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Breastfeeding and eczema

(8 Posts)
sfpool Fri 02-Sep-11 20:07:17

Im sorry if this is too much information but my midwife has stressed me out! I suffer from eczema and get it quite badly on my nipples. I have every intention of attempting to breastfeed, but realistically dont know how long I will be able to do this before the area becomes infected, as happens very easily and quickly under normal circumstances(during pregnancy my other eczma has cleared up well with the exception of this area). I explained this to midwife who just said that I WILL be able to breastfeed and that I should NOT give the baby anything other than breast milk, as it could have a bad allergic reaction because of increased risk of sensitivity! She has made me worry more about the whole situation. What am I supposed to do if the area is infected when the baby arrives (7 weeks time)!?

rubyslippers Fri 02-Sep-11 20:14:51

What you are meant to do is try and see what happens

Evidence suggests that breastfed babies themselves suffer less with eczema - is thatwhat your MW meant?

She sounds a bit dogmatic TBH - don't take it to heart

If you plan on feeding, then putting your baby to the breast as soon as possible is a good start. Y then take each feed as it comes

SpeedyGonzalez Fri 02-Sep-11 20:32:55

Why don't you contact your local bf counsellor? They'll be more knowledgeable and more sensitive than your mw. Try the nct website for contacts - and then when you do start bf, remember that the counsellors are the BEST people to go to for help; not mws or hvs.

Fresh01 Fri 02-Sep-11 20:39:49

Agree with previous posters also use Lansinoh after all feeds. I have found it helped lots when I had some cracking.

thisisyesterday Fri 02-Sep-11 20:40:45

agree, take each feed as it comes.

this is purely supposition, but I wonder if actually there is less risk of the area beconing infected due to the anti-bacterial effects of breastmilk? you could try rubbing a little breastmilk onto the area after each feed and see if that helps?

how do you normally treat the eczema? is there something you can use on your breasts that would help ease the symptoms?

Haribojoe Fri 02-Sep-11 21:21:25

Sound advice from previous posters, there's no way of knowing what's going to happen till baby is here and you start feeding.

Having suffered with cracked nipples I second the recommendation for Lanisinoh, I put in on after every feed from day 1, for me it's an essential.

Good luck smile

SpeedyGonzalez Fri 02-Sep-11 23:37:49

Just a thought...I have treated eczema very effectively as follows:

1 layer of high quality aloe vera gel (i.e. it'll cost around £8-£10 a tube)

-- followed by --

1 generous layer of a thick, oily emollient (I use Pure Potions salve, which you can buy online - which is expensive, but having had this blasted eczema for nearly 40 years I know I've spent more than that on ineffective steroids). You can also use emulsifying ointment if you have it.

-- followed by --

1 sheet of anything plastic, to seal in the moisture. Cut a piece out of a plastic bag if you like.

Do that as soon as you can, and keep it on the eczema for as long as you can - just repeat after washing. It will keep ALL the beautiful moisture in and make your skin lovely just in time for the birth. You can then repeat while bfing but wash your breasts just before a feed. Or just use breastmilk + Lansinoh + plastic (except you'll be dealing with leaky breasts for a while, so perhaps plastic isn't the best thing for soaking up stray milk deposits!).

Anyway, it works a treat on mild and severe eczema. Best of luck!

thefurryone Fri 02-Sep-11 23:48:43

Hi, pre-DS I suffered from quite bad eczema on my left nipple. I have been able to BF although there have been times when that side has been much more sore than the right, although it has often been hard to tell if it is eczema or bad latch causing the problem. This has cleared up in the last few weeks as BF has become easier ( DS IS 18 weeks).

You will just need to see how it goes, but there is every chance you will be fine. Also for what it's worth although I have some eczema now this only developed in last couple of years (early 30s) despite having a mother with both eczema & asthma who bottle fed me, so if you do need to FF then it doesn't automatically mean your child will suffer.

Good luck, I'd recommend finding sources of BF support now as it can make it easier to get help if you need it post birth smile

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