Motilium & Weight Loss

Motilium is a medication, also known by the generic name domperidone, that some nursing mothers take to increase the amount of breastmilk their bodies produce. Motilium stimulates milk production by increasing prolactin levels. Motilium is also prescribed for a stomach condition called gastroparesis. The drug is not available in the United States, but some nursing mothers in Canada use it to increase their breastmilk supply. Because a side effect of Motilium is weight gain, people who take it for either a stomach condition or to produce breastmilk may want to lose weight. Motilium does not cause weight loss and is not prescribed for this purpose, but you may be take other weight loss steps if you are taking the drug for gastroparesis or to increase your milk supply.

A young woman is holding a pill. (Image: Wavebreakmedia Ltd/Wavebreak Media/Getty Images)

Breastfeeding Mothers

Motilium is used by nursing mothers whose milk supply is not sufficient to feed their babies. Motilium appears to work by increasing production of prolactin, the hormone that produces breastmilk. Motilium may help mothers whose milk supply is low due to taking birth control pills, or when the baby goes on a temporary nursing strike. The medication may also be used for mothers who are exclusively pumping, trying to establish a milk supply for an adopted baby, though it is less successful in this instance. Motilium should be considered a last resort after working with a lactation counselor to ensure baby is latching onto the breast properly and that your diet is sufficient to make milk.

Gastroparesis

When Motilium is prescribed for stomach disorders such as gastroparesis, losing weight may improve the condition. Cut calories, increase aerobic exercise and drink more water to lose weight. Reduce your daily intake by 500 to 1,000 calories a day to lose one to two pounds weekly. Although losing weight alone may not eliminate the need for medication, it may significantly improve your symptoms.

Side Effects

Motilium has some side effects, though it is considered a safe drug. The most common side effect is headache, which increases with the dosage. Other common side effects include abdominal cramps and dry mouth. Even though nursing mothers experience these side effects, the baby does not seem to be affected. Weight gain is another possible side effect of the drug, especially when it is prescribed for gastroparesis.

Weight Loss

Many nursing mothers are concerned about weight loss. However, mothers with a low milk supply must use caution when dieting, to ensure that calorie and liquid intake does not fall low enough to further disrupt their milk supply. According to La Leche League International, most nursing mothers can safely eliminate 100 calories a day from their diet and can benefit from moderate aerobic exercise. Make sure to drink enough water. Because breastfeeding also burns calories, increasing your breastmilk supply will likely increase the amount of weight you lose.

Warnings

Motilium and its generic domperidone are not approved by the Food and Drug Administration for use in the U.S. In addition, the drugs are approved for use in other countries for treating stomach disorders. Prescribing Motilium to increase breastmilk is an unapproved, off-label practice. Motilium has been associated with serious heart risks, including cardiac arrest, cardiac arrthymias and sudden death.

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