My GP says "just stop breastfeeding"

(44 Posts)
LifeGotInTheWay Wed 10-Aug-16 11:03:22

DC is five months, EBF. After feeding, one side is desperately painful so bad I sometimes can't speak through it and I catch my breath, this continues for around 3 hours after a feed. Feeding on the other side is lovely, wonderful, textbook.

Have had extensive prolonged treatment for thrush as it isn't comfortable at latch and the pain is deep and burning afterwards, so does sound like thrush. But, the treatment isn't working. GP says there is no further treatment available and nowhere to refer me. They don't know what it is and the only answer is to stop feeding.

I have fed through this excruciating pain for nearly four months now, and don't want to stop feeding as the other side is perfect and there is clearly just something that needs to be fixed on the bad side, but it seems no one can diagnose what is wrong.

Do any of you wise ones have any clue what could be causing such terrible pain after feeding, on only one side, for such a long time? Any experience of thrush treatment not working? And could I have thrush exclusively on one side for this long?

And lastly, has anyone fed post 6 months from just one side? Did you produce enough milk?

I am desperate but don't want to stop feeding for quite a few reasons.

Thanks all!

MovingOnUpMovingOnOut Wed 10-Aug-16 11:06:47

I do know some women only fed from one side.

Is it definitely thrush? If you had pain in your breast for any other reason it would be investigated more thoroughly. Can you get a second opinion from another GP?

Lemonwords Wed 10-Aug-16 11:06:49

I fed from one side from 6 months to 2 years. No issues.

I hope someone can help with your pain. Try Le Leche League Facebook group unless someone knows here.

MovingOnUpMovingOnOut Wed 10-Aug-16 11:08:05

Have you spoken to a lactation consultant? NCT, ABM and LLL all do free helplines as well as in person support in various forms. Worth giving a call any way.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Wed 10-Aug-16 11:10:04

What treatments had the doctor given you? Have you tried oral fluconazole?

www.breastfeedingnetwork.org.uk/wp-content/dibm/thrush-oct14.pdf (triggers download)

DocMcFanjo Wed 10-Aug-16 11:15:14

I'm a GP and had exactly this situation with a patient in the past. I admit it was very difficult to know what to do after the thrush treatment

I referred her to a lactation consultant, but I'm not sure she was great tbh. She advised s breast clinic referral and they did an ultrasound to rule out an abscess but once they'd done that they had no further advice, even going so far as to say that breast thrush/breastfeeding wasn't their area confused!

I ended up ringing the consultant in the microbiology lab for advice and he was very helpful in terms of advising re swabs, other possible infective causes, and treatments.

We did get it sorted eventually but the patient was prone to relapses of thrush following that (maybe twice more till she weaned her DC).

I'd definitely advise a lactation consultant who knows their stuff- maybe you can get a recommendation locally?

Camembertie Wed 10-Aug-16 11:19:29

Owww - poor you sounds so painful, was going to suggest possibleRaynauds but symptoms don't fit.

To reassure,however, I fed DS until 2 on just one side, and that was using my 'smaller' boob too - he just wouldn't feed on the other side ever.

Good luck, really hope you get it sorted, but checking for abscess is a good idea as could potentially get worse if you don't manage stopping feeding well.

CatatonicLadybug Wed 10-Aug-16 11:33:31

Definitely possible to feed from one side only. I only have ducts on one side and once that was discovered things were straight forward.

No experience with the thrush I'm afraid but at one point I had what felt like a dozen doctors and midwives telling me to just stop, so know you're not alone. We went until 20 months without issue in the end.

LifeGotInTheWay Wed 10-Aug-16 11:42:37

Ah thanks all.

Moving totally agree on being investigated more thoroughly. Feels like everything to do with pregnancy and childbirth, no one is really interested in how much you're suffering, you're just meant to put up with it. GP insists breast clinic would not be appropriate for 'this type' of breast pain.

I've had oral fluconazole for two months. Seemed to do something initially but has done nothing past the first few days.

I have, only by chance, seen 4 different GPs about it, as they all got together and consulted each other on what to do with me. Consensus was stop feeding.

Doc do you know of any other things I could ask about that cause this level of pain?

Great to hear people have fed up to 2 years on one side. I can't do this much longer as the pain makes me grumpy and don't want to ruin my baby's first years with me barely able to function for a few hours a day.

Knew I'd get some good real experience help on here, thank you. Have seen a lactation consultant previously but it's worth one more try I guess before I give up on that side. Will go and arrange....

DocMcFanjo Wed 10-Aug-16 13:25:59

Well my lady's case was complicated by bouts of a sort of low-level mastitis also so we were often treating with both antibiotics and anti-fungals. Not ideal.

