How to Use Reglan to Induce Lactation

By Erin Watson-Price
You do not have to give birth to breastfeed your newborn.
You do not have to give birth to breastfeed your newborn.

Breastfeeding is one form of bonding between a mother and baby. Women who adopt a newborn or are having a baby by surrogate may want to breastfeed so they don't miss this important experience of motherhood. It is possible to induce lactation without pregnancy using herbs or other medications to trick the body into producing breast milk. One such medication is Reglan, a drug originally created to ease gastrointestinal pain and nausea. Because Reglan is a prescription-only medication, this method of induced lactation must be performed under medical supervision.

Using Reglan as Part of an Induced Lactation Therapy

Make an appointment with a family physician or OB/GYN who is familiar with lactation therapy. The physician will determine if you are healthy enough to begin induced lactation therapy and can give you a prescription for Reglan. He/she can also coordinate with the birth mother’s obstetrician and hospital to arrange a visit with a lactation consultant.

See a lactation consultant. If you are not able to see a lactation consultant at the birthing hospital due to travel distance, you can hire a lactation consultant at your local hospital. She/he will also assess your health, discuss induced lactation options and help you throughout the breastfeeding process.

Take the physician-prescribed dose. Reglan comes in a 10 mg dosage and can be taken two to four times per day. Don’t stray from the recommended dosage. Reglan was originally prescribed to treat gastrointestinal issues such as nausea and vomiting, so there is no need to take it with food.

Monitor any side effects and report to your physician if symptoms worsen or become unbearable. Mild side effects include fatigue, anxiety and dizziness. Extreme cases may result in depression and neurological disorders such as tremors, convulsions and even breathing problems.

Supplement Reglan therapy with a birth control pill and breast pump. This step is optional and will be up to the discretion of your lactation consultant and physician. The birth control pill will increase the levels of progesterone and estrogen in your body signaling the breast tissue to enlarge and prepare for milk production. Repeated use of a breast pump causes the release of oxytocin in the brain signaling the breast tissue to release milk.

Things You Will Need

  • Lactation consultant, recommended
  • Prescription for Reglan
  • Breast pump, optional
  • Birth control pill, optional

Warning

Do not attempt this or any form of induced lactation therapy without the supervision of a physician. The FDA does not recommend long-term use of Reglan and does not recommend its use in women who are breastfeeding. Severe side effects of long-term Reglan use include tardive dyskinesia (TD), the jerky muscle movements associated with Parkinson's disease.

About the Author

Transplanted Yankee Erin Watson-Price lives in Birmingham, Ala., and has been writing freelance articles since 1997. She worked as writer/co-editor for Coast to Coast Dachshund Rescue's newsletter, "The Long and the Short of It." In 2007 she obtained a certification as a copy editor. Watson-Price holds a Bachelor of Arts in creative writing from Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville.