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Been advised to stop BF

(27 Posts)
julielizzy Wed 19-Dec-12 17:54:56

Please help, I had dd2 in April and we have had loads of problems breast feeding in the early stages which we have now over come and have established a good routine. We have negotiated my return to work and weaning with no problems. I went to the GP mid October with an infection which turned out to be E-coli. I am fully recovered and it was mentioned to me that I was very tired and stressed and I should consider giving up BF, which I don't want to do and continued.

I went back to the GP with a minor ailment (fungal nail infection) which the treatment you cannot take if your breast feeding. Once again I was advised to give up breast feeding. My attitude was I'm not giving up for the sake of having nice toe nails, I can wear socks! The GP referred back to the previous visit, yes I am tired and stressed but with 4 kids, who wouldn't be. I've monitored over the past few days how many feeds we have and we only have 4 (two proper feeds one when we wake up and one mid after noon after lunch. Two half hearted, one mid morning and one in the evening). We enjoy 3 good soild meals and day with water from a sippy cup and we have no problems.

I don't want to give up BF, we both enjoy it. I am just finding the attitude from the GP and friends is 'well you've done over 6 months, isn't it time to stop. She had the best'.


TerrariaMum Wed 19-Dec-12 18:00:33

I would have a look at kellymom. She may have resources to tell you about other meds that you can take when you are bfing.

That attitude you talk about is annoying though. Honestly, if you are enjoying it, there is no reason to stop and plenty to continue. Not only does it keep benefiting your DCs, but it also reduces your risks of various cancers.

As to being tired, I don't have 4 children, but I am 21 wks pg and I have a two year old. BFing DD is the best rest I get all day so that is kind of a crap argument.

leedy Wed 19-Dec-12 18:04:22

Gah, that's really annoying. I've never found that breastfeeding (particularly once I was down to a small number of feeds a day) made me any more tired or run down or stressed than I might be normally - it's not like your body devotes its entire energy stores to making a couple of small feeds. Didn't happen to me, fortunately, but I've also heard numerous stories of people being advised to give up breastfeeding when they're quite happily doing so if they have postnatal depression because "it's so tiring and demanding, you need to rest". Grmph.

(also you can use topical treatments for fungal nail infections - they're not as effective as Lamisil but will help somewhat!)

nextphase Wed 19-Dec-12 18:20:46

No-one would treat my athletes foot while pregnant or breastfeeding.
I'd not give up feeding for that reason alone, but think you might have to live with it for a bit, or try the vicks method I've seen here - basically cover toe regularly in vicks! It can't hurt.

I've also used (strong) tee tree oil, but some people seem to say no while feeding.

Don't listen to the GP in this case - but if you need advice on drugs while feeding try bfn they are brill.

Startail Wed 19-Dec-12 18:46:36

You are not supposed to take anti fungal stuff and BF.

I must confess I did, because DD, who must have been 2 or 3 at the time didn't take the hint.

She didn't take the hint for many more years.

Drs. Don't get extended BFing it's usually necessary to your own research.

After all the carry over of a drug in BM might be significant in a tiny baby feeding a 9 times a day, to a 5 year old who feeds 9 times a week it almost certainly isn't.

EauRougelyNight Wed 19-Dec-12 18:49:43

There are lots of meds that you can take when BF, you just need to talk to someone that knows what they are talking about not a GP grin Try the BFN drugs in breastmilk helpline or have a look on LactMed.

I don't understand why BF is always blamed for tiredness confused Unless you are dieting quite severely or have underlying health problems then it shouldn't be affecting your energy levels. Some people seem to think that if you stop BF then you'll suddenly have tons of energy- but you'll still be looking after small children, which is totally exhausting on its own (and if you FF you'll have washing up and sterilising to do).

If you can find the time with 4 children then maybe you could give some feedback to the practice manager about your GP's advice, which goes against WHO recommendations.

julielizzy Wed 19-Dec-12 18:54:36

Thanks everyone.

I can live with the infection, it just seemed pointless to get to this point and give up for what is in essence vanity. I think what got to me more was the attitude. I'll try the Vicks and we have plenty of tea tree (due to there being more nits at my other daughters school than there are kids)

Leedy, my thoughts on it were. I'm stressed and tired but when I feed, I am sat on my bum for half an hour, with a drink and usually something on the radio. If I gave that up, I'm not likely to get any sort of break during the day. Added to that the 2 eldest are in there teens and they wait on me hand and foot if I'm feeding. I would loose all that and I would have extra sterilising, which would mean more expense and work to do.

Added to that, in our bouts of teething we sometimes have a night feed (very rare) but the comfort of feeding DD settles her in half the time which in turn means a less disturbed nights sleep.

I just cannot see how giving up would make life less stressful!

julielizzy Wed 19-Dec-12 19:01:08


I don't know either!

The only thing it may do is I am 5ft 7" and weigh around 9 stone. I find it very hard to put weight on and after the E-coli my weight did drop but I have put it back on now.

nextphase Wed 19-Dec-12 19:01:16

Most people who haven't fed, or seen someone close feed past about 4 months don't realise how easy it is - I've heard say that bf gets easier, but ff gets more tiresome as baby gets older.
Sounds like your quite happy continuing, so go for it, and enjoy the tea and biscuits from your older kids!

PS have you had your iron levels checked? Or may it be worth occasionally taking a decent multivitamin?

