11 Food that Reduce Breast Milk Supply


Peppermint, sage, parsley, oregano, cabbage leaves, potatoes and garbanzo beans, green tea, cough drops, excessive coffee, lemon balm, beer are some of the food that reduce breast milk supply.

More often than not, new mothers these days have issues with breastfeeding their infant children. The act of breastfeeding is a pure one where a new born baby seeks nourishment from the one who brought him or her into the world. Breastfeeding is a part of the biological process of procreation, and yet many women these days are not psychologically inclined to breastfeed their children. Fear of disfigurement and other such ideas often prompt modern women to skip the process altogether. Sometimes, a woman may want to engage in breastfeeding their babies but are unable to produce milk, or they produce very little milk that is insufficient for the nutrition of the baby. While there are food supplements available, nothing compares to the health benefits of mother’s milk with regard to the baby itself.

During pregnancy, many women seek out various articles and books to know more about pregnancy, parenting and the processes involved. While you may have looked up how to increase breast milk supply in order to effectively feed your baby, it is important to know what may reduce breast milk as well, as it gives you an idea about what to avoid while setting up your daily diet. There are some food items which can help you if you are wondering how to increase breast milk supply. Similarly, there are food that reduce breast milk supply which you must avoid to secrete more milk for you child.

Alternatively, once your child is of the age where he or she is capable of digesting solid food when necessary, you might be looking for ways to reduce breast milk. By incorporating the food to reduce breast milk in your daily diet, you can make sure that the secretion slowly decreases until it ultimately stops.

You might require to reduce breast milk due to the following reasons:

  • You are looking for food items to avoid in the last part of your pregnancy and after childbirth
  • Your child is old enough to move on to solid food
  • You have a problem of hyperlactation and produce more milk than necessary
  • You do not wish to breastfeed your child for a valid reason
  • The milk you produce is insufficient nutrition and you wish to shift entirely to powdered milk for your child.

Read More: 5 Prescription Drugs Used for Increasing Milk Supply


11 Must Know Foods That Reduce Breast Milk Supply

reduce breastmilk

Here is a list of 11 items of food that reduce breast milk supply that you can refer to:


Peppermint oil may come as a huge relief to someone suffering from headaches, nausea and fever, but peppermint in any form should not be consumed by a mother who is still nursing her child. As any form of mint is known to do, peppermint is a food that reduce breast milk supply in mothers and should be avoided during the breastfeeding period.


While a little bit of sage in cooked dishes may not have an effect, sage tea and other food items with a higher content of sage have a lasting effect on milk secretion. A naturally occurring form of oestrogen is found in sage, the hormone that is associated with the reduction of milk supplies in the body. If you are hyperlactating or ready for the weaning of your child, sage is one example of food that reduces breast milk supply.


Parsley is a popular diuretic that can cause the loss of a lot of water from your body. Water is a big part of breast milk and the loss of excessive water may adversely affect the production of breastmilk.

Read More: Breast Milk Storage: 11 Dos and Don’ts for Breast Milk Storage



As a spice sprinkled in your food, oregano might not have much to do. But oregano oil can be considered as food to reduce breast milk. Oregano oil is generally used as a home remedy for nipple infections caused due to lactation related problems and anecdotal evidence suggests that in nursing mothers it temporarily reduces breast milk supply.

Cabbage leaves

If you are looking for a remedy for a nipple infection as a nursing mother, you should stay away from cabbage leaves. Cabbage leaves when applied externally can affect the production of breast milk.

Read More: Blood in Breast Milk: Causes, Risks, Treatment and Precautions

Potatoes and garbanzo beans

The presence of a high content of the B6 vitamin in these two food items may also affect the production of milk in a nursing mother. While it is as essential vitamin for the immune system and nervous system, high dose of B6 in a nursing mother can reduce breast milk supply to some extent.

Green tea

Green tea may be free of caffeine, but it may not be deemed safe for nursing mothers simply on account of their herbal content. Any tea that contains black cohosh, aloe, basil, ginseng or licorice have an association with mint and menthol. This explains why herbal tea can be counted as a food that reduce breast milk supply.

Read More: How Long can Breast Milk Sit Out?


Cough drops

Sucking on a cough drops may be comforting to us all during a cold, but if you are a nursing mother, you must avoid the little treats. Menthol present in cough drops, much like peppermint, affects the breast milk supply and can cause reduction in its secretion.


While beer with a high hops and barley content may stimulate production of breast milk, the beer that we drink more commonly has high alcohol content. This may reduce breast milk production significantly.

Excessive coffee

While one or two cups of coffee will not make much of a difference, excessive caffeine can find its way into your breast milk causing your child to be irritated by its presence. As you know, the production of milk is directly related to suction. If your child stops sucking on your breast due to the caffeine, it can adversely affect milk production.

Lemon balm

Although this may be suitable to administer to children during indigestion and stomach problems, the herb-oil combination can be detrimental to milk supply.

If you produce more milk than normal or wish to cut down on the secretion of breast milk in your body, incorporating these items into your diet can slowly decrease your milk supply. Or if you are prospective mother, avoiding these food items can help secure a greater production of breastmilk in the post-pregnancy period.

Read More: Breastfeeding Myths and Facts




Hope this article was of help to you! Please share your comments/queries/tips with us and help us create a world full of Happy, Healthy and Empowered Women!!