at 40 weeks.

In FL your MW can't attend your homebirth if you're at 42 weeks or more and of course I had a forced induction. At 41 weeks I did castor oil -- and nothing happened - not even a BM LOL. I also did a recipe that is supposed to be this no way to fail labor induction technique with prunes and some other disgusting stuff -- I drank like 32 oz -- NOTHING HAPPENED - again, not even diarrhea.

I was using EPO orally and vaginally and it did NOTHING LOL However, EPO is a great supplement and also helps keep your Blood Pressure in check. I still think it was all due to being 2 weeks under what they had and baby was just not ready, I mean even with cervadil (sp?) and pitocin it took two days to get my labor started and I was in labor for 27 hours after that.

I did fenugreek for help w/BF supply and it did nothing, I could not drink the Mother's Milk Tea cause it's just disgusting, however, oatmeal drinks and coconut water both seemed to up my supply pretty much immediately. (Advice from my very old grandmother who breastfed all five of her kids and then worked as a wet-nurse for years after her kids were grown - My grandmother should have gotten a medal as QueenofBreastMilk LOL)

With my second I started taking the RRL Tea at 36 weeks and did the EPO after 32wks orally and later vaginally. I went into labor on my own ON MY DUE DATE. Although my labor was long I will say my labor was easy. No intolerable pain or anything of the sort like I had w/my first. I was walking around the block when my contractions were two minutes apart, that is how tolerable it was!
Although I can't truly say it was because of the herbs, I am sure they helped because I was very consistent.

I am going to do the same exact thing this pregnancy. After all, unless you are allergic, it can't hurt! I also think that if your little one is not ready to come out, he or she will just stay in there no matter what LOL