7 Foods that Reduce Breast Milk Supply


Every mother aspires to breastfeed her baby for as long as possible. Hence, as a mother you need to avoid certain food like thyme, parsley, spearmint, peppermint, cabbage leaves, sage, oregano, black walnut, sorrel, periwinkle herb, chickweed, yarrow, lemon balm, etc. as they reduce the breast milk supply. 

Congratulations on being a mother! This is perhaps the best feeling in the world. But along with immense happiness, there are some things which might worry you. One of them is would you be producing enough milk for your baby every time he/she needs it? The female body is made in such a manner that it has the capacity of making milk by itself post delivery without trying or doing anything. However, there are cases where the mother complains of not being able to produce enough milk for the little one. It can be a painful preposition for a mother to accept the fact that she is not producing abundant milk to satiate the hunger of her little one. She will go out of the way to find a solution to this problem and look for solutions so that milk supply can be enhanced.

Read more: 7 Juices to Increase Lactation

There are different kinds of herbs and foods, which help in increasing milk production in nursing mothers. Try fenugreek or oatmeal or blessed thistle for increasing breast milk. On the contrary, there are many food items which inhibit breast milk production in lactating mothers. Taking small portions of such food items is not that risky. But if a nursing mother already has problem of less milk production, it is recommended to avoid these food items and herbs completely. Again, these foods are great for nursing mothers who have over-abundance of breast milk as these foods will cut down on milk production. Also, they have shown good results in the time of weaning.

Read more: 7 Foods to Avoid While Breastfeeding

7 Foods that Reduce Breast Milk Supply

Avoid the below mentioned foods and herbs if you suffer from reduced breast milk supply:

  1. Thyme – Thyme is among one of the most popular herbs which are used extensively in culinary delicacies. Belonging to the mint group, this herb has a distinctive flavor. The herb also has great medicinal properties and helps in the treatment of high blood pressure and acne. However, this herb has negative impact on breast milk production in lactating mothers. Therefore, it should be avoided completely if a mother already suffers from low milk production issues.
  1. Parsley – Parsley is a popular diuretic. If you are looking to refresh your breath after a meal, you can always chew on a sprig of parsley. This is not going to hamper breast milk production in a lactating mother. However, if the amount of parsley is increased in the diet of nursing mothers, it will lead to lesser breast milk production.
  1. Spearmint and peppermint – It has been noted that spearmint and peppermint both affect the production of breast milk in nursing mothers. If you enjoy tea and keep it limited to no more than a cup of peppermint tea once in a while it should not be a problem. But regular consumption might lead to less breast milk production. Apart from peppermint tea, many women love candies and altoids, which are made of peppermint oil. Consuming too many candies a day might lead to drastic reduction of breast milk production in women.
  1. Cabbage leaves – Well if you think eating cabbage leaves can reduce breast milk production, you are wrong. It is not about eating cabbage leaves, but about topical application of cabbage leaves. Breast engorgement can be reduced by great deal by limited topical application of cabbage leaves. Over application of cabbage can decrease breast milk supply.
  1. Oregano and sage – Oregano and sage are common herbs which are used in different kinds of food preparations. It has been seen that both these herbs have negative effects on breast milk production. Women who suffer from over production of breast milk are often given sage tea as it can reduce the production of breast milk considerably.
  • Alcoholic beverages, including beer – You might hear that beer and other alcoholic beverages have the potential of increasing breast milk production. But it is a completely false statement. In fact, these drinks have shown to reduce breast milk production by quite a means.

Read more: Side Effects of Alcohol While Breastfeeding

  1. Other herbs – Apart from the above mentioned herbs, there are other herbs as well, which lead to reduced breast milk production and supply. Some of them include black walnut, sorrel, periwinkle herb, chickweed, yarrow, lemon balm and herb Robert. Small quantities of these herbs are ok, but increased quantities can cause reduced breast milk supply.

Apart from staying away from these herbs, it is also recommended to seek the advice of a medical practitioner to understand which other food items as well as herbs should be avoided that reduce breast milk supply in nursing mothers.

Read more: 31 Foods that Increase Breast Milk Supply