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Is it possible to call it quits and not feel like the worst mother ever?

(16 Posts)
anchovies Fri 03-Oct-08 03:33:14

I had dd (3rd baby) 2 and a half weeks ago and got thrush about 5 days afterwards. I had thrush with ds2 but got rid of it quickly (after flucanazole) and carried on breastfeeding with no problems.

This time it is absolute agony and I can't get rid of it. I have been doing everything I can (as far as I know) using daktarin after every feed, nystatin 4 times a day for dd, am on day 8 of 10 days of flucanazole, washing everything at 60, taking grapefruit seed extract and acidopholus etc etc but despite having 2 or 3 days where things were getting better I am back at square one tonight. The pain behind my nipple is like nothing I have ever felt before and my nipples are now peeling. Dd latches on fine so it's not bothering her and she is very contented but I am reaching the end of the road with this. Have a history of pnd and anxiety so dh is obviously getting worried about the effects this is having.

The problem is I am not sure how I will ever finally give up if I don't get this sorted, the thought of stopping is absolutely gutting as all I can think is how much I want it to be like it was with my previous 2 and I can't face having to tell people I am formula feeding. She is my last baby and I don't want it to not be perfect. I have expressed quite a few bottles now but even that really hurts and I know that long term with 2 other toddlers it's not going to work. Please can someone help?

pookamoo Fri 03-Oct-08 03:48:52

Hi anchovies.
So sorry to hear you are struggling sad
I don't have any bf experience to share as my LO is not due for another 6 weeks, but there is help out there. Have you tried a local breastfeeding support group or peer counsellor? I hear they are so helpful. My friend really suffered like this with her DS1 and in the end she tried using a nipple shield out of desperation. See here: It worked really well for her, although I know that sometimes there are concerns about nipple confusion (not quite up to speed but just ask me again in 10 weeks' time!).
Anyway, ask your HV or midwife for some numbers to call. I know there are lots of bf experts on MN so I'm sure you will get replies from people who know what they are talking about better than me.
Just didn't want your post to go unanswered smile

welliemum Fri 03-Oct-08 05:04:29

sad Ouch, anchovies, this sounds so tough.

You sound really sure that you don't want to stop so I'm writing this post assuming that your first prize would be to sort this out and carry on bf - apologies if I've got this wrong.

I'm no expert, but it sounds as if you need some expert help.

Have you seen this excellent blog (by MN's own Hunkermunker)? If you look down the right side of the page, you'll see details of numbers you can call for advice.

I wouldn't go straight to my GP or HV tbh, as they often don't have the right training.

The other really good site (that helped me loads when struggling to bf dd1) is kellymom. Lots of info there, but obviously it's general, not tailored to your situation.

One more fairly random thought - are you absolutely sure it's still thrush causing the pain? It seems a bit strange that you're doing all that and still not shifting it.

Anyway, am sending you lots of sympathy from NZ and I hope one of the clever people will be awake soon to give you better advice.

<< hugs >>

Yankunian Fri 03-Oct-08 09:02:39

anchovies, I am so sorry to hear about your hard time. I too have had a nightmare with repeating thrush with my dd who is now 4 months. My dd wouldn't nurse so I had to stop bfing, was very upset and felt like a failure... and then it seemed to shift.

It sounds like you have some kind of super thrush?!? I can't believe it hasn't gone after doing all of those smart things for that length of time. Of course you should definitely try to see a bf expert, bc there's a chance this might be something else entirely. But please, please don't feel like a failure if you very understandably decide that you can't do this anymore. The most important thing is for you AND your baby to be happy - and that can't happen when you're in terrible pain and so stressed that you can't enjoy this precious time with her.

