Running Dry? 5 Foods to Avoid

Establishing and maintaining your breast milk supply can be hard enough as it is.

Did you know that certain foods and spices will sabotage your ability to keep producing milk?

Here is a list of five foods and drinks you need to avoid to keep up your milk supply.


Traditionally sage was used to help mothers stop lactating, for example when the children are old enough to be fully weaned. Sage is a potent anti-galactogogue, a substance that inhibits the production of breast milk, and should therefore be avoided in your general cooking.

Although you would need to eat copious amounts for it to have a dramatic effect on your milk supply, it’s best to leave out dishes that use parsley as a main ingredient (e.g. tabbouli salad) if you are encountering problems with your milk supply.

A chewing gum here or a mint there shouldn’t be an issue, but beware if your toothpaste uses real mint. Also ease off the fisherman’s friends and candy canes. They contain strong peppermint and won’t help you with maintaining your milk supply.


Keeping up with your baby’s feeding schedule is tough at the best of times and coffee promises a convenient quick fix, not to mention a welcome treat. However, bear in mind that caffeine is extremely dehydrating and can literaly cause you to “run dry”. A good alternative is Roibos tea. Not only is it hydrating and contains no caffeine, it is also a galactogogue so will help you to produce more milk!


There are conflicting opinions as to how helpful alcohol is to a breastfeeding mother. Needless to say spirits are a definite “no-no” for the baby’s safe development. However, many mothers swear by a a few sips of beer to help them with the let-down and the barley may also prove helpful in producing more milk. This is controversial advice and smacks of 1950’s logic, so our advice is: keep off the booze.

Though it may be tempting to have a glass of red wine to relax, if you are having problems producing milk, it will only serve to dehydrate you and reduce your supply in the long run.

If you are having problems with your milk supply, don’t hesitate to see a qualified lactation consultant who may be able to point you in the right direction of what you can do to increase your milk supply.

This article is written by Tamara Seager Hall