EauRougelyNight Wed 19-Dec-12 19:03:37

Oh yes, defo worth getting your iron levels checked. BF helps prevent anaemia by delaying the return of periods, so that's something you can tell your GP if he starts harping on about giving up again wink

julielizzy Thu 20-Dec-12 09:56:44

I had my iron levels checked in october and they were alot higher than expected. I've never had a problem with my iron levels, I've always put that down to a healthy diet.

I'm just grateful for your support, it just seems like BF is really pushed in the early days when it is really hard and then when you can enjoy really enjoy the experience its time to give up!!! I was beginning to wonder if I was being selfish. Then after this mornings feed and snuggles, I know I'm not!

RachelWalsh Thu 20-Dec-12 10:07:13

Anecdotally I have been using the Vicks method as I'm breastfeeding and it seems to have worked (don't want to jinx it!)

swanthingafteranother Thu 20-Dec-12 10:11:01

Don't give up, it is the one thing I remember de-stressing me at a stressful time with a toddler and 6month plus twins. As you say, that was sofa time and everyone felt better. I kept going till 2years just to reduce the stresses of life with twins! First months were definitely much much harder, and 6 month plus feeding was my reward.

AbigailAdams Thu 20-Dec-12 10:17:44

Oh I didn't know about the Vicks method. I'll be trying that. Presume you just lather it on at daily intervals? However, you can take some fungal treatments when bfing otherwise you'd never get rid of thrush. I haven't tried it but grapefruit seed extract is reputed to be good.

MrsLionHeart Thu 20-Dec-12 10:23:40

You might try thieves oil on your nails. It's completely natural - just a blend of several essential oils - clove, lemon, eucalyptus, rosemary and cinnamon. It is highly antibacterial and antifungal. Should wipe that infection right out applying it 2 or 3 times a day. Hope it all goes well.

I love breastfeeding. My 19 month old is weaned now due to subsequent pregnancy, but won't drink any other milk! Still likes to put hands down my shirt though. grin

julielizzy Thu 20-Dec-12 11:10:12

I had my iron levels checked in october and they were alot higher than expected. I've never had a problem with my iron levels, I've always put that down to a healthy diet.

I'm just grateful for your support, it just seems like BF is really pushed in the early days when it is really hard and then when you can enjoy really enjoy the experience its time to give up!!! I was beginning to wonder if I was being selfish. Then after this mornings feed and snuggles, I know I'm not!

julielizzy Thu 20-Dec-12 11:15:14

Doh, should not have posted twice, forgot to clear the text box!

I was confused by the non anti fungal, because both my girls had thrush on their bums (shortly after birth) and were both prescribed canistan cream. Which was what I'm putting on which is keeping it localised but not curing.

MummytoMog Thu 20-Dec-12 11:22:18

My nine month old was so easy to feed sad I really missed it when he weaned onto bottles. It's nothing like the every two hours with a newborn. If I hadn't had to go back to work, we would have carried on for much longer.

Hilariously, even though I stopped a year ago, I am now letting down because I'm thinking about BFing. blush

leedy Thu 20-Dec-12 11:56:01

There are anti-fungals that are safe when breastfeeding (including oral treatments like Diflucan for thrush), it's just fungal nail infections are really difficult to treat and the only thing that will definitely shift them relatively quickly is oral Lamisil, which is ferocious stuff even if you're not BF (I was on a course of it for a bad fungal skin infection in my foot years ago and there was mention of having to test my liver function if I was on it for any longer than the prescribed course). Lamisil cream from the chemists is fine, according to my GP, or any of the other treatments you paint onto the nail, the amount that might get into your bloodstream is negligible.

gourd Thu 20-Dec-12 14:15:30

Breastfeeding makes not one iota of diffreence to tiredness! How can it? Tiny babies are very demanding whether BF or not and once you are down to a few feeds a day with an older baby why on earth would you stop if you both enjoy it? Weird. Ours BF till 23 months. I didn't know a topical cream for athletes foot or fungal nail could affect BM though? How does that work then?

gourd Thu 20-Dec-12 14:18:38

Sorry just seen it's not topcial treatment. Try natural remdies I suppose plus topical creams. Otherwise you are stuck with it if you want to continue BF-ing. You could express to bottle feed prior to treatment if it only takes a few days, then express and throw away to keep supply up (and bottle feed expressed whilst taking the oral treatment) but dont know how easy that would be to do or how long you could do it for. You might have to mix feed or skip some milk feeds if you haven't stored enough BF prior to treatment.

EauRougelyNight Thu 20-Dec-12 14:54:57

I just looked up lamisil/terbinafine on LactMed and it said 'oral maternal doses of 500mg daily produce low levels in milk and would not be expected to cause any adverse effects in breastfed infants, especially if the infant is older than 2 months.'

There's a lot more info than that, that's just the first bit of the summary.

lyndie Thu 20-Dec-12 15:11:55

You could try pulsed itraconazole, it is safe in breastfeeding as it only comes through the milk in small amounts and the baby cannot absorb much anyway, and you probably only need 2 or 3 short courses to treat.

I wouldn't stop breastfeeding in the situation you have described either. Good luck.

PS some of us GPs are extended breastfeeders too you know! And know lots about drugs and breastfeeding! I'm sorry that wasn't your experience though.

Skiffen Thu 20-Dec-12 15:13:37

There is a page on FB "medication & breastfeeding" - a pharmacist runs it and will reply to queries quickly.

leedy Thu 20-Dec-12 18:22:45

Ah right, didn't know oral Lamisil was actually ok when breastfeeding! I'm sure I'd heard it wasn't. Doubly stupid of the OP's doctor then.

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