StealthPolarBear Fri 03-Oct-08 09:05:24

So sorry to hear about the pain.
Agree with seeing a bfc but also seeing your GP again - surely there must be something they can give you to sort this out!

trishpops Fri 03-Oct-08 09:13:31

so sorry to hear about your troubles. you are not a bad mummy you are a wonderful mummy for having come this far, you are obviously in agony. i totally understand how you feel about not wanting to tell people you are feeding her formula - that was the one thing that kept me bf even when it was at it's worst. the only tip i would give is if you do decide to stop bf, no one needs to know it's not expressed milk in the bottle if you really feel they may judge you. anyhow, people like that are ridiculous. you shouldn't feel like you have failed, you are doing a wonderful job despite being in agony. pat yourself on the back. hope everything gets sorted soon xx

CatMandu Fri 03-Oct-08 09:18:39

Just wanted to send you some positive thoughts, I had the same problem with my third baby too. Absolute nightmare it kept passing back and forth between us. Luckily for me at the point I didn't think I could carry on it went away. Please don't worry if you do decide to switch to formula, it's not the end of the world.

Also, I did give up bf at one point with ds and two weeks later re-started, it worked with no problems. My milk was back very quickly, so that could be worth a try?

skidaddle Fri 03-Oct-08 09:35:17

anchovies - I had this with DS and it went on for 8 weeks sad - but the way i got rid of it was alongside the daktarin (also had fluconozole), I ironed my bras, sterilised the breast pump and bottles in Milton, changed breast pads after every feed and just kept up with the application of daktarin and eventually it went. i think the problem is that you reinfect each other so you need to be really scrupulous about cleaning/sterilising.

i couldn't believe I was standing ironing my bras while looking after a toddler and a newborn but it honestly did work. Now DS is nearly 10 months and BF is still going strong.

It is so hard but you will be able to get rid of it and once you have you won't look back x

oysterpots Fri 03-Oct-08 10:26:37

I suffer with thrush all the time and it's awful - had it when bf and before pregnancy and now am not bf have it again

The only time I've been truly free of it is changing my diet.
most fruits (definitely exclude dried fruits) except apples or pears
anything with yeast - marmite, buns etc

it's dreary and depressing and makes you a total pain in the bum when eating out but that's the only way i found to get shot of it.

Oh, and eating lots of raw garlic will help - it's antifungal, antiseptic and generally all round fab.

good luck x

anchovies Sun 05-Oct-08 12:48:55

Thanks for all the lovely replies the other night. I am still going despite the thrush still not having gone. I had and am still ringing all the helplines (literally!) and have seen our local breasfeeding support midwife who have all been brilliant but I still don't have a solution. I agreed with dh that I am going to give it another week then re-evaluate. I know I can't go on like this for ever. Have just started the dietary changes so hopefully that will be the answer. It seems to start to get better then come back. This has been the hardest couple of weeks ever, it is such a good job I am so stubborn! Thanks as well for all the ideas, am now ironing my bras!

SharpMolarBear Sun 05-Oct-08 14:38:51

Have been reading this but not posted as I had nothing to offer.
Really impressed at you keeping going through all of this, and hope it gets better in the week.
Lol at you ironing your bras - surely there must be another way?!

moondog Sun 05-Oct-08 15:04:53

Much sympathy ASnchovy. Have been there and it is bloody hard.
Would nipple shields help? They were a Godsend to me through a v sticky patch.

madmouse Sun 05-Oct-08 15:30:23

Ouch sympathies

Sounds like you may have thrush in a milk duct and not just on the skin. When did you see doctor?

One thing I would like to add and that is that I hate Nystatin and it did dicky boo nothing for ds' trush, whereas with Daktarin just on the white patches in his mouth (does she have any? easy to see with torch) it was gone in two days where nystatin failed for weeks.

anda...who cares what other people think. They tried it have they? There is only so much you can do!

anchovies Sun 05-Oct-08 16:32:54

Thanks again for all your ideas. I tried nipple shields but they didn't help, didn't cover the very tips of my nipples which are the sorest bits. Saw the doc on Friday and got another 10 days of flucanazole, not sure whether I should keep taking it as prescribed (50mg twice a day) or up it to 100mg twice a day for 5 days. Am a bit stuck with the nystatin as they wont presribe micanazole oral gel for babies under 4 months now due to risk of choking. Nothing visible in dd's mouth now anyway so looks like she is sorted, just me left to fix

moondog Sun 05-Oct-08 22:17:36

Oh bloody hell. sad
Fingers crossed for you dear girl.

SharpMolarBear Mon 06-Oct-08 11:57:54

How's today going?

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