breastfeeding, encouragement, parenting

Decreasing Milk Supply

Decreasing milk supply to help with weaning and over supply can be done through herbs and medications.

The most common herb used to decrease supply is sage. Cabbage leaves and crushed Jasmine flowers are also used to decrease milk supply, by putting them on the breasts topically.  Other herbs known to reduce supply, especially when taken in large amounts are peppermint, spearmint, parsley, chickweed, stinging nettles, lemon balm and oregano. Antihistamines and birth control pills are prescription medications that can be used under medical guidance to reduce supply.

Consider the following questions before reading further:

Why do you want to decrease your milk supply? Do you think you have an over supply? If so please read here first. Sometimes an over supply can be caused unintentionally by the mother herself or there is a medical reason for it.  Other times it might simply be a forceful letdown.  If you still feel that your supply is over abundant, get in contact also with a breastfeeding professional for one on one help to rule out issues that can lead to further problems.

The non-herbal and non-medical methods to decrease milk supply are normally enough for the majority of breastfeeding mothers, however, if these methods have not proven sufficient and feel the need to use herbs or medications, it is important to keep in mind the following:

  • That whatever you use, for it to be truly effective, it needs to be used in the exact quantities.
  • Whether medical or herbal, they all have potential side effects and drug interactions.  So before taking them do check with your health care provider and/or a herbalist to check which is best suited for you and if it is safe as well.
  • Keep in mind that herbs and medications when not used well can eventually lead to a low milk supply.

Here under, you will find some information on sage (Salvia officialis) which is the normal go to, to decrease milk supply.

When using dried sage for the reduction of milk supply, take 1/4 teaspoon of sage 3 x per day for up to 3 days.  You can mix it in foods or a broth or taken in a sandwich.

When used in a tea. infuse 1 tablespoon dried sage in a cup of boiling water and steep for up to 15 minutes and drink up to 6 cups a day.

Lastly, you can use a tincture of sage.  You would need to take between 30-60 drops for 3-6 times a day. Do not use sage essential oil – it should not be taken internally.

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