Re-establishing supply after thrush?
My son is 9 weeks old. 2 weeks ago he got thrush, passed it to my nipples, resulting in mastitis in my right breast. It hurt so bad to nurse and to pump, that I decided I couldn't nurse anymore. After 2 weeks of formula and now that the thrush and mastitis are gone, I want to go back to breast feeding. Is this possible? My breasts feel like there is no milk left, and after letting my son try to nurse today he seemed to get nothing out of my breasts so he got frustrated and refused to put the nipple in his mouth anymore. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
Re: Re-establishing supply after thrush?
Welcome to the forum! It's definitely possible to return to breastfeeding. It's likely to take some work, though. You started in the best possible way: putting the baby to the breast. A nursing baby is often better at stimulating supply than a pump- if he will nurse well, that is. Since it sounds like he got frustrated rather quickly and probably didn't do much to stimulate supply, I suggest doing the following:
- Use the pump to increase supply. You want to aim to pump every 2 hours during the day and every 3 at night.
- Use a good pump. A hospital-grade rental is probably ideal.
- Nurse as often as possible. The more chances the baby gets to nurse, the more likely it is that he will go back to the breast.
- Try the "finish at the breast" technique: offer a small bottle to take the edge off of baby's hunger, and then nurse. Baby may be a little more willing to nurse when he's not completely starving.
- Keep supplemental bottles small- the more often baby is hungry, the more chances to nurse you will have.
- Supplements: oatmeal, fenugreek, blessed thistle. All useful for increasing supply, but not a substitute for increased frequency/duration of milk removal.
- Try using the techniques in this link to lure baby back to the breast: http://kellymom.com/bf/concerns/child/back-to-breast/
In addition, here are some things to consider:
- Was baby ever treated for thrush? Even if he was asymptomatic, it's important to treat him, too.
- If this ever happens again, it's almost always best to continue to nurse or pump, particularly when the problem is mastitis. Antibiotics are an excellent treatment for mastitis, but for maximum effectiveness they should be combined with complete and frequent emptying of the breast. And of course, pumping/nursing maintains milk supply.