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When it’s Time for the Milk Flow to Slow
Going back to work. Being deployed. A heartbreaking side effect of baby loss. Or it’s just time. There are many reasons a woman might want to stop breast milk. Unwanted breast milk can cause sore, aching, engorged breasts, but there are traditional antigalactagogue herbs that have been safely used for generations to help reduce milk supply.
Herbs that can reduce breast milk are called anti-galactagogues. This list includes common herbs that you might see in herbal preparations, supplements or foods. And in general they can be ingested in “culinary amounts” without effect – so go ahead and sprinkle a little sage on your pizza, in moderation. Even peppermint candies should be avoided in large quantities as they can contribute to reduced breast milk. Like the foods we eat and the medicines we take, some of the constituents in herbs are excreted in breast milk and ingested by a nursing baby, so of course you want to make sure they are safe. KellyMom’s list of herbs that may be harmful for breastfeeding mamas and their babies is essential reading for herbal awareness. As always, for your safety and your child’s safety, if you are pregnant or breastfeeding check with your healthcare provider before taking herbs, prescriptions or over-the-counter medications.
Here are some of the most common herbs that reduce breast milk supply. Keep your eye out for:
- Parsley leaf (Petroselinum crispum) — Culinary amounts are a sprig or a sprinkle, watch for foods with larger amounts of parsley, such as tabbouleh
- Peppermint leaves (Mentha piperita) — Be mindful of peppermint candies and breath mints for all herbs in the mint family
- Spearmint leaves (Mentha spicata)
- Sage (Salvia officinalis) — Please note, sage should not be consumed in greater than culinary amounts during pregnancy
When the time is right and the intention is to stop breast milk production, you may prefer to get antigalactagogue herbs in pre-measured, easy to brew tea bags, like in Earth Mama’s unique and comforting Organic No More Milk Tea. Formulated with tangy hibiscus flower and antigalactagogue sage,
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