How does domperidone help with breastfeeding?
There are products that can help with breastfeeding, including medications like domperidone. These substances are known as galactagogues because they stimulate lactation, which increases the production of breast milk.
Milk production by breast tissue in under the control of the hormone prolactin, which is produced by the pituitary gland, a small gland in the hypothalamus of the brain. Prolactin stimulates milk production in a new mother’s breast cells. The amount of prolactin produced is regulated by dopamine, a chemical messenger produced by nerve cells in the hypothalamus.
When dopamine is released it binds to specific receptors in the pituitary gland and switches off prolactin production, which in turn shuts down breast milk production.
Domperidone works by blocking dopamine receptors in the pituitary gland to increase prolactin production, and this stimulates milk production.