Thrush Wars, Part 3

In Part 1, I talked about the first 8 weeks breastfeeding my twins and the initial help I received from Lactation Consultants and a Breastfeeding Clinic.

In Part 2, I talked about our unsuccessful Gentian Violet + Probiotics treatment and the start of my online research on thrush.

Week 9, con’t: Over the weekend, I continued my online research.  I concentrated on more reputable websites and tried to avoid discussion groups (other than my own birth club) and their horror stories!

Over and over again, I kept returning to Dr. Jack Newman’s Breastfeeding Help site, where I had found the Gentian Violet instructions. I talked to a friend of mine who is a labour & delivery nurse, and she confirmed his site as reputable and one she had referred to at work.

Dr. Newman’s article on Candida Protocol (the yeast that causes thrush) had a lot of useful information. He recommends a -tiered treatment:

  1. Treat with All Purpose Nipple Ointment (APNO): A compounded appointment made from an antibiotic (Mupirocin), a corticosteroid (Betamethasone), and an antifungal (Miconazole). Useful for many different breastfeeding problems that can cause sore nipples.
  2. If that doesn’t work, add Gentian Violet OR
  3. Use Grapefruit Seed Extract (GSE) topically on the nipples.
  4. If that doesn’t work, add GSE orally (capsules or tablets preferred) for the mother AND
  5. Probiotics for the mother and baby.

I was still trying to cut corners, though, and didn’t want to brave the clinic to get a prescription for APNO, so I sent my husband out to the healthfood store to pick up the GSE drops and I picked up some antifungal ointment (Canesten – Clotrimazole).

Week 10: treatments begin! After every feed I painted my nipples with a diluted solution of GSE (see Dr. Newman’s Candida article for dilution instructions), and I used the antifungal twice a day.  When not using the antifungal, I used olive oil so that my skin didn’t dry out.  I also started using the drops in my juice three times a day, in addition to the bioGaia probiotic drops.  In addition, I used the drops in the laundry and to sterilize soothers, bottles, and pump parts. By the end of the week, I was symptom free!

By symptom free, I mean not only did the stabbing, burning pain while feeding stop, but I could also shower pain-free and my nipples returned to their normal colour.  I hadn’t realized the sore nipples while showering and pink nipples were caused by thrush – I thought it was just a normal side effect of breastfeeding.  I had mentioned both of these symptoms to the breast feeding clinic and the public health lactation consultant, and neither had seemed concerned.  I had a freezer full of pumped milk – did this mean I needed to throw it all out??? About 50 ounces worth??!??! I was devastated, but decided to leave it in the freezer until I could find out more.

The boys still had thrush on their tongues, and their mouths were obviously irritated when feeding.  I decided to stop the oral GSE (it just tasted SO BAD!) and continue the topical GSE. Bad idea, because in

Week 11: PAIN! My symptoms came back.

To be continued…

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2 Comments

Filed under breastfeeding, thrush, Twins

2 responses to “Thrush Wars, Part 3

  1. 50 oz?!…..I would cry. I was proud of myself for compiling 8 oz in the freezer last week lol.

  2. Pingback: Thrush Wars, Part 4 | agilemom

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