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Thread: What's wrong with me??

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
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    171

    Default What's wrong with me??

    I posted a couple months ago b/c I had what I thought might be thrush, and have been treating this whole time and we still haven't gotten rid of it :/ I think it started with me, DD is 3.5 months old and I have never really seen any evidence of thrush in her mouth, other than her tongue looking whitish from time to time (usually after she eats, so I'm pretty sure its just milk residue). I've been having burning around my nipples and some deeper pains off and on since late August. Nipples are also pretty bright red sometimes, and sometimes the tips look white too. I did Newman's cream for 6 weeks (baby was treated with Nystatin for the first 10 days) and it helped but I could tell it wasn't totally gone yet, so I made an appt with my midwife. She seemed pretty sure that I had a yeast infection and gave me a prescription for Diflucan for 2 weeks. She said that would almost definitely take care of it, but it's been 2 weeks and I still have symptoms. They improved some but I can tell its still there. So I'm starting another 2 weeks of Diflucan. We are on the 3rd round of Nystatin for my baby also (though I've still never seen any evidence of thrush in her mouth). We've been sterilizing all bottles, pacis, pump parts, etc. in the Medela steam bags each night. I air out my nipples after feeding and always change my bra pads & apply the Newman's after feeding as well. I take probiotics when I remember them. We wash all the bra pads, burp cloths and bibs in hot water & bleach every night too. Seems like with all that it should be gone by now, right? Maybe not?

    I guess I'm a little skeptical that it's thrush and am wondering if anyone has any insight for me. It doesn't really hurt to nurse at all, it's more just annoying in between feedings, but I'm worried that it's going to get worse if I can't get it to go away. I've read some about Reynaud's but I don't really think its that because I don't notice any difference or better/worse pain with different temps. I did have antibiotics during labor for GBS, which I know makes me susceptible to yeast.

    The main reason I'm skeptical is that I haven't seen any sign of thrush in my daughter, and it seems like if I've had it for this long it would have shown up in her mouth by now...I'm glad it hasn't but starting to get seriously annoyed that my symptoms aren't going away. The Diflucan seems to have helped but not as much as I expected it would. I'm not noticing the symptoms much at all in the right side now, mostly in the left (burning, itching around the nipple, deeper pains intermittently), but both nipples still look bright red sometimes. Pumping seems to irritate the left one more...nipple is usually sore after I pump.

    I've been thinking about going back to boiling instead of the steam bags...problem is that our tap water leaves a gross film on everything we boil. Also maybe drying the bra pads and stuff on high heat instead of low. Would that make a difference?

    I know this is super long, and there are already so many posts about thrush that I hate to post another one, but I'm so ready to be done with this! Any suggestions or insight would be much appreciated. Thank you!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    20,852

    Default Re: What's wrong with me??

    Mama, I am so sorry you've been dealing with this for so long! What a bummer. I can understand your skepticism about thrush, but if there's one thing that has become clear to me from reading about other mamas' thrush battles, it's that one member of the nursing pair can be asymptomatic. Since yeast is a normal part of your flora, it makes sense that one person can have a yeast overgrowth while the other person has a different balance of bacteria and fungi and therefore manages to avoid the overgrowth. Make sense?

    A couple of thoughts:
    - Have you considered the possibility that this is bacterial, and not yeast? It might make sense to get a culture done.
    - Have you tried applying heat after nursing? If this is vasospasm, applying warmth when the spasm hits should help.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    192

    Default Re: What's wrong with me??

    I have treated myself 4 times for thrush - twice with Diflucan and Lotrimin for me and Nystatin for the baby, and twice with gentian violet. I washed and sterilized like crazy, just like you. The symptoms would ease up for a few days and then come back.Baby never showed any signs of thrush other than white tongue.

    I went to see my LC yesterday and we figured out that it's vasospasms I'm experiencing, not thrush. It doesn't happen every time I nurse, but it does occur frequently. She recommended that I warm a rice bag and put it to my breasts before and after nursing.

    I hope you figure out what's going on. I know it's frustrating.
    Stay at home mom to my 2 boys:
    R - born 4/20/08, nursed for 20 months
    G - born 8/6/11, EPd for 4 months, until he refused the bottle!
    Loving CDing this time around!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Boring ole Michigan
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    205

    Default Re: What's wrong with me??

