Most people know there are a lot of foods with special milk boosting properties but are there any that actually decrease your supply?
Healthy Mummy’s Lactation Consultant (IBCLC), Bel Moore, gives us the run down on foods that might reduce supply and why mums might try them.
Most mums at some point in their breastfeeding journey unnecessarily worry about their breast milk supply and some may even try galactagogues (milk supply boosting foods) BUT there are also women who look to lower their supply by taking large quantities of foods known to reduce supply.
Why would someone want to reduce their supply?
When babies and boobs are left to their own devices, they are pretty good at working out the supply that is needed. But there are some reasons a woman may need to reduce or dry up her supply. These include:
- Oversupply and its complications such as blocked ducts, pain and mastitis.
- Reducing from tandem feeding to just one child.
- Weaning or mix feeding.
- Returning to work.
- Personal or medical issues.
- Death of breastfeeding infant or child.
The following foods taken in LARGE amounts MAY lower your milk supply:
- Parsley – Eating the sprig on your plate when dining out won’t have any effect but when eaten in large amounts, (like bowls of tabouli), parsley is a diuretic and has shown to reduce milk supply.
- Thyme– A popular herb which possesses medicinal properties such as lowering blood pressure and reduces acne but it can also negatively impact on breast milk production.
- Peppermint and spearmint – Used commonly in tea and lollies, it can cause a reduction in milk supply.
- Sage and oregano– Again a few leaves in your spaghetti bol won’t cause supply issues but sage tea is commonly used to remedy oversupply.
- Cabbage leaves– Apply cabbage leaves more than once or twice a day has shown to reduce milk supply (and is also good at reducing pain and inflammation).
For those wanting or needing to lower their supply, a consultation with a lactation consultant or a trusted medical professional is important to ensure all possibilities are explored and optimal outcomes for both the mother and infant are achieved.
Milk supply is regulated through a feedback system between the brains and breasts, the less milk removed, the less milk will be made.
Feeding on demand is the best way to regulate milk supply to your baby’s needs but if you are trying to wean or stop breastfeeding, avoid stimulating the breasts and additional pumping (only hand express what you need to stay comfortable) is the safest way to reduce your supply.
Meanwhile, check out these 7 PAINLESS ways to dry up your breast milk.
If you are looking for support from other new mums, who may be having the same anxieties – be sure to check out our NEW MUMS FACEBOOK SUPPORT GROUP.
The Healthy Mummy has multiple private and JUDGEMENT-FREE groups you can access (for free) and exchange tips, tricks and experiences with other new mums.