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Domperidone and Lactation

July 28, 2011- Domperidone (Motiliumâ„¢) is a popular drug used to treat nausea, vomiting and gastric problems. However, there are instances of this drug to be associated with certain side effects, the one of which is that it increases the production of the hormone prolactin. Prolactin is the hormone that helps the cells in the mother's breast to produce milk. The prolactin secretion takes place indirectly, by interfering with dopamine's action. For more info, check out DomperidoneM

The Domperidone medicine is recommended for use in the problems of gastrointestinal tract. However, it is seen that most lactating mothers face a common problem of maintaining a sufficient milk supply. Though there are many methods of helping lactating mothers increase their milk, as a final option, medicated methods or drugs for lactating mothers to increase milk production is a viable option. One such medication that stimulates lactation is Domperidone (Motilium).

Domperidone may be a new and superior choice for increasing milk production. But it is to be noted that this medicine is currently not available in the U.S. In Canada, however, it is sold as an "off-label" basis for increasing the supply of milk in lactating women. There are certain small side effects which have made its use for many nursing mothers unacceptable. These are like fatigue, irritability, depression. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP, 2001), in a report cited that no known contraindications were noticed with the drug in lactating women. In June of 2004, the USFDA put out a warning against using domperidone due to possible cardiac side effects.

When is the Right Time to Use Domperidone for Nursing Mothers?

It is always advisale not to take domperidone as the first approach to solve the problem of low milk supply in the mother's body. It must not be used unless and until all other causes that may result in insufficient milk supply have been dealt with first. You can start doing the following:

  • Correcting the baby's latch.
  • Breast compression should be usedto increase the intake of milk.
  • Use milk expression after feedings to increase the supply.
  • Enable the baby to suck properly.
  • Artificial nipples should not be used.
Domperidone and Milk Production

Domperidone works well to increase milk supply under the following situations:

  • A mother who is pumping milk for premature baby in hospital has a decrease in the amount she pumps after one month the baby is born. In such a case domperidone brings the amount of milk pumped back to where it was or even to higher levels.
  • When a mother has a decrease in milk production, often due to intake of birth control pills, domperidone will often bring the supply back to normal.