Background: Exclusive breastfeeding is the best way to accomplish optimal growth and health in infants. Low milk volume is a major problem that leads to nonexclusive breastfeeding.
Objective: This study aimed to examine the effects of mixed herbal supplementation, including fenugreek, ginger, and turmeric on human milk volume and nutrient content.
Methods: The study design was a randomized double-blind controlled trial. Fifty exclusively breastfeeding mothers were randomly divided into two groups. The herbal group (n = 25) received mixed herbal supplementation containing fenugreek, ginger, and turmeric, three capsules three times daily for 4 weeks. The control group (n = 25) took a placebo. Anthropometric and dietary data, blood pressure, heart rate, and blood and milk samples were collected at baseline and 4 weeks after the intervention. Milk volume was measured using a manual breast pump and recorded for 2 days at baseline, week 2, and week 4.
Results: Breastfeeding mothers receiving herbal supplementation had a 49% increase in milk volume at week 2 and a 103% increase at week 4. These increases were greater than mothers in the placebo group (p < 0.05). There was no difference in milk nutrient content for both groups. Moreover, there were no differences in adverse effects observed in the placebo and herbal groups.
Conclusion: Mixed herbal supplementation that contained fenugreek, ginger, and turmeric can increase human milk volume without adverse effects.
Keywords: exclusive breastfeeding; fenugreek; ginger; milk volume; turmeric.