What NOT to eat when Breastfeeding

Posted May 19, 2018 by Milk and Hugs in Breastfeeding, Breastfeeding Struggles, Lactation / 21 Comments

You've heard about the foods you can eat to increase breastmilk supply, but do you know what NOT to eat when breastfeeding? Learn more here. #breastfeeding #BreastfeedingFoods

Recently, I wrote a post about foods that can increase milk supply naturally – but what about foods that harm supply? With that thought in mind, here are 5 foods NOT to eat when Breastfeeding.

Foods NOT to eat when Breastfeeding

Parsley

Worried about Breastmilk supply? Here is what NOT to eat when breastfeeding. #Breastfeeding #Breastfeedingfoods

Beautiful and green, parsley is a staple on many dinner plates. It acts as a natural diuretic and can help clean the palate after a large meal – yet it can also decrease Breastmilk supply in large enough quantities.

While a small sprig here or there should cause no harm, and can actually benefit your health with its ample Vitamin K and Vitamin C content, dishes like tabooluh should be avoided.

Peppermint

Worried about Breastmilk supply? Here is what NOT to eat when breastfeeding.

Specifically, the peppermint oils used in Candies like the ones shown above or in Altoids. They may keep the breath fresh, but it an wreck havoc on your breastmilk supply. Enjoy your occasional cup of peppermint tea with no fear, yet consider things like Peppermint Candy as topping the list of what not to eat when breastfeeding.

Oregano

You've heard about the foods you should eat to increase milk supply, but do you know what NOT to eat when breastfeeding? #breastfeeding #BreastfeedingFoods

Known anecdotally world wide as one food not to eat when breastfeeding, Oregano has a mixed record. The amount normally used in cooking rarely causes harm, yet the increase in supplements and Oregano Oil has struck a cord with Lactation Professionals. While there is no hard scientific studies, anecdotal evidence shows that ingesting Oregano supplements or oil may reduce Breastmilk Supply.

Sage

You've heard about the foods you should eat to increase milk supply, but do you know what NOT to eat when breastfeeding? #breastfeeding #BreastfeedingFoods

Yet another green and vibrant herb hits the list of what not to eat while breastfeeding. Despite its fame as an excellent source of Fiber, Vitamin A and folate, Sage also holds a spot as a potential breast milk reducer. Sage contains a natural form of estrogen, which, like the estrogen in birth control, can inhibit milk production.

Like the other herbs on this list, small amounts of Sage – what would be considered normal in cooking – is fine. Yet ingested in large quantities or via a supplement, which is far ore concentrated, can cause you issues.

Fortified Cereal

You've heard about the foods you should eat to increase milk supply, but do you know what NOT to eat when breastfeeding? #breastfeeding #BreastfeedingFoods

Specifically cereals fortified with Vitamin B6 – which has been shown to reduce breastmilk supply. You NEED Vitamin B6 in order for health, yet keeping the amounts to the levels recommended by the NIH for lactating women, which is around 2.0mg per day, is optimal.

Fortified cereals mark a spot among what not to eat when breastfeeding due to the ease in which these vitamins can add up. Vitamin B6 is found naturally in many foods, including chick peas and salmon. Fortified cereals offer about 25% or the RDV in a single serving…. and we all know how small a serving is supposed to be. Eating too much cereal is definitely on the list of foods not to eat when breastfeeding.

 

Finally

Much of the above is pulled from anecdotal evidence and stories that have been shared from mother’s the world over. Despite the need for scientific study regarding breastmilk production and reduction, we lack the peer reviewed papers that can back things up. Come on people, how are we not studying this??!

Some foods find their way onto lists of what not to eat when breastfeeding because they an induce gas, like broccoli, or change the taste of breastmilk, like citrus. I have chosen not to include these here simply because, while all evidence above is anecdotal, there is a bit more consistency regarding actual reduction. When it comes to taste, some babies LOVE the taste of garlic, while other do not.

This comes down to a trial and error situation – if you eat a food and your baby is fussier or gassier… don’t eat it.

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Your turn

What foods have you noticed reduce your supply? Or foods you have heard about? Leave a comment, I would love to talk!

You've heard about the foods you can eat to increase breastmilk supply, but do you know what NOT to eat when breastfeeding? Learn more here. #breastfeeding #BreastfeedingFoods

 

 

 

 

 

Posted May 19, 2018 by Milk and Hugs in Breastfeeding, Breastfeeding Struggles, Lactation / 21 Comments


21 responses to “What NOT to eat when Breastfeeding

  1. What an interesting list. I would have never guessed Oregano would be on that list. Quite interesting. I guess the Sage is an interesting one as well. Thanks for sharing this.

    • Helen

      Interesting article, Iā€™m glad that you mentioned that these are all backed up by anecdotal evidence only, not that anyone is really studying breastfeeding, sadly. I breastfed all three of my children, and I never modified my diet in any way. What works for one woman/nursling may or may not work for another. Lists like these sometimes have the unintended side effect of making breastfeeding seem harder than it is. These foods could effect breastfeeding in some women might be a better title.

  2. jessylauren

    Wow I wish I would have saw this when I was attempting to breastfeed. I love peppermints and I had no idea it inhibited my breast milk!

  3. I’m not sure about any other foods that affect supply. I think your take on this topic is unique. There are a lot of article that only talk about what you should eat.

  4. Hannah Marie

    I used to eat everything being offered to me when I was breastfeeding. I only stayed away from prescription drugs that could affect my baby. Well, I did not know that there are foods that should not be eaten when breast feeding.

  5. Charli B

    Who knew that parsley and peppermint could damage your milk supply. It was very eye opening x

  6. Escape Writers

    Peppermint and oregano is a really surprise for me.. Although you listed the things so well.. Wish many new moms will reads this who are struggling with breastfeeding. You are doing a commendable job to spread awarness about this.

  7. Sooo, I’m a doula, child development specialist, parenting expert AND the mother of 3 and I literally just learned last month (the hard way) just how much peppermint and parsley can impact your milk supply. I went from a milk cow to being able to pump only 1/4 oz from BOTH sides all because I had started using a seasoning with parsley (on literally everything) AND eating Altoids all day because I still have issues with my breath (thanks to Hyperemesis Gravidarum of Pregnancy). I can’t believe NO ONE told me about this before!!!! So a huge THANK YOU to you for including it in a blog!!! I was just getting ready to do my own blog post about it but I will just share yours instead šŸ˜‰

    • Were you able to get your supply up again? That happened to me with my eldest, before I knew better. It’s crazy what can do it, isn’t it? On a side note, do you enjoy being a Doula? I have though about looking into becoming a postpartum doula, to add to my CLEC. I realize that is hardly the same as a birth doula, but I am curious about your experiences! And thank you for sharing the article!! =)

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