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.
In Part 3, I talked about GSE Treatment and a temporary relief in symptoms.
Week 11, con’t: My thrush symptoms came back, worse than ever, when I stopped the oral GSE drops. I just couldn’t stand the awful taste anymore! But I was desperate, and began taking the drops three times per day. I also decided that the twins and I needed a better probiotic, one with several different kinds of bacterial cultures that would help us beat this yeast. I went to the health food store and, upon recommendation of the clerk, picked up an adult blend probiotic for me and an infant blend in powder form for the boys. Once per day, I took my probiotic and dipped my finger in the boys’ for them to suck off. The week passed, and nothing changed other than the boys now had a rash on their eyebrows from the strawberry flavouring of their probiotics.
Week 12: By this point, I was desperate. Nothing seemed to be helping. A friend of mine with a breastfed seven-month-old called – she thought she might be developing thrush as well. She wanted to know what I’d tried and what worked. And, she had the actual All Purpose Nipple Ointment I mentioned in my previous post as her midwife had prescribed it when her daughter was born.
I decided that I needed to have this ointment, because nothing was working!! I braved a walk-in clinic on a Sunday, so that my husband could look after the boys. I registered, and they told me a one-hour wait. I went to Toys R Us, came back in an hour, and waited three more hours!!! I was severely engorged and in tears by the time I finally got to see the doctor. I had printouts of the APNO prescription and Jack Newman’s instructions on the use of Fluconazole for resistant cases. Since the wait is so long at clinics on the weekend, and I wasn’t willing to bring the boys with me to such a germ-infested area, I asked for the APNO and Fluconazole prescriptions.
The doctor I saw had never heard of Dr. Newman or his treatments. She wrote out the prescription for the APNO, but wasn’t willing to follow his fluconazole instructions. She wrote me a prescription for one week of fluconazole to use should the thrush continue to prove resistant, rather than the two weeks plus recommended by Dr. Newman. Oh well, it was better than nothing!
By this time, it was already after 4pm on a Sunday and pharmacies were closing quickly. I knew Safeway could make the APNO, because my friend filled her prescription there, and their pharmacy was open until 6pm. I went straight there, only to find the doctor had made an error on the prescription. She forgot to include the Miconazole powder – the antifungal and the primary thrush treatment! Luckily, the clinic was still open and the pharmacist was able to get through to the doctor to have it corrected. By 6pm, I had my ointment.
Monday I started the ointment, and Tuesday I returned to the health food store to do something about those eyebrow rashes on my boys. They were getting all my money there, I ended up going home with an improved infant probiotic with no added flavours, a specialty adult probiotic designed specifically to combat yeast, and GSE caplets so that I no longer had to taste those horrible drops. Dr. Newman feels the caplets work better, anyway.
By the end of the week, I was able to shower without pain and my nipples were no longer shiney. After a couple of days with upset tummies for all three of us as the probiotics regulated our systems, we started to feel better than before the treatments started – I had my happy boys back! Griffin’s tongue was starting to look better, but poor Dakota was having a harder time and the thrush seemed more resistant with him.
Week 13 (Present Time): The boys are now 12 1/2 weeks old and still battling thrush. I continue to dose them with probiotics two feeds a day, and am also swabbing their mouths with the diluted GSE solution before every feed. Dakota’s tongue is still not improving, but it doesn’t seem to be bothering him. Griffin’s has stalled at an almost-gone point.
I’m taking my anti-yeast probiotics twice a day, and the GSE caplets three times a day (but not within an hour of the probiotics). In addition, I use the diluted GSE solution and APNO on my nipples after every feed. On Monday, a new pain started in my right nipple – I’m not sure if it’s the thrush or a milk blister. I haven’t started the fluconozole because I’m not sure if what I’m dealing with now is thrush or not. I’m kind of in a holding pattern, and it’s very frustrating!
I’ve decided I need to see a lactation consultant (LC) to find out exactly where things stand. My friend has connections to a Vancouver LC who follows Dr. Newman’s practices. She doesn’t do house calls in the suburbs, but I’m willing to go to her! I just need to get her phone number, and then I can get moving on fixing this!
Oh, and my friend did ask the LC about frozen milk with yeast. She said not to throw it out, but to save any milk that could carry the yeast for last. The yeast will become inactive when frozen, but not dead, and when thawed out the yeast would become active again. However, this yeast is something that we all carry – thrush is just when it becomes overactive. A healthy, older baby would be able to handle the yeast without causing the thrush to return.
To be continued… wish us luck!