Objectives: The objective of this study was to investigate the efficacy of metoclopramide on augmentation of milk production in mothers of premature newborns.
Methods: This was a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Women who delivered at ≤34 weeks of gestation, with no prior breastfeeding experience, singleton pregnancy, and no contraindications to using metoclopramide were eligible for entry. Twenty-five women were randomly assigned to receive 10 mg of metoclopramide or placebo three times daily for 8 days starting within 36 h of birth. Certified lactation nurses provided breastfeeding education. Breast milk expressed at each pumping session over the 8 days of treatment was recorded.
Results: Data from 18 patients were available for analysis. Milk production in both groups increased rapidly during the first 4 days and then more gradually to an average for the last 4 days of 633 ± 168 (9) ml/day [mean ± SEM (n)] for the placebo group and 459 ± 91 (10) ml/day for the metoclopramide group. Analysis with a repeated-measures ANOVA indicated a significant increase in milk production during the 8-day measurement period [within subjects p < 0.001]; however, there was no significant difference in milk production between the two groups [between subjects p = 0.427]. Side effects were similar between groups.
Conclusion: In mothers with preterm babies, metoclopramide treatment does not augment (sample size had 80% power for detection of 50% difference) the breast milk production. Maternal interest, education, and support are recognized as mainstay in accomplishing successful lactation.