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Thread: New here and in need of some support

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
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    32

    Default New here and in need of some support

    Hi There, I'm new to the forums but I'm looking for some support or insight into my latest issue! A little background or BF experience-

    Here's what is happening. I have twin, eleven month old boys who have been exclusively nursed. They do eat solids, but breast milk from the source is their primary nourishment, and food is our way of rounding out the the pyramid.

    Well, this past Tuesday I developed blisters on my nipples. Back in April I had a milk blister on the tip of my nipple and a blocked duct and developed mastitis. It was the worst but these blisters are different. I do not think they are milk blisters.

    I have two on my left nipple and about a dozen on the right. they are small and white, and incredibly painful. They are on the side of my nipple and on my areola.

    I tried to breastfeed my boys despite the blisters. And I tried to self treat by lathering on the Lansinoh, but by Thursday it was just too painful and I had two more blisters Thursday morning than I had the night before. So I went to the doctor.

    My doctor decided that it looked like contact dermatitis. Which is plausible as I am highly allergic to most things. Current theory being that Monday when I took the boys out to play, they touched a leaf on the ground then put their fingers in their mouths or that they put leaves in their mouths or ect... before I nursed them and that's how contact was made. (The boys' mouths look fine. They have had no issues.)

    So the doctor gave me a steroid shot and told me to stop nursing. I have a pack of steroid tabs that will take me six days to finish. And I have two little babies who are not very happy about having their number one pass time being suddenly removed from their lives. Plus, I'm crazy engorged because I went from six to eight twin nursing sessions to nothing!

    I am pumping, but doing so with caution as to not irritate the skin. So I only pump when I'm too engorged to stand it.

    My question(s) to everyone is-

    have you experienced blisters like these? were they anything other than contact dermatitis? what was your treatment?

    have you ever had to stop breastfeeding cold turkey? what got you through it?

    Have you ever stopped breastfeeding, then re-lactated? this is what I'm hoping to do...
    Last edited by @llli*twinsforthewin; October 25th, 2013 at 07:47 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    625

    Default Re: New here and in need of some support

    Did the doctor tell you to stop nursing just because of the steroids? Because he may have given you incorrect advice about the medication and it's compatibility with breastfeeding. I would call InfantRisk and ask them about your medication and it's transfer to milk. (806) 352-2519. Many doctors erroneously assume that a lot of medications are not safe for breastfeeding mothers, when in fact, they are okay! Please give Dr. Hale's center a call--he is THE authority on this matter.
    Apologies for the short responses! I'm usually responding one-handed on my smartphone!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
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    32

    Default Re: New here and in need of some support

    Great response, thank you!

    I think that the doctor told me to stop for two reason- because of the steroid and to let the skin heal.

    I spoke to both my boys' pediatrician and the lactation consultant from the hospital and they both told me that it would be ok to nurse while on the steroid.

    The plan of action I am taking is to take a two day latch break to let the skin heal.
    Pump to prevent engorgement.
    Then on Monday, if the skin looks better, I will try to nurse the boys with a nipple shield.

    The lactation consultant said that over the past summer, there was another mother dealing with the same issue! She had made contact with poison ivy and had to take time to heal before she could continue nursing.

    So, I feel a little bit better knowing I'm not the only one!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    5,926

    Default Re: New here and in need of some support

    Are you allergic to any foods? I had forgotten this but when I was first in LLL I remember hearing that even some non allergy prone moms tend to get some reactions of one kind or another esp. when children nurse after eating.

    I am worried about the not nursing and infrequent pumping causing more issues for you esp. since you have a history of plugs and mastitis. What about adding hand expression?

    I will be interested in hearing if the steroids work. If they do, as a preventative in the future, What about using a mild topical steroid ointment? Such a thing is suggested for breastfeeding mothers as a component of All Purpose Nipple Ointment so should be quite safe.

    If it turns out to be something aside from an allergic reaction, you could consider- friction blisters? Thrush? Bacterial infection? Some other skin issue?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
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    32

    Default Re: New here and in need of some support

    I have no known food allergies (other than mango, but I'm allergic to the urushiol in the skin and not the actual fruit), and the boys haven't eaten anything out of the norm. I'm the primary care giver and have pretty much been with them for every meal. They don't eat processed foods- so no secret, surprise ingredients.

    If it truly is contact dermatitis, I am highly suspect of the oak leaves that line our walk way. I am allergic to oak and that is what they were playing with. I have no actual experience with a previous oak reaction as I only know I'm allergic due to an allergy test and I usually protect my skin when I do yard work. But the nurse at my OB's office told me that she is allergic to oak and when she comes in contact she gets hives and similarly rashy.

    I too had thought thrush initially. I haven't had any other thrush like symptoms and neither had the boys. No white patches in their mouths, no inner breast pain or achiness. That said, I have taken to limiting my sugar intake, upping my garlic and slathering on some coconut oil.

