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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
If you liked this article, you may also like:
- 11 Foods that Increase Breastmilk Supply
- The Ultimate guide for nursing in public
- Breastfeeding with Flat or Inverted Nipples
What foods have you noticed reduce your supply? Or foods you have heard about? Leave a comment, I would love to talk!
Before you go..
Are you on bedrest? Can’t get out of the house? Do you still want to take a Breastfeeding Skills class?
If you plan to breastfeed, you need to prepare to breastfeed – and one of the best ways to do that is to take a class that answers your questions and sets you up to meet your goals. The Natural Breastfeeding Home Study Course can help you do that, from the comfort of your own home. Check it out!