Breastfeeding new mothers usually face two kinds of problems when it comes to breast milk production. The breast milk production is either too low that their babies do not get enough or they produce so much breast milk that it overflows. This article lists the foods that decrease breast milk production. It is important to avoid these things if you do not want to affect your breast milk production.
Things That Decrease Breast Milk Production
Nobody likes those wet and sticky milk patches on their T-shirts and clothes, not to mention that engorgement of breasts due to excessive milk can be quite painful. Well, whichever of the two problems you might be facing, knowing the things that decrease breast milk production can only help you. If you are not producing enough breast milk, knowing those things can help you in staying away from them and if you are producing too much breast milk, some of the important things can be taken with medical advice to decrease breast milk production. A decrease in milk production can also help you at the time of weaning.
But some of these things can be harmful to you and your baby. So if you are trying to decrease your breast milk production, make sure that you choose them wisely. Seek help from an expert and consult your doctor in case of any concerns.
Foods That Decrease Breast Milk Production
There are certain foods that decrease the production of breast milk. Most of these are various kinds of herbs, which can be added to your dishes. As so make sure that you don’t use them in making your favorite dishes if you are already suffering from a decreased breast milk supply.
Some studies have shown that herbs like sage, cabbage leaves, parsley, peppermint and jasmine flowers are can reduce breast milk production.1
Some of them are as follows-
Parsley – Parsley is a diuretic, which means that it increases the amount of water in your urine. Hence, it can reduce the amount of water in your body. Since milk is made up of 90% of water, a decrease in body water can affect your breast milk production.
Sage – Sage is one of those herbs that decreases breast milk production very quickly, so be careful with this herb. The hormone estrogen, which is present in sage, helps in the reduction of breast milk production. Drinking sage tea at least twice a day can work wonders to decrease your breast milk production and can help to get rid of engorgement of breasts.
Thyme – Thyme is one of the most popular herbs and is one of the common things that decrease breast milk production. Even though it has many health benefits, it can adversely affect breast milk production in lactating mothers. So if you are trying to increase your breast milk supply, you should definitely avoid it.
Peppermint And Spearmint – We all love a spearmint candy every now and then, especially after dinner. But it is one of those things that decrease breast milk production. So if you are trying to increase your breast milk supply, no spearmint candy or peppermint tea for you. Whereas, it may prove useful if you want to reduce your milk production.
Oregano – Oregano also adversely affects breast milk production. Oregano not only increases the deliciousness of your food but also decreases your breast milk production.
Chocolate – Eating excessive chocolate can cause a decrease in breast milk production. Not only this but chocolate also contains a stimulant called Theobromine which can cause irritation and sleeplessness and can make your baby excessively fussy.
Cabbage Leaves – One of the important things that decrease breast milk production is cabbage leaves. However, here, it is used as a topical application of cabbages or cabbage leaves paste to decrease breast milk production.
Almost all drinks help to increase your breast milk supply as they contain water but there are certain drinks, which decrease your breast milk production. These two are some of the important things that decrease your breast milk production.
Alcoholic Beverages – Alcoholic beverages cause dehydration, which can lead to a decreased production of breast milk. It also makes it harder for your baby to suck milk from your breasts. It can also pass to your baby through your milk and can cause problems in your baby.
Coffee And Tea – Coffee and tea contain caffeine, which is also a dehydrating agent. It can pass to your baby through your milk, making her irritable and affect her sleep too. These are some of the important things that decrease breast milk production.
Soft Drinks – Soft drinks too contain caffeine and therefore cause the same reaction, like those of tea and coffee in a lactating mother, which is decreasing breast milk production in them.
Medications That Decrease Breast Milk Production
There are certain medications that decrease breast milk production. Some of them are as follows-
Diuretics – They are medicines that help to increase the amount of urine production by increasing its water content and therefore decrease the amount of water present in the body. This can decrease breast milk production.
Fish Oil Capsules – If you are using fish oil capsules to supplement your body’s Omega-3 fatty acid requirement, you should know that it is one of the things that decrease your breast milk production.
Birth Control Pills – If you are trying to avoid pregnancy and have started taking birth control pills then your breast milk production may decrease. Most birth control pills contain estrogen, which decreases breast milk production. So, if you are trying to increase your breast milk supply, talk to your doctor about the best ways of contraception.
Antihistamines and Decongestants – Some other medicines such as over the counter cold and allergy medicines can also decrease your breast milk production such as antihistamines and decongestants.
While these medicines are one of the things that decrease breast milk production, they must be used carefully. Follow medical advice and take appropriate steps based on your health condition and need for breast milk production.
Habits That Decrease Breast Milk Production
Apart from foods, drinks, and medicines; there are certain habits that can cause a decrease in breast milk production. Some of them are listed below-
Cigarette Smoking – Cigarette smoking is a habit that not only causes harm to you and your baby but also decreases your Let-down Reflex, which causes milk to be released from your breasts and helps the baby in easily sucking it. Let-down reflex is produced by hormone oxytocin and cigarette smoking interferes in the release of this hormone in the body. Hence, cigarettes are one of the most important things that decrease breast milk production and are best avoided by all means.
Fatigue – Lack of proper rest can lead to fatigue, which is another important thing that can decrease your breast milk production. Being a new mother can be quite exhausting and hard. When you consider the difficult days before birth and sleepless nights that come after, you have got yourself an exhausted mother. So, if you want to stay healthy and increase your breast milk supply, you should take some time for yourself and rest properly.
Stress – This goes without saying that if you are a new mother you must be under a lot of pressure, which can lead to stress. After all, meeting the needs of a small baby is not an easy task. But excessive stress can decrease your breast milk supply as it lowers your let-down reflex. Try to avoid stress as much as you can. Doing yoga regularly, taking some time for yourself, enjoying your hobby can help you unwind and release some of your stress.
Other Things That Decrease Breast Milk Production
There are certain other things that can decrease breast milk production. It is important to be aware of those when considering the causes and treatment for your decreased breast milk production.
Another Pregnancy – If you become pregnant again during your breastfeeding period, the hormonal changes occurring in your body due to the second pregnancy can cause a decrease in breast milk production.
Breast Surgery – Any breast surgery including the piercing for nipple ring can damage milk ducts and hence decrease the amount of breast milk being produced.
Underdeveloped Breasts – In some women, breasts don’t develop normally and can have insufficient milk ducts to produce enough breast milk. This problem usually occurs at the birth of the first child as with each successive pregnancy, further development in breasts occurs.
Such conditions must be evaluated properly for the management of decreased breast milk production.
These are some of the things that can cause a decrease in breast milk production, which is a useful thing to know for all new mothers.