    And friction blisters remain in my mind a possibility still. I was wearing the worst bra the day it started, one of those stupid nursing sports bras, while I was taking the double jogger out (it's in the trash now, I hate that thing!). I usually take it off as soon I get back through the door, but I got busy and wore it longer than usual. So my thought was that maybe that just created too much pressure and friction and made my skin vulnerable.

    My other thought was that though we've gone a year without any latch issues- it may be that somewhere in one of those sweet little mouths of theirs, there is a new tooth growing which is causing them to latch differently. Maybe I'm getting more teeth than usual? Has anyone experience with that?

    The pumping for me is a huge barrier. I have never been a pumper and I'm not at all skilled at it. Even as full as my breast are- I am not producing much for the pump. I have the most useless hand help, manual pump. I am pumping more than I initially thought I would be capable of. I was given a viscous solution of lidocaine to use on my nipples before pumping. I can't give the milk to the babies, I have to pump and dump- but at least it's relieving the engorgement and keeping my supply up. I've also been putting cabbage leaves on my breast. It's not the most becoming of looks or smells, but I do think it's helpful.

    I'm picking up nipple shields tomorrow and my plan is to start nursing again on Monday with the shields. If my skin looks better over the weekend, I might start earlier. Right now looking at it, there isn't much improvement despite the already heavy dose of steroids.

    I'll definitely post an update as to how it resolves in case something similar happens to another mother.
    Last edited by @llli*twinsforthewin; October 26th, 2013 at 01:47 AM.

  6. #6
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    Jun 2009
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    Default Re: New here and in need of some support

    Thanks let us know

    My other thought was that though we've gone a year without any latch issues- it may be that somewhere in one of those sweet little mouths of theirs, there is a new tooth growing which is causing them to latch differently. Maybe I'm getting more teeth than usual? Has anyone experience with that?
    Absolutely, "new" latch pain and nipple injury as baby ages is quite common. A combo of larger baby needing different positioning and a 'lazy' latch when baby is so big (and mom is such a good producer) they can nurse any which way and get plenty of milk...I would definitely suggest, look at some latch basics and look at positioning- even big babies need to be able to tilt their head back slightly in order to get that nice comfortable latch, and if baby is still being cradled in some way when nursing that can cause the chin to tuck, making a large mouth, deep latch difficult. I am sure you are familiar with the Mothering Multiples website? She has lots of great pix on there is you are tandem nursing…?

    By careful about the sheild, shields can cause more friction than simply latching baby in the breast.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    32

    Default Re: New here and in need of some support

    Thank you for all of this great feedback!

    Here is where I am at right now-

    I was up pretty much all night pumping, trying to relieve engorgement. I wasn't doing too well and I was too uncomfortable to sleep. At four in the morning I went into the nursery and woke my boys up and gave them each ten minutes at the breast. They removed more milk in ten minutes than I had pumped in three hours- relief! It was still painful nursing because of the blistered nipples- but now we're weighing nipple pain against engorgement pain- neither option is that great, but at least with by bearing the nipple pain, the boys get to nurse.

    I've D/Cd the viscous Lidocaine solution and have decided to stop pumping. I've nursed the boys twice today in addition to our early morning session. We usually have six to eight sessions daily and are now at three. I also switched up our nursing position slightly. We almost always do a double football hold with Baby A on the left breast and Baby B on the right. Today we did Baby A on the right in cradle hold with Baby B on the left in football hold. I tried the nipple shield and it's not going to work for us. Baby B was pretty freaked out by it so I didn't even bother to try it on Baby A. So- we are nursing directly off of the sore nipples. It's painful, but better than being engorged.

    I'm still taking the tapering dose of steroids. I've checked with my OB and the boys' pediatrician to make sure that it's safe to nurse while taking, it is.

    I'm not quick to drop the Dr's diagnoses of contact dermatitis- but I am not seeing much improvement from the steroids. I'm starting to think these blisters could be the result of a perfect storm of bad boob bummers: bad bra, bad latch, coming into contact with something I'm sensitive too, and possibly a developing overgrowth of yeast.

    I observed the boys' mouths while we nursed today and I do think Baby B definitely has a lazy latch. So I think I'll stop by my local nursing support group and get some tips on proper latching for his age.

    I was also thinking I might try Gentian Violet. I have some on hand that I ordered months ago as a preemptive strike. I've never used it. Is its use applicable to my situation? Will it be painful to apply to broken skin/ blisters?

    This is where I'm getting my information- please let me know if there is anything else I should consider before using:
    http://www.nbci.ca/index.php?option=...olet&Itemid=17
    Last edited by @llli*twinsforthewin; October 26th, 2013 at 04:56 PM.

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