A drug commonly given to women to speed up the delivery of the placenta is now being blamed for poor breastfeeding rates in the UK.
The drug known as ergotmetrine has been determined to disrupt the body’s response to the birth hormone oxytocin and prolactin, a hormone responsible for milk production in mothers.
While the drug didn’t impact the rates of mothers initiating breastfeeding, it did reduce the number of mothers who continued to breastfeed past 2 weeks.
One of the authors of the report, Dr Amy Brown, said:
“The findings are very interesting as they add to the growing evidence that medications that mothers receive during labour and birth might make breastfeeding more difficult and explain why, as the number of complicated births rises in the UK, breastfeeding rates have dropped.”
“We knew previously that women who receive this injection were less likely to breastfeed but were unsure why this might happen.”
“This data tells us why: women are more likely to experience pain and difficulty breastfeeding their baby which leads to them moving to formula milk.”
The findings have been published in the scientific journal, Breastfeeding Medicine.