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

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

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School of Nursing, Faculty of Nursing, University of Calgary, 2290-2500 University Drive NW, Calgary, AB, Canada T2N 1N4.



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.


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.


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.


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.

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