Nurturing life Your reference in perinatal nutrition, from pregnancy to childhood

Can medication be used to increase the production of breast milk?

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By : Nurturing Life's Nutrition Team | Montreal Diet Dispensary
— Updated on :
medicament-production-lait-maternel

Yes, including domperidone, but only as a last resort.

Some medication is sometimes prescribed in Canada for mothers who do not produce enough breast milk. However, it is important to check with a medical professional whether there is really a milk production issue before resorting to this strategy.

When the production of breast milk is considered insufficient by a medical professional, medication may be indicated, if no other methods have worked. The doctor will then prescribe drugs.

Domperidone is the most commonly prescribed drug in Canada for the increase of milk production. This medicine is usually used to treat gastrointestinal problems. The increase in milk production is a secondary effect, possibly caused by an effect on prolactin, the hormone that stimulates the milk production.

Domperidone is found only in small quantities in breast milk and causes few side effects to the mother. However, possible cardiovascular effects were recently noted by Health Canada. If the mother or the baby have heart problems or take medicine affecting the heart, it is important to talk to a doctor about it.

Other galactogogues (substance that increases milk production) can also be prescribed: metoclopramide, metformin and oxytocin. However, the use of these drugs is not necessarily recognized by Health Canada.

Remember that before using a galactogogue, we must identify the cause of insufficient milk production with the help of a lactation consultant, since advice on breastfeeding technique or other technical problems may be enough to stimulate the production of breast milk. Some factors affecting breast milk production may also be identified.

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The views expressed herein do not necessarily represent the official views of the Public Health Agency of Canada.