One of the most exciting thoughts to me when I was going through my two pregnancies was the thought of breastfeeding my child. Now I definitely understand that not all mothers choose to breastfeed for various reasons and I totally appreciate each individual woman’s choice.
My reasons were somewhat complicated. I am not sure how I would have felt if I had not already experienced the past that I already endured with my breasts. We already had a close and tense relationship.
When I was 35, I was diagnosed with breast cancer in my left breast. I had a lumpectomy, followed by chemotherapy, followed by 6 weeks of daily radiation, followed by post cancer tamoxifen. It was a long road, but it was finally over and I was left with a distorted breast and little confidence that I’d be able to feed any future children.
I’ve had two post cancer babies. That in itself is the biggest blue ribbon prize I can think of for any woman who wants children, who has gone through a cancer process, and can still bear children after chemotherapy courses through their veins.
The breastfeeding piece, however, became nerve wracking for me. I was anxious about it as I had read so many articles about women not producing right away or not having enough with one breast even if they were able to produce milk. I was preoccupied as the day approached to meet my son.
The day finally came and as I had anticipated, I struggled. My son lost over a pound in the hospital and I was already devastated. If you’ve been a woman who really wants to breastfeed and are motivated to make it work, you put in hours of time into making it work. You feed every 20 minutes and have pumping regimens to try and get your milk going.
I did this for 6 weeks. I took herbal supplements, drank teas and did everything “natural” that was recommended, but nothing worked. I remember I cried a lot. My breasts had screwed me over again and I was in a situation that was beyond my control. I hated them.
I was starting to lose hope and my son was starting to drink more and more formula. As I was starting to give up the idea that breastfeeding was going to ever work, a family member mentioned the most amazing prospect to me to finally make my milk come in- domperidone.
This does indeed sound like Dom Perignon and in a sense, domperidone is like a fine champagne. Here’s the deal with this amazing drug. It is not available in the US. Sadly, the FDA will not authorize it for use as a breastfeeding drug and in 2017, shortly before I gave birth, they pulled it from all US pharmacies due to a potential heart issue that can occur while taking it. The percentages are small that a consumer would have this heart anomaly, but the concern was great enough to remove it from shelves.
It should be noted that it is not a drug that is indicated for breastfeeding mothers but rather a drug used to treat certain stomach and gastrointestinal issues. The drug can cause the patient to lactate as a side effect. This is the amazing part of this drug: it works.
Within 1 day, I was all of a sudden experiencing an engorged breast, leaking, and enough milk production to feed my son 50% of his daily milk intake. It works differently for every woman and with my second pregnancy, I am currently able to feed my son around 75% of his daily intake. It’s amazing. I went from producing maybe not even an ounce of milk per pump, to 6 ounces of milk per pump.
I was able to have the bonding experience with my child I never thought I could have, nourish him to an extent the way that I wanted, and have some control again over my breasts- something I thought not possible.
The opportunity to make breastfeeding work for me was not only an amazing experience for me and my sons, but it also helped me learn to love a part of my body that once tried to kill me. My breasts became something I admired instead of hating. It also helped me work though my emotions about breast cancer.
How does a person obtain this wonder drug if it is not available in the US? Canadian pharmacies still prescribe the drug and all you need is your OB to write a script. The problem is, however, your OB may be reluctant (mine was) because they are not willing to prescribe a drug banned by the FDA with no availability here. It’s a liability to them if a side effect like the heart anomaly should occur.
I came across an online pharmacy that does not require a prescription and I have been thankfully getting my domperidone shipped to the US. It’s great, it’s legit, and very easy to order. I have now been breastfeeding my second child for almost a year on this drug thanks to this pharmacy.
I will note that I do have one doctor that is in support of me taking this drug contingent I receive an EKG every 2 months or so to monitor for the heart anomaly that can occur. My suggestion is to find a doctor that would monitor this and agree to EKGs for reassurance if there is an interest in domperidone and the ability to breastfeed.
My breastfeeding journey has been amazing and I am grateful to have an experience I never thought possible. For more information on ordering domperidone please visit: