Breastfeeding self-efficacy and the use of prescription medication: a pilot study

Obstet Gynecol Int. 2012;2012:562704. doi: 10.1155/2012/562704. Epub 2011 Dec 15.


Objective. To examine the association of self-efficacy, perception of milk production, and lactating women's use of medication prescribed to increase breast milk in a cohort of 18-40-year-old mothers over six months. Methods. Mothers (n = 76) attending community clinics completed the Breastfeeding Self-Efficacy Scale and the Humenick/Hill Lactation Scale, a measure of perceived milk production, three times. Results. Domperidone, a dopamine antagonist, was used by 28% of participants. On average, those using domperidone had lower self-efficacy scores than those not using it (P < 0.05) and were more likely to have used formula (Pearson chi-square test statistic = 6.87, df = 1, P < 0.05). Breastfeeding self efficacy and perception of milk production were positively correlated. Conclusion. Breastfeeding assessment conducted prior to prescription of galactogogues is recommended for mothers and healthy term babies. Following Baby-Friendly hospital protocols and increasing self-efficacy for lactating women may be most effective in sustaining breastfeeding. Risks and benefits of various galactogogues are discussed.