Can you eat garlic when breastfeeding

In this small guide, we will discuss if you can eat garlic while breastfeeding and its effect on mother and baby health. We also give you some examples to include in your diet. 

Can you eat garlic when breastfeeding?

Yes, it is safe to eat garlic when you are breastfeeding. If you eat it in small amounts it’s very unlikely that it can negatively affect breast milk. Garlic is very beneficial for health and garlic has been used as a galactagogue, to increase milk supply. It has been used as a herbal treatment for years. 

25 years ago there was a study conducted by some researchers that loaded moms with garlic. The results were that mothers who ate more garlic had a change in the odor of the milk and babies tended to like it more. 

Is garlic considered safe when breastfeeding?

Latest investigations have suggested that there’s no special diet for a breastfeeding mom. So actually, there’s no food that a breastfeeding mom should avoid. Garlic is used all over the world in many recipes. 

Apart from its great taste it also has some medical properties. If you can tolerate small amounts, there’s not going to be a great difference in the odor or taste of your breastmilk.

The FDA categorized garlic as generally safe to consume during lactation. So, saying this, you can consume garlic in your diet but always check signs that your baby and you are tolerating garlic in your diet. 

It’s important to highlight that if you are taking medications such as anticoagulants, you should avoid garlic because it interacts with the medication (warfarin) and can cause side effects. Also, it’s not the same to eat garlic when breastfeeding as taking pills that contain raw garlic or garlic extracts for therapeutic reasons.  

A food chemist in FAU Faculty of Science conducted a study that found that the metabolite responsible for garlic aroma in breast milk is called allyl methyl sulfide (AMS), it is formed in strong concentrations in breast milk. Mothers that had eaten raw garlic and on average 2.5 hours later had high levels of AMS in their milk. 

There needs to be more research to know whether the aroma or taste of garlic in breast milk has an impact on food preferences in children’s later life. The team research showed that consuming garlic when breastfeeding affects breast milk but it is not a direct process. 

Can garlic cause colic in babies?

There is no evidence that garlic actually causes colic in babies but you should always try trial and error in your breastfeeding diet. If you see that the baby tolerates it, you can eat it freely. If you see any signs of fussy or colicky babies you should eliminate it from your diet and try again in a few weeks. 

There’s a study that suggests that more than 1.5 gram of garlic per day may cause odor and taste changes in breast milk but no correlation between causing colic to the baby was found. 

What are the health benefits of Garlic while breastfeeding?

  • It may help to maintain a healthy gut
  • Anti-inflammatory effect
  • Enhance immunity
  • Antifungal properties
  • Cardiovascular health
  • Lactation

Maintain a healthy gut

It helps digestion and keeps the digestive tract healthy.

Anti-inflammatory effect

May help in mastitis can provide some relief if you get mastitis. 

Enhance immunity

Garlic enhances the immune system and may help fight back some infections 

Antifungal properties

Garlic has antifungal properties. It may help some babies that have thrush and moms that get candida. It helps to eliminate yeast infections. 

Cardiovascular health 

Helps to lower blood pressure and cholesterol  


It’s believed that garlic may increase milk supply and babies tend to stay longer at the breast compared to mothers that do not eat garlic. Longer sessions help moms to maintain an adequate milk supply. 

Is garlic a galactagogue?

A galactagogue is a food that stimulates breast milk. Garlic is believed to increase milk supply and some studies suggest that when mothers eat garlic babies stay longer in the breast. Long nursing sessions help to increase milk supply. So if you want to include it in your diet just do it in moderation. 

How to eat garlic when breastfeeding?

  • You can use fresh garlic cloves directly with your food. You can chop it and cook it with some olive oil and add it to chicken, fish, meat, or any vegetable. Just add some salt and it will go perfectly with your food!
  • You can also use garlic powder with your salads, vegetables, or any protein
  • There’s also garlic paste. You can add it to some sauce or dressing. 
  • If you want more recipes and ideas click here.


In this brief guide, we addressed the question: can I eat garlic when pregnant? We also discussed the effects of eating garlic in breast milk, the health benefits, and how you can introduce it to your diet.

Hope you find this blog useful, if you have any questions please let me know. 


What was missing from this post which could have made it better?

Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.