Lactation Help with Reglan???

Updated on January 18, 2008
R.B. asks from Milford, NH
13 answers

I've tried everything, herbs(Fenugreek, Blessed Thistle, and Nettle), Mother's Milk tea, food(calories)/fluids, pumping, days/nights of suckling for added stimulation and nothing has increased my breast milk, finally my Lactation Consultant and Midwife both feel I should try Reglan. After Googling it, I'm afraid to try, the potential side effects are many and severe(sever depression, seisure, facial/body ticks, temporary paralysis are just a few). My son is almost 5 months, he is gaining/growing well but it's been a struggle since day one. We've muddled through but he crys for more and I nurse both sides completely dry every 3 hours, day and night. We have started him on ceral once a day, but I'd like to still primarily nurse for the first year I just don't have more to give. I supplement him now with about 8 ounces a day of formula with a Supplemental Feeding System and have been using the SFS since about 2mo. I'm not even taking my BC mini-pill yet because it can affect supply. Any input on how a drug worked for any of you?

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So What Happened?

I didn't do the Reglan and am working with an Herbalist taking larger doses of herbs than before. She is grinding Fenugreek seed for me rather than using what is "older" from the health food store. I'm taking 4 caps 4x/day at 500mg per cap of fenugreek. After 4 days I'm beginning to smell like maple syrup, which I was told is a sign of finally being saturated and reaching the appropriate level of dosage. I'm also taking 3 caps 4x/day 500mg ea of Fennel and 2cap 500mg ea 4x/day of both Alfalfa and Blessed Thistle. It seems to be working some, so I'll keep it up. I think the trick is FRESH dried herbs. As far as a medication goes, I found something with less side effects than Reglan because it doesn't pass the blood/brain barrier called Domperidone. It's approved for milk production by the American Pedi Assoc. but is hard to get. You can order it online from an out of country pharmacy or with a prescription from a few states, but it must be compounded by the pharmasist. I will not stop breastfeeding until I have exhausted all avenues and would try Domperidone if the herbs fail. If anyone has interest in that drug, look here: http://www.breastfeedingonline.com/domperidonewhere.shtml, but for me I'm going with natural first. Thanks to all for your suggestions and "pats-on-the-back" for my tenacity, but what else can I do to provide what's best for my little guy! Take care.... R.

More Answers

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L.H.

answers from Pittsfield on

don't do it- don't take the risk. fire the lactation consultant.
if he is gaining and growing well HOW can there be a problem?
feed him more often like every 1 and a half or two hours like my completely breast fed one year old demanded when he was that little.or pardon my saying but maybe he is crying because you are freaked out and he is picking up your energy. breastfeeding is a symbiotic thing. i used to make myself nuts about such things too and when i stopped obsessing about and over thinking every feeding things smoothed right out and and we became a great nursing team. in my opinion lactation consultants were put on this earth to make women crazy and doubt their instincts. can you find a way to really start over and breathe and assume everything is going to be fine because he is gaining and growing normally and not take or listen to advice and just tune in with your kid? and get more sleep and calories! and drink a guinness a day to relax if nothing else! you can do it- you are made for it.

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C.L.

answers from Boston on

After the premature birth of my son, I was pumping 8 times a day - around the clock - and still had trouble maintaining my supply. I tried fenugreek and saw a slight increase in supply, but when I tried reglan I saw an immediate significant increase with no noticable side effects. Best of luck!

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C.T.

answers from Boston on

Dear R.,

I had the same problem when I had my son. I drove myself crazy and would sit on the best pumps money could buy mind you for hours. When all was said and done I was lucky if I had an ounce of milk. After 4 weeks of this I was completely exhausted and finally the nurse consultant who visited me twice a week told me that it was time to give it up. Not all woman can breast feed and that I should not feel badly about which I did. I had to use formula for him. If you continue to have a problem you just have to know when to give up. Do not be hard on yourself. Sometimes if you are stressed the milk will hold back. I was a very nervous Mom and the nurse told me that I was too tense and of course not being able to produce made me more anxious. Do what you have to and love your baby.

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C.B.

answers from New London on

Reglan has been used as a galactogogue with success however, there are side effects that go along with this medication. Mnay mom's have found that simply eating whole grain oatmeal 2-3 times a day has increased their supply. I am a "retired" La Leche League leader and an adoptive mom. I breastfed all four of my children. The fourth child, I induced / relactated when we adopted her. There is a wonderful adoptive breastfeeding site "fourfriendsdotcom." On this site, there is a protocol which may help you. Personally, I used domperidone to induce lactation- along with lots of oatmeal. There is a mothers milk tea available in most health food stores- stop and shop too!

I would be more that happy to talk with you off this board too.

C.

