During pregnancy, my sister-in-law gave me her copy of “Garbha Sanskar” book by Balaji Tambe. While I scanned through a few of the pages, a topic of “shatavari” caught my attention. I had never heard of it before. The book highly recommended consuming it regularly right from pregnancy until after childbirth (I am personally not a big fan of this book). It is recommended for the overall well being of women and especially for hormonal balance during pregnancy and post-childbirth.

A few weeks later, my prenatal class provided a “diet chart” for postpartum meals, and it included Shatavari as well. Since Rolly, my prenatal teacher, recommended it for aiding lactation, I knew it has to be a beneficial supplement.

When should I start using Shatavari

I discussed with my GYN, Dr. Raut, that traditional caregivers recommend Shatavari during pregnancy and post-delivery. Dr. Raut advised me to start taking it after 32 weeks.

If I remember correctly, she said post 32 weeks is a good time to get the benefits of Shatavari for milk production and well-being. I started having it around the 33rd week of pregnancy.

Traditionally caregivers and even many Ayurvedic doctors (including Balaji Tambe) recommend right from the start of pregnancy. My MIL told me she had it during her pregnancy. Many of my friends too had it during their pregnancy. But it is best to discuss with your GYN about the right time to start taking Shatavari.

Why Shatavari

Following are the popular reasons for many women in India to take Shatavari [1]:

  • Restores reproductive health
  • Helps hormonal balance
  • Aids lactation post-childbirth

In my prenatal class, we were recommended Shatavari post-delivery for boosting lactation (along with a diet plan which included food for recovery and aiding lactation).

Many lactating mothers will swear by the benefit of Shatavari for boosting lactation. My friend had to reduce and eventually stop taking it as it increased her milk production to the extent that it often led to engorgement.

How long can I take Shatavari

It is usually considered a safe Ayurvedic supplement. Many expecting women start it from pregnancy and continue taking it 3-6 months post-delivery. Best is to consult an Ayurvedic doctor or GYN about the duration of taking this supplement.

I started around the 33rd week of pregnancy and continued taking it daily until 6 months post-delivery. After that, for the next 3 months, I continued taking it at a reduced frequency (so from daily intake I reduced to 3-4 times a week). I stopped taking it when Anu was 9 months old.

There was a time when Anu was around 10 months old and suffered from a bad case of stomach bug. Since she had loosies, her Paediatrician’s advised to stop her breastmilk for a few days. I was pumping for a week, and the supply went down a bit. I took Shatavari during this week when the supply dipped, and within a week the supply increased.

Buying Shatavari

It is an Ayurvedic supplement/medicine. It comes in various forms:

  • Granules/Powder – mix with milk
  • Tablets – consume as is
  • Syrup – consume as is

Do check if granules/powder comes pre-mixed with sugar. Many moms often complain such sugary version causes weight gain.

I tried Santulan’s granules first. Manufacturer recommends mixing it in milk. I did not like the taste, and it felt too sugary. So I switched to Himalaya Shatavari tablets. Easy to consume, just pop them in the mouth.