Surprising Foods that Decrease Milk Supply

New mothers are often concerned about maintaining their milk supply. One of the most common questions they ask is which foods decrease milk supply? This blog post will explore some of the worst offenders and offer alternatives to help you maintain your milk supply for as long as possible.

Herbs that lower milk production


Foods that Decrease Milk Supply

Parsley seems very unassuming but it is one of the foods that decrease milk supply.

This herb is a natural diuretic that can cause dehydration in large amounts. Dehydration is a factor in your breast milk supply.

If you like parsley-rich dishes like tabbouleh, then it is better to avoid eating this dish, reduce the amount you put in the recipe, or how often you consume it.

But when your baby is old enough and ready for weaning, then you can eat it again.


Foods that Decrease Milk Supply

Copious amounts of peppermint are known to reduce milk production. Be sure to avoid or limit consuming peppermint oil.

Taking several real peppermint candies every day can show a decrease in breast milk production in a few days.

Peppermint tea isn’t strong enough to impact your breast milk supply but if you are concerned that you can always omit it from your diet.


Foods that Decrease Milk Supply

Sage is one of the top foods that decrease milk supply. Sage tea is great for helping breast engorgement when you are trying to wean your baby.

But if you want to make more breast milk then it’s best to stay clear from this herb.


Foods that Decrease Milk Supply

Large amounts of oregano are also a known herb to negatively affect your breast milk supply.

A small amount in a recipe is completely reasonable, but avoid consuming large amounts.

Jasmine Flowers

Fresh jasmine flowers can affect your milk supply.

When these flowers have been picked and crushed, they will stop or significantly reduce the production of breast milk in women.

Foods that decrease milk supply

Cabbage Leaves

Foods that Decrease Milk Supply

Nursing mothers have been using cabbage leaves for engorgement for years.

Adding cabbage to your healthy diet alone will not alone decrease milk production.

Taking cabbage extract or applying chilled and crushed cabbage leaves to the breast multiple times a day can decrease milk production.


If breastfeeding mothers crave chocolate when they are breastfeeding it is fine in small amounts.

But if it is a part of a sugar and caffeine cycle, then it can make them stressed and have the same effect on milk production and milk flow.

Drinks that decrease milk supply


Alcoholic beverages should be limited to an occasional drink for breastfeeding mothers.

One drink here and there can be fine but regular alcohol consumption not only will lower your breast milk supply, but can also have negative effects on your baby.

Soda and carbonated drinks

Soda and other carbonated beverages are also known to affect your milk supply.

All of these beverages may raise the stress hormones in your body.

Increased stress hormones can make the capillaries in a woman’s breasts smaller.

This can slow down the communication of the nerves and hormones that are telling a woman’s body to produce more milk.


Foods that Decrease Milk Supply

Caffeinated drinks such as Green tea, black tea, energy drinks, and coffee can reduce breast milk production.

It’s important for nursing moms to watch their caffeine intake even if they are producing enough milk.

If you do drink caffeinated beverages make sure to eat well and hydrate yourself properly.

Drinking too much can even affect your sleep schedule which has a negative effect on milk production in the long run.

What causes breast milk to suddenly decrease?

Typically your menstrual cycle and daily stressors can cause your breast milk to suddenly decrease.

If you are noticing a sudden decrease in your breast milk production, try to take a step back, relax, and get more rest.

Eating healthy foods, drinking plenty of fluids, and avoiding stressful situations will help improve your supply.

What are the signs of a low milk supply?

It is rare for breastfeeding moms to have a low supply but if you are concerned you should always meet with a lactation consultant for help.

Signs of a low supply would include your baby having difficulty latching on, fewer wet and dirty diapers, dehydration in your child, and weight loss.

How can I increase my milk supply?

There are a few things that you can do to help increase your milk production.

Some of these things include drinking lots of fluids, eating healthy foods, and avoiding stressful situations.

You can also try to breastfeed or pump more often, using a power pumping session, and taking herbs such as Fenugreek and blessed thistle.

If you are still having trouble increasing your milk supply, meet with a lactation consultant for help.

Foods that help increase your milk supply

Certain foods can help boost your supply such as fenugreek, blessed thistle, flaxseed meal, and brewer’s yeast.

Drinking lots of fluids can also help increase your supply.

You should drink plenty of fluids throughout the day to stay hydrated.

Do soft breasts mean low supply?

Having soft breasts does not indicate how much milk you supply.

This is typical after your supply has been regulated and are no longer having to deal with engorgement.

Can you increase your supply after it has decreased?

You can increase your milk supply if you notice a decrease.

Some things that can help would be to:

  • Eat healthy foods
  • Drink plenty of fluids
  • Breastfeed your baby as often as possible
  • Drink Mother’s Milk Tea
  • Do a power pumping session for a few days

You can notice a difference within a few days.

How can I produce more milk?

Breast milk is made when milk has been removed from the breast.

The more often you empty your breast, whether it is from nursing your baby or pumping, the more milk you will make.

Make sure to avoid foods that can decrease your supply as well as avoid pacifiers.

Doing lots of skin on skin with your baby is important and nursing on demand to boost your supply.

Final thoughts

Did you know these foods decrease milk production? Breastfeeding moms that are worried about producing enough breast milk should avoid these foods.

If after removing the foods you are still struggling with a low breast milk supply, be sure to reach out to a lactation consultant for some help.

Be sure to read The Ultimate List of Breastfeeding Essentials and How to Increase Milk Supply When Pumping

About the author

Lacy Reason is a highly experienced and compassionate lactation counselor, who has dedicated her career to educating and supporting new mothers on their breastfeeding journey.

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