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J.N.

answers from Boston on

I've never heard of the drug, but if your gutt is telling you no then you should trust yourself and listen to it. As far as your milk production goes, it may be that you are not well rested and worried (as all mothers are) and that can affect your milk production. However if he's growing then I'm not sure what the problem is. It sounds to me like you're doing fantastic and only want what's best for your child. I'd probably try feeding every two hours rather than three. And talk to your baby while nursing so that you can get your mind off of what you're doing. I've heard many doctors suggest supplementing with a little formula AFTER nursing. Sometimes, a little prayer may be enough to relax you. Good luck. -J.

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J.C.

answers from Boston on

Hi there,
Have you heard of or tried Fenugreek? Someone suggested this to me with my second baby. I called my OB/GYM and she said to give it a whirl and that she was comfortable with that. It is all natural. It seemed to work somewhat - friends of mine thought it worked great for them. Good luck!

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J.W.

answers from Hartford on

I would like to say Congrats on the birth of your son and good job trying so hard to breastfeed. I took Reglan and had no side effects except for tiredness. But I only took it for nausea during and after pregnancy when I got migraines. SO, it wasn't a regular thing but I am pretty sensitive to meds, so I would give it a try if that's what midwife suggest. You can always stop if you have ill effects. ALso, pumping isn't as good at stimulating production as the baby, so try to have him nurse as much as possible. And there is also a tea called "Mother's Milk" which has fenugreek I believe. I have heard others swear by this tea. Good luck and hang in there. You are doing great!

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B.M.

answers from Boston on

Never took Reglan, but big props to you for sticking with nursing! I had a supply issue, too, and it can be soooo frustrating. I skipped Reglan and just supplemented. I so badly wanted to exclusively breastfeed, but I was leery of the side effects of Reglan. I went to a homeopath and saw a slight improvement with the remedies. A friend with supply issues had accupuncture and saw a slight improvement, too. Nothing helped me more than drinking at least a gallon of water a day. It was tough to drink that much but it did help.

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L.E.

answers from New London on

Hello, I'm a nurse and believer in homeopathic and alternative medicines. Most don't trust these variations, but they do work. Don't take Reglan! Try some accupuncture, Reiki therapy. You're right, the side effects are horrible, however you may not even get them. I wouldn't want to take the chance. Research natural medicine clinics or reiki therapy. It uses energy to help cleanse and stimulate certain "problem" areas of the body. Don't give up on breast feeding, if it doesn't work out, try Nuetramagen. It's gentle on the stomach and works for most. Try going to a natural foods store as well to see what types of formulas they may have.

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M.V.

answers from Providence on

Reglan sounds horrible! I know not everyone gets the side effects, but it just isn't worth it. It's hard to give up breast feeding-sometimes harder for Mom than babe. BUT listen to your body. Nurse as often as you can, & supplement when you need to. He'll still be getting your milk, but the supplement will help. Also your son is a month away from solids, if you haven't tried already. Don't panick, I think you're feeling guilty about something you have no control over. Give yourself a break. There's nothing wrong with formula. Breast milk is best, but formula is very good as well.

I tried Fenugreek-the herbal tea. It did nothing for me.

Try being less hard on yourself. You're doing your best.
Best of luck!!!!

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C.A.

answers from Providence on

Try drinkig a beer. The yeast supposedly helps.It worked for me. And try to relax, this should be a time of calm and bonding. Your baby sounds as if he's doing fine. I support your instincts about avoiding the drugs. It takes the unatural into the natural. Put some trust into your body. It is an amazing machine. Good Luck.

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S.C.

answers from Boston on

I don't have experience with Reglan so I can't offer you advice on that, but I wanted to write to you and just tell you how impressed I am that you've been working so hard to nurse your baby. Whatever you are able to do from here, you've already done a huge amount in the face of pretty significant challenges. A few suggestions for your decision-making on reglan: I am a physician and I know that for pretty much any medication there are a huge number of side effects listed. That doesn't mean you should take the list lightly, but it would be useful to talk to someone with more expertise regarding how common such side effects are (and how likely they are to resolve quickly if you stop the med). Some possible resources could be a primary care doctor if you have one (or an OB-gyn, but it sounds like you see a midwife instead). Sometimes community pharmacists at the drugstore can give very helpful info if you come at a non-busy time. A website that I know of (and was referred to by a physician friend) may also be helpful (massachusetts breastfeeding coalition) -- http://massbfc.org/ -- they may have info on the site or else a way to contact someone w questions.

Good luck and don't forget to congratulate yourself for everything you've done so far!

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C.D.

answers from Providence on

I took it with my twins (in '04, my daughter nursed but my son never latched) as well as in '07 with my last son. I and the children have had no ill side effects. And, actually, I'm not sure what "severe" effects you speak of. Perhaps things have changed since I researched it in '04 but I don't recall there being anything dangerous about it. Anyway, within two days my milk supply doubled. Worked wonders!

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