For married women, this scheme is very helpful.
For unmarried women, this scheme is not useful.

These sentences are clear because we have a term unmarried. I face difficulty describing the same thing whilst talking about the herb that increases the breast milk (of course, in mothers) but then it does not mean that women who are not mothers cannot use it for the breast enlargement.

[Herb] increases the quantity of breast milk in mothers but non-mothers can also take the herb as it helps multiplying the breast tissues resulting in a natural breast enlargement.

I'm not talking about a woman with infertility. I just want to refer a woman who has no issue/child. To make you all understand, I have referred her to as a non-mother. I don't want to use unmarried as it does not serve the purpose.

I can write ... "breast milk in mothers but women in general can also take the herb..." but then it's paraphrasing. I need the term, if available.

  • 1
    Note that help takes an infinitive, not a gerund: helps to multiply or helps multiply. And multiply is usable only with countable entities. The plural in tissues denotes different kinds of tissue; but the herb does not multiply the kinds (which would imply cancer!), it increases the tissues. – StoneyB on hiatus Mar 16 '14 at 13:44
  • You could also say "This herb increases breast tissue in women generally, resulting in breast enlargement, and in lactating women it will increase the amount of breast milk." There's no need to come up with a word or phrase that means "not mothers". – Tᴚoɯɐuo Sep 12 '16 at 16:11

As Jolenealaska says, we have no such word. Non-mothers is perfectly acceptable and understandable; but as you discern, it’s sort of clunky.

But since you have already identified the category with which this category is contrasted, you need not give it an explicit name. Just write:

[Herb] increases the quantity of breast milk in lactating mothers, but other women can also take the herb ...

I’ve added lactating, since you presumably want to include mothers of older children in your second category.

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    Very good point to rephrase as "lactating mothers". Women can be mothers without having given birth. – Roger Mar 17 '14 at 15:05
  • Beside Lactating mothers, I would like to suggest breastfeeding mothers and non-lactating women (also written as nonlactating women). – Damkerng T. Mar 18 '14 at 21:24
  • @DamkerngT. But presumably it increases the quantity of lactating mothers whether or not they are breastfeeding. – StoneyB on hiatus Mar 18 '14 at 21:34
  • I think you're right! (I just read what Maulik wrote once again.) How about the non-lactating women? I think it could be something close to what he was looking for. – Damkerng T. Mar 18 '14 at 21:41
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    @DamkerngT. Oh, sure. But it's cleaner just to write "other". – StoneyB on hiatus Mar 18 '14 at 21:44

The English language lacks the word you are looking for. It just doesn't exist. In other languages, it's right there, front and center. Not in English though. Others might be able to come up with a word, but they're jumping through hoops. The best option available within the common language is probably "girl" vs "woman".

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    I disagree with the recommendation of "girl" over "women in general" because it introduces considerations of age. – Tyler James Young Mar 16 '14 at 13:40
  • True, but so do similar words in other languages. We don't have Madame vs Mademoiselle or Ajumma vs Agashi. We only have what we have. – Jolenealaska Mar 16 '14 at 13:47
  • Right, but if the distinction is between nursing mothers and other women it doesn't make sense to speak of marriage or age--least of all to include children (who I don't imagine are in the target audience for this particular brand of snake oil). I think StoneyB does a good job with the words we've got. – Tyler James Young Mar 17 '14 at 0:23
  • Madame vs Mademoiselle secondarily introduces age considerations, but primarily is one of marriage. Girl vs woman is predominately one of age. – eques Sep 12 '16 at 14:30

Actually, English does have such a word. The clinical term to describe a woman who has never given birth is nullipara. The similar word nulligravida refers to a woman who has never been pregnant.

However, both of these words are rather uncommon outside a medical setting.


Doctors use the term "nullipar", from the Latin "nulliparous". It means "a woman who has never carried a child to term", as opposed to "a woman who has never been pregnant".

Usually encountered in the context of cancer patients, as in "The subject is a 54 year-old nullipar with no previous history of cancer or abnormal pap smear."


As others have noted, there is no single word that means "woman who is not a mother". The conventional term to use to describe such a person is "non-mother". This is very commonly and routinely used.

Theoretically, all men are "non-mothers", but the term is normally understood to refer only to women.

A potential catch here is that in context, it looks like you are talking about women who have babies. "Mothers" means a woman who has one or more children, regardless of their age. That is, a woman with a 20 year old child is still called a "mother". If your intent is to say women who are breast feeding, then you would have to say "breast-feeding women" or "lactating women". The opposite would be "non-breast-feeding women" or "non-lactating women", which is getting rather awkward. At this point "other women" might be a good choice.

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