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Thread: 8 Week Old - Thrush/Still Having Pain - Totally Discouraged

  1. #1
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    Default 8 Week Old - Thrush/Still Having Pain - Totally Discouraged

    Hi All -

    Brand new LLL member/poster here. I'm extremely discouraged because my daughter is 8 weeks old and we have been battling thrush almost this entire time. My daughter doesn't seem to be bothered by it at all, she's eating lots, soiling lots of diapers, gaining weight. But nursing is extremely painful for me still. We have been seeing a certified lactation consultant the whole time who has seen our latch several times and assures me it is good. Whenever we don't get a good latch, I immediately un-latch her and we try again … so I'm pretty sure the pain is not due to latch. I feel a variety of pain depending on the day - from sharp shooting pains in my breast to burning on the nipples, soreness on the nipples, lots of itching. My nipples are not cracked or bleeding, but they are very pink and sometimes shiny.

    We've tried everything at this point - at the moment our daily routine includes Nystatin 4x/day for baby, vinegar rinse after each feeding for me, Diflucan twice daily which I've now been on for 19 days. Up until the past 3 days, I had been using a combo of anti-fungal (Monistat) and anti-bacterial cream on my nipples - but as a last ditch effort I'm now trying extra virgin coconut oil. I am also taking a high quality probiotic and giving the baby probiotic crushed up in some breastmilk on her tongue.

    In terms of diet I am drinking lots of water and trying to avoid as much sugar as possible. And of course, we're sanitizing and washing literally everything we touch as much as possible.

    I am feeling so discouraged and wondering when this will go away and breastfeeding will get better. I attended my first LLL meeting this weekend, but only the leader was familiar with thrush.

    If anyone has any words of advice or encouragement, I would be so grateful. ALso, if anyone has had success with the coconut oil - it seems like it is making my pain worse, but I'm not sure if maybe it just takes a few days to kick in?

    Many thanks in advance!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: 8 Week Old - Thrush/Still Having Pain - Totally Discoura

    Welcome to the forum!

    Has the baby been diagnosed with thrush? Or are you going exclusively on your symptoms? The reason I ask is that sometimes stubborn thrush isn't actually thrush- it's bacterial or vasospasm. That being said, this sure does sound like thrush!
    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
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    Default Re: 8 Week Old - Thrush/Still Having Pain - Totally Discoura

    Thanks @lllimommal!

    The pediatrician saw a slight white coating on baby's tongue - that is all she's ever had and its fluctuated in size over the past 8 weeks.

    I don't know much about vasospasm … the tip of my nipple does usually turn white after a feeding … but would that cause the nipples/areola to be pink in color?

  4. #4
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    Default Re: 8 Week Old - Thrush/Still Having Pain - Totally Discoura

    Vasospasm wouldn't cause the nipple or areola to turn pink. But it can cause a horrible burning pain which is often mistaken for thrush. The best ways to deal with vasospasms are, first, to prevent them by making sure the baby has a great latch and by staying warm, and second, to slap a hot pad or hot water bottle on the nipple after nursing. If heat helps, then I think you can say that vasospasm is at least part of the picture here.
    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!"

  5. #5
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    Default Re: 8 Week Old - Thrush/Still Having Pain - Totally Discoura

    White tongue does not = thrush. But of course, a baby can be asymptomatic. But areola and nipple pink does not necessarily = thrush either. Bruising/inflammation from a poor latch or pump rubbing might cause that, for example. Not saying thrush is not the problem, but IMO if a mom and baby have been treated appropriately for thrush with no improvement, that is a possible indication the problem is not thrush.

    Thrush can keep reoccurring, and since it gets passed from mom to baby and back, it might seem to not be going away because it keeps reoccurring. So ANYTHING that comes into contact with your breasts or baby's mouth must be cleaned very well and often. Sometimes a mom gets it from contact with a family member, even a pet! So sometimes other family members must get treatment as well.

    Coconut oil has certainly helped some moms, but I do believe the evidence is anecdotal- in other words, a formal study has not been done. But I know an LC who has had a couple moms use it with success. HOWEVER I am not sure you should put anything on you that increases your pain.

    What do YOU think about your baby's latch? How often are you having to take her off and relatch? Has your nipple been cultured for possible bacterial infection?
    It certainly sounds as if vasospasm is going on. It can happen on its own or as part of thrush, and a better latch can help.

