Research

A cross-sectional descriptive study of breastfeeding behaviour and galactogogue use among private-sector patients in Cape Town, South Africa

N Steyn, M Zunza, E H Decloedt

Abstract


Background. Failure to exclusively breastfeed is often caused by a perception of insufficient breastmilk supply. Galactogogues are frequently prescribed in these circumstances, but this is supported by sparse scientific data with safety concerns for both mother and infant. The exact extent of galactogogue use in South Africa (SA) is not well known.

Objectives. To assess breastfeeding behaviour, galactogogue use and perceived galactogogue side-effects among patients attending International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) private practices.

Methods. We administered a self-developed, expert-reviewed questionnaire in five IBCLC private practices within the Cape Town Metropole, SA. All patients attending the practices during an 8-week period were invited to participate.

Results. Data from 104 participants were included in the study. An exclusive breastfeeding rate of slightly more than 50%, associated with greater parity (p=0.029), was found. Perceived lack of breastmilk predicted galactogogue use (p=0.013). There was a high prevalence of galactogogue use (54%), with 80% of these participants using non-prescription medication. Sulpiride was the most common prescription medication used. Increased milk production was reported by 41% (n=23) of galactogogue users, while 30% (n=17) reported no effect. Most reported side-effects were minor.

Conclusions. Prevalence of galactogogue use exceeded other published data. Sulpiride was most frequently prescribed, despite not being recommended during breastfeeding. A large group of participants reported poor efficacy. The effect of vaginal delivery and immediate skin-to-skin contact after delivery on milk production might be smaller than previously reported in mothers who are personally motivated to breastfeed. Healthcare practitioners should acknowledge breastfeeding mothers’ concerns regarding insufficient milk supply and emphasise correct breastfeeding technique


Authors' affiliations

N Steyn, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University and Tygerberg Academic Hospital, Cape Town, South Africa

M Zunza, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University and Tygerberg Academic Hospital, Cape Town, South Africa

E H Decloedt, Division of Clinical Pharmacology, Department of Medicine, Stellenbosch University and Tygerberg Academic Hospital, Cape Town, South Africa

Full Text

PDF (92KB)

Keywords

Breastfeeding; Galactogogues; Breast milk enhancement

Cite this article

South African Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology 2017;23(1):20-23. DOI:10.7196/SAJOG.2017.v23i1.1116

Article History

Date submitted: 2016-08-30
Date published: 2017-05-17

Article Views

Abstract views: 5973
Full text views: 1873

Comments on this article

*Read our policy for posting comments here


The South African Medical Association is the official publisher of the SAJOG.

                                                           

                                        SOUTH AFRICAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION

                                                         Events | Careers | CPD

 

The South African Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology| Online ISSN: 2305-8862 | Print ISSN: 0038-2329 | 

Creative Commons Attribution - NonCommercial Works License (CC BY-NC 4.0) | 

This journal is protected by a Creative Commons Attribution - NonCommercial Works License (CC BY-NC 4.0) | Read our privacy policy.

SAMA Journals: South African Medical Journal African Journal of Health Professions Education South African Journal of Bioethics and Law South African Journal of Child Health | Southern African Journal of Critical Care  | South African Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology | Undergraduate Research in Health African Journal of Thoracic and Critical Care Medicine  | Southern African Journal of Public Health