    There is a mama here who has Raynaud's Syndrome and says it can feel like thrush when breastfeeding. Maybe you can look into it? If you google make sure to include "breastfeeding" in the search.
    July 27 2011

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
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    171

    Default Re: What's wrong with me??

    Thanks for the suggestions! I have considered the possibility that it could be something else, just not sure exactly what it might be. If it was bacterial, would I have a temp? I don't so I kind of ruled that out.

    I've read the info on kellymom about vasospasms but I'm still kind of confused about what they are. The burning sensation is off and on (worse in the left & seems to be aggravated some by pumping), and I do notice that the tip of my nipples look white when I feel the burning. Usually the whiteness goes away after a few minutes, but the burning can linger. Could that be a vasospasm?

    Another reason I'm skeptical that it's yeast is that nursing isn't really painful. From what I've read about thrush, it seems like a big complaint is painful nursing and I don't have that. So maybe it's just not bad enough, I don't know. The burning is the most annoying thing...almost seems worse over the last few days, even though I'm taking Diflucan.

    I guess I'll give it the next 2 weeks of Diflucan and see what happens. I'll definitely be going back to my midwife if it doesn't work...I am determined to figure this out!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
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    10,440

    Default Re: What's wrong with me??

    That sounds kind of like vasospasm to me...

    If you don't have to pump, don't. I personally am not entirely sure the steam bags kill everything. You have to make sure there is the right amount of water. The right length of time for your microwave. There are variables. So if you don't have to, you can remove that potential source of infection and see what happens.
    Susan
    Mama to my all-natural boys: Ian, 9-4-04, 11.5 lbs; Colton, 11-7-06, 9 lbs, in the water; Logan, 12-8-08, 9 lbs; Gavin, 1-18-11, 9 lbs; and an angel 1-15-06
    18+ months and for Gavin, born with an incomplete cleft lip and incomplete posterior cleft palate
    Sealed for time and eternity, 7-7-93
    Always babywearing, cosleeping and cloth diapering. Living with oppositional defiant disorder and ADHD. Ask me about cloth diapering and sewing your own diapers!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    20,852

    Default Re: What's wrong with me??

    White nipples after nursing or pumping would be an indicator of vasospasm. What is happening is that the blood vessels in the affected area are constricted, reducing blood flow and leaving the area pale. You might also see a blue or purple phase in a vasospasm. try a hot pad after nursing and see if that helps. I had nipple vasospasms for years pre-baby, and the only thing that helped was a super-hot shower, and actually immersing the affected nipple in hot water.

    You can have a bacterial infection without a fever. If the infection is just on your skin, it might not be severe enough to provoke a major immune response.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
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    171

    Default Re: What's wrong with me??

    Hmmm I guess I need to find out more about vasospasms. Would the whole nipple be white or just the tip? Mine is usually just the tip, or part of it. I have noticed that they sometimes look reddish-purple, now that I'm paying closer attention. The truth is, I don't even remember what color is normal b/c they've been looking strange for so long. I'll try the heat and see if that helps at all. Do vasospasms ever go away or do you just have to keep dealing with them? Does it hurt to nurse with those? Or just after?

    I do have to pump 3 days a week while I'm at work & we don't give bottles unless I'm away from her. Unfortunately I've been battling this since I went back to work so I haven't been able to store anything for the last 8 weeks Luckily, I get plenty when I pump so I haven't had to supplement at all, but it would be nice to be able to store some up again. I think I'm going to go back to boiling pump parts & bottles just to make sure we're killing everything when we sterilize.

    Again, thank you so much for the suggestions! All the moms here are so helpful!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    20,852

    Default Re: What's wrong with me??

    I think it could be either the entire nipple or just the tip that turns white. For me it was usually just the tip. This link covers vasospasms: http://kellymom.com/bf/concerns/mom/...blanching.html. Vasospasms sometimes do just go away- but often it depends on treating the underlying cause. If compression due to a latch issue is causing the vasospasm, you probably need to fix the latch. If the vasospasm is due to Raynaud's of the nipple, a course of Nifedipine is supposed to fix the problem for at least some women. Whether or not it hurts to nurse with vasospasms also depends on what's causing them. If it's a latch issue, yeah, it's going to hurt like the dickens! If it's a response to cold or it's Raynaud's, you might be able to nurse pain-free and only feel pain after the session is done, or in between sessions.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

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