You are that mama who is trying her very best and is more tired than she can imagine. Did I say that already? Sorry, I am tired. You are that mama who beats herself up black and blue feeling bad about having trouble feeding her baby. In your mind how can you ever hope to be a good mother when your first and most natural job is to feed your baby and you can’t even do that? This rant is because it is not your fault. We need boob doctors. Let me explain.
If you are lucky you have support. You know where a good breast feeding support group is located or your best friend just had a baby or your mom was a hippie and she doesn’t live 1000 miles away. Either that or you’ve found the modern answer… lactation consultants.