    I assume you have seen info from Dr. Jack Newman on thrush but jic: http://www.breastfeedinginc.ca/conte...agename=doc-CP

    and vasospasm: http://www.breastfeedinginc.ca/conte...ename=doc-V-RP
    Last edited by @llli*lllmeg; June 24th, 2014 at 11:56 PM.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: 8 Week Old - Thrush/Still Having Pain - Totally Discoura

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*lllmeg View Post
    White tongue does not = thrush. But of course, a baby can be asymptomatic. But areola and nipple pink does not necessarily = thrush either. Bruising/inflammation from a poor latch or pump rubbing might cause that, for example. Not saying thrush is not the problem, but IMO if a mom and baby have been treated appropriately for thrush with no improvement, that is a possible indication the problem is not thrush.

    Thrush can keep reoccurring, and since it gets passed from mom to baby and back, it might seem to not be going away because it keeps reoccurring. So ANYTHING that comes into contact with your breasts or baby's mouth must be cleaned very well and often. Sometimes a mom gets it from contact with a family member, even a pet! So sometimes other family members must get treatment as well.

    Coconut oil has certainly helped some moms, but I do believe the evidence is anecdotal- in other words, a formal study has not been done. But I know an LC who has had a couple moms use it with success. HOWEVER I am not sure you should put anything on you that increases your pain.

    What do YOU think about your baby's latch? How often are you having to take her off and relatch? Has your nipple been cultured for possible bacterial infection?
    It certainly sounds as if vasospasm is going on. It can happen on its own or as part of thrush, and a better latch can help.

    I assume you have seen info from Dr. Jack Newman on thrush but jic: http://www.breastfeedinginc.ca/conte...agename=doc-CP

    and vasospasm: http://www.breastfeedinginc.ca/conte...ename=doc-V-RP

    Thanks so much for your response @llli*lllmeg! I have often wondered if what I'm dealing with isn't actually thrush, especially because baby has such mild symptoms. A lot of the irritation on the areola is in a circle, right around the nipple, so perhaps the pink is more so bruising/inflammation/irritation from a bad latch. Thanks also for the info on coconut oil, I didn't realize the evidence is just anecdotal at this point, so maybe I'll go back to the prescription ointment.

    I would say the latch is ok. Both my LLL leader and IBLCE have said it looks good. It is definitely not perfect every time and I generally have to take her off and re-latch usually 1-2 times per session. I have tried virtually every position including laid back nursing many times, but find that the control over the latch that cross-cradle provides, is most helpful to me. In cross-cradle I can really make the breast "sandwich" to ensure baby has enough of the breast in her mouth, and flange her lips out more if I need to.

    My nipple has not been cultured for bacterial infection - in fact I wasn't even aware that could be done … is that something my OB can do? It is unfortunate but they are really inexperienced with breast-feeding issues/pain, etc … one OB I saw had never heard of or had experience with thrush.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: 8 Week Old - Thrush/Still Having Pain - Totally Discoura

    Forget how the latch looks- how does it feel? Baby latches on, what are you feeling? Does that feeling change at any point during the feeding?
    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
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    Default Re: 8 Week Old - Thrush/Still Having Pain - Totally Discoura

    Right when she latches on I feel a strong pain on the nipple and areola right around the nipple. Once she gets going sucking, the pain usually lessens, but is still there. I have yet to have a nursing session where all I feel is the "gentle tugging."

    The burning and stabbing pain usually happens after or in between feedings.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: 8 Week Old - Thrush/Still Having Pain - Totally Discoura

    In that case, I'm thinking the latch still isn't what it should be. Unsurprising in an 8 week-old baby, who is still so small. And when the latch is off and the nipple is getting compressed, that can easily cause a vasospasm. When your nipple comes out of the baby's mouth, how is it shaped? Is it symmetrical, like a pencil eraser, or is it asymmetrical/wedged/creased/ridged/shaped like a new lipstick?
    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!"

  10. #10
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    Default Re: 8 Week Old - Thrush/Still Having Pain - Totally Discoura

    OK I just did a feeding and made sure to look at my nipple after it came out of the baby's mouth and it looked pretty symmetrical to me, though the tip turned white afterwards again

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