My daughter and I have had some big ups and downs over the past 2 months of breastfeeding. She has tight frenulums (both upper and lower) but not tight enough to justify snipping them. This caused serious and persistantly poor latching, which we constantly work to correct. She had severe reflux, which has been improving on medicine. We think I may have had forceful letdown, which I've improved by sticking to one breast per feeding. My LC also suspected that my LO had a sensitivity to the proteins in the dairy I was eating, so I'm off dairy. A couple of weeks ago we had thrush, which we treated with gentian violet. Aside from a growth spurt which caused a bit of soreness from the constant feedings, the past week or so have been FABULOUS with the nursing. I was really starting to think we were over a hump. Then I started to notice that my nipples were very pink. I've been getting shooting pains in my left breast and today I noticed tiny red bumps all over that same nipple. I communicated with a LC from this site via email and she thinks it may be the thrush returning or it could be some other type of skin infection. I'm treating is as if it were thrush for now, but I can't get an appointment with my doctor until next week and I am starting to have increasing pain in my left nipple especially. I did get my doctor to call in a prescription, but I am starting to get so discouraged. I really want to continue nursing for as long as possible. She is only 2 months old and I was hoping to be able to nurse her for AT LEAST 6 to 12 months. I'm so sad because we've already had so many challenges and I'm starting to wonder how many more times this is going to return. I feel like I did everything right to get rid of the thrush. I sterilized EVERYTHING so thoroughly and used the medicine (gentian violet) exactly as I was told to. We were fine for a week and now it's back. I hate feeling like everything my daughter or I touch is contaminated. I guess I'm just looking for someone who understands. My husband and family are SOOO supportive of my nursing, but they also feel like we've been through so much and basically have told me that it's okay to stop if this is too much for me. I know that it is "okay" - which is to say that my LO will grow just fine on artificial formula - but I REALLY want to keep nursing. I'm just afraid of getting overwhelmed. The sleep deprivation and all these challenges are starting to get to me. I'm also having problems with pumping. I have to work for a couple of hours 4 days a week and I miss one feeding on each of those days. Not only is pumping hurting and causing my nipples to get a bit bloody (which encourages the infection to thrive I believe) but I'm also not even getting much milk from each pumping. I don't want to have to give her formula, so I end up running home after my job and making a mad rush to feed her. But I can't always make it in time and I'm afraid that my husband will be out of expressed milk and have to resort to formula sometimes. I know that's not the end of the world, but I just wish I could pump more each day.
As for the thrush, what if this infection keeps reoccurring? Could the pumping be causing it? Any tips on how to get rid of it? I washed EVERYTHING in boiling hot water and used the gentian violet as well as the cream my doctor gave me. Has anyone had thrush come back like this? I don't even know 100% that it is thrush. Does anyone know of anything else it could be? HELP!!!