Monday, October 22, 2012

Day 22: Foods & Herbs To Avoid While Breastfeeding {31 Days of Making More Milk}

This post comes at the particular request of my best friend who just had her darling little baby in September. She struggled with her milk supply with her last two kids and is working really hard to avoid any pitfalls or "booby" traps with this one - eating well, getting rest, taking supplements, and pumping. She is awesome!

Yesterday , I noted that using cabbage leaves too often could potentially reduce your milk supply. I didn't know this prior to doing research, and was even more surprised when I read on a thread of conversation that one mom put cabbage leaves in the freezer to help with weaning! 

 For a new mom trying to deal with low supply AND dealing with plugged ducts or mastitis, this could be a real obstacle.

Well, my friend read yesterday's post (thanks for your support, always!) and suggested that I do a post on all the potential foods, supplements or herbs - like cabbage leaves - that could hurt your milk supply without you even knowing it. I loved the idea. Let's do it!

Luckily, the list isn't too long. 

Foods that May Limit Milk Supply
  • Alcohol 
    • The occasional drink is definitely OK, make it a dark beer rich in hops or barley!
  • Cabbage Leaves 
    • Applied topically or in a tincture/cream
  • Caffeine
    • Too much soda, coffee, tea and chocolate can dehydrate your body. Use in moderation and make sure to drink enough water.
  • Herbs: Rosemary, Parsley, Peppermint & Spearmint (Including the oil in mints, lozenges or candies), Sage, Oregano, Thyme 
    • A little in cooking or as a garnish is just fine, just avoid these in large quantities and herbal teas.

Other Things That May Limit Supply
  • Smoking 
  • Medications. Check with your medical provider to make sure they're safe. 
  • Stress
  • Birth Control Pills
  • Hormonal Imbalances

That's all I could find for now! If I come across anything else, I'll add it to the list.

Sources & Resources

Foods That May Affect Milk Supply from Renee Beebe
Things That Can Decrease Your Breastmilk Supply from Breastfeeding
Mother Food by Hilary Jacobson
The Breastfeeding Mother's Guide to Making More Milk by Dana West and Lisa Marasco
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This is the twenty-second post in the series 31 Days of Making More Milk. Check out yesterday's post about treating mastitis naturally or start from the beginning here

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I love sharing my experiences, but this site isn't meant to give medical advice, it's only for informational and educational purposes. Please discuss with your own qualified health care provider before adding in supplements or making any changes in your diet. Also, any links to sponsors or affiliates (including Amazon) may give me a percentage of the sale or a pay per click. Thank you so much for supporting this site!


  1. Really loving this whole series! Thanks for all your research and thorough're really helping this mama out!

  2. Thanks for this overview ... very helpful! I also wanted to get your opinion on the protein bars made from Think Thin. I know that protein bars are usually too high in sugar, but Think Thin have 0 grams of sugar and 20 grams of protein. I am a vegetarian and sometimes I just need something I can grab and take with me when I'm running my kids around ... which I know SHOULD be something I make at home, but it doesn't always happen! Your opinion on those bars would be great!
    pueraria mirifica for breast enlargement


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