I did refer to breast clinic mainly to outrule a chronic abscess of some sort but as your GP suggested the actual "breastfeeding problem" wasn't their area as surgeons.

I never suggested stopping feeding but I admit I was quietly relieved when she finally did naturally finish up. But I put that down to my own absolute lack of training in the medical side BF. I'd be surprised if there isn't some solution (other than stopping) to almost every BF problem. It's just finding the right expertise.

tiktok Wed 10-Aug-16 19:19:57

Mystery....but feeding one side only is prob best option. I have known many women who have done this long term.

heatherwithapee Wed 10-Aug-16 19:34:01

You have my sympathies as this was me with DD. It was recurring thrush that caused the pain - I also had bleeding on and off and agonising nipple blanching (my nipples would go completely white when DD stopped feeding and stay like it for up to half an hour).

Is your baby being treated too? And with what? Daktarin gel was better for us than
Nystasin as it is absorbed into the bloodstream so will attach thrush even if it isn't spread onto it in their mouth. Some GPs won't prescribe it to young babies but it's fine if you're sensible and don't put too much in their mouth at once.

I did find some relief in using natural silk / wool breast pads, washing bras at 60 degrees and ironing themgrin. I gave DD some acidophilus (I broke open a capsule and let her suck the powder off my finger) and took the capsules myself. I also used grapefruit seed extract (internally and diluted as a nipple wash).

All of this helped but the bad news is that it never really went away completely. I was determined to BF and actually carried on until 14 months. The good news is it did get a bit better and I had some pain-free days / weeks as DD got older.

I suspect the main issue was DD's tongue-tie which no-one would treat, causing trauma to my poor boobs!

Oh, and I had no such problems with DS, born 7 months after I stopped feeding DD.

heatherwithapee Wed 10-Aug-16 19:34:48

And yes it's fine to feed more or exclusively from one side. Your feeding boob will be bigger so you'll be a bit lopsided but it'll even out when you stop BF.

elvislives2012 Wed 10-Aug-16 19:38:16

I had this exact thing. Terrible, deep pain. Someone suggested that it was the milk ducts collapsing in on themselves once the feed had finished and it sounded plausible. I didn't do anything bar regular pain relief and it eventually went around six months. Sorry nothing really helpful. It does stop eventually xx

PerpetualStudent Wed 10-Aug-16 19:48:39

I had this, was excruciating and GP was useless. Self-diagnosing thrush, I took acidophilus probiotic tablets and grapefruit seed exrract as per above poster and it cleared up within a month. BF is a joy now. Hope you find something that works for you x

Lovelydiscusfish Wed 10-Aug-16 19:50:04

Another one who fed from one side from birth to nearly two years, no problems. Your supply adjusts to give what is needed.
Good luck!

LapinR0se Wed 10-Aug-16 19:52:52

I had exactly this and described it as a migraine in my breasts to the GP. She looked at me in a very sympathetic manner and gave me thrush medication and antibiotics.
In the end I finished breastfeeding at 5 months because of the pain. I totally believe that my lovely baby has undiagnosed tongue tie.

Corabell Wed 10-Aug-16 19:57:17

I fed my first from one side only from weeks 4 until 2 years! I struggled with the latch on one side and baby started freaking out when I put her on that side so I just went with it. I'm currently feeding predominantly on one side now and baby is gaining weight and healthy. Incidentally a midwife told me she had a friend who had ten children ( ten!) and she fed all of them from one breast only!

PragmaticWench Wed 10-Aug-16 20:00:30

I was treated for breast thrush extensively, turned out to be an undiagnosed posterior tongue tie. Absolutely excruciating pain. I found seeing a properly qualified lactation consultant worth every penny it cost!

noitsachicken Wed 10-Aug-16 20:02:13

Sounds like ductal thrush, I had it, was v painful as you describe.
You need a high dose of fluconozole, I can't remember exactly though.

HellsBellsnBucketsofBlood Wed 10-Aug-16 20:03:36

Definitely just stick to one side. You don't need to use both smile

AndNowItsSeven Wed 10-Aug-16 20:05:34

What strength of oral fluconozale did you have? You need several tablets a day fir it to work.

AndNowItsSeven Wed 10-Aug-16 20:06:31

I printed this off for my GP
www.stgeorges.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/48_Community+services+Wandsworth_Breastfeeding+with+thrush.pdf

AndNowItsSeven Wed 10-Aug-16 20:08:12

400mgs first dose then 200 mgs for 14 days anything less just doesn't work.

readingrainbow Wed 10-Aug-16 20:08:41

I was going to suggest the possibility of tongue tie, as well. It can present differently from one side to the other because of the angle of the tongue etc.

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