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Breastfeeding and thrush (might be useful for new bf Mums to know)

(14 Posts)
lulurose Tue 14-Aug-07 23:26:32

My position on feeding babies having had 2 dds quite recently: breastfeeding is is brilliant, the best option nutritionally and for bonding. Its convenient, free and you know that your milk is designed for your baby. Perfect.

Uncomfortable with formula being advertised and very sad that midwives don't seem to promote or have the time to help women get breast feeding established.


Anyway I loved breastfeeding dd1 and did so for 6 months (didn't have any help or advice, it just seemed to click). DD2 arrived and it was soooo different I was in pain and she would bob on and off the breast, didn't put weight on and was miserable and hungry. At about 2 weeks the HV diagnosed thrush and gave me oral antibiotics for her but nothing for me. This was a BIG mistake as my GP later told me once I had given up breast feeding at 6 weeks due to agonising pain in my breast and no sign of the thrush clearing up in dd2. I should have been given an antibiotic cream for my nipple area, we were just passing the infection backwards and forwards. I am still so upset that this basic treatment was so wrong (and in hindsight so obvious) and upset that the chance of bf my daughter for longer than a few weeks was denied to me.

Just thought this may help someone get the right treatment in the future

margosbeenplayingwithmynoonoo Tue 14-Aug-07 23:28:29

Very sad for you Lulurose. And I hope it does help a new mum .

hunkermunker Tue 14-Aug-07 23:30:07

Lulurose, thank you for posting this - I'm sorry you didn't get better, more informed care from your HV.

Have you spoken to her about it? Might be worth mentioning what your GP said to her, in case she's still misadvising women.

yelnats Tue 14-Aug-07 23:30:21

I had a similar problem to you - dd2 and I had thrush for what seemed like ages in the beginning. doc was prescribing treatment for dd but nothing for me, I asked him about me and was told it wasnt necessary but after looking around on here and speaking to HV I went back and asked gp again for something for me - he said it wasnt necessary. Eventually spoke to Pharmacist and she gave me Daktarin for myself and 'touch wood' we havent had any problems since - 6 months on.

lulurose Tue 14-Aug-07 23:39:22

Hunker, Yes I did go back to my HV and explained what my GP had said and how upset I was as he'd said treating Mum and baby was standard practice with thrush. She'd apparently been told differently in her training and was quite defensive. I have to try and avoid her now, she was the same one who told my Mum (on a home visit shortly after dd1 was born when bf was well established) to give her a bottle of formula so I could get my head down for a few hours!!

lulurose Tue 14-Aug-07 23:41:00

Yelnats, really, so it seems this is standard practice to just treat baby initially. Doesn't really make any sense to me. Am so glad you were able to get it sorted and carry on though.

hunkermunker Tue 14-Aug-07 23:42:29

I'd take it over her head, really, and complain higher up the chain. She can't keep upsetting women like this and damaging breastfeeding for them

lulu25 Wed 15-Aug-07 12:34:05

i'm not sure your HV deserves to be reported - in my experience there is little agreement about the best way to treat this.

one GP told me that fluconazole (the oral antifungal you can take) isn't licensed for breastfeeding women, so she only prescribes it when the woman would otherwise give up BF. another GP i saw with it doesn't believe nipple thrush exists ("although the HVs seem to be very keen on it"). finally, HV prescribed Nystan drops for the boy which seemed to do the trick.

happy to be corrected though (and to pass on to my surgery if they were wrong)

tiktok Wed 15-Aug-07 12:39:04

Can't have been oral antibiotics, lulurose....must have been anti-fungals, surely.

I agree with the other lulu - no real consensus on treating or even diagnosing thrush. It would be way down my list of suggestions for the symptoms you describe, to be honest. If you had thrush inside the breast, then antibiotic cream wouldn't have helped, really.....I think you have been caught in the middle of a lack of real evidence and knowledge, to be honest, rather than the victim of negligant practice

Manictigger Wed 15-Aug-07 13:55:54

What do bf counsellors recommend Tiktok? Like Lulu25, my GP refused to give me Fluconazole because I was breastfeeding and wasn't even convinced that it was thrush because there were no traces in my baby's mouth (despite all the webstuff that says it may not be visible).

Eventually we worked our way through Canestan, Nystatin (for both of us) and Daktarin (sp?) before I gave up and started taking Citricidal tablets. That was the only thing that worked for us but presumably, because proper trials haven't been conducted on it, health professionals cannot recommend it? Thrush nearly ended my bfing because the agony at night made sleeping even when exhausted, impossible.

I still get really angry about how breast thrush is treated by the health service. It seems that unless they've suffered with it, GPs etc do not take it seriously. Some of the HVs were however really sympathetic because they'd gone through it themselves.

Manictigger Wed 15-Aug-07 14:01:16

And Lulurose, I hope to god you weren't given antibiotics because all the literature I've read says that antibiotics (as opposed to antifungals) can trigger the thrush in the first place. I sometimes wonder whether the 2 courses that I had for kidney infections during pregnancy triggered mine.

tiktok Wed 15-Aug-07 14:06:31

Mac, we use the Breastfeeding Network's stuff on thrush, but it really isn't the last word on it, as their info admits.

There are people whose views and experience I respect who say it really doesn't exist in the breast - yet I have come across women whose pain only went away when they were treated for thrush in the breast. I have known plenty for whom it didn't work, either!

I do think the pain is real - very real

lulurose Wed 15-Aug-07 14:16:33

Hi all, I stand corrected on the antibiotics , they were nyastin drops (thick orangey stuff) given to dd but they were ineffective because I wasn't treated. I was eventually given Daktarin for me by Gp but by this time it was too late as it was so painful i'd given up.

There was no doubt in my GPs mind that it was thrush, my dds mouth was full of white stuff and my nipple area was sore, hot and uncomfortable.

Sorry for confusion

tiktok Wed 15-Aug-07 14:23:10

Now that does sound like thrush with a capital 'T', lulurose....and of course you should both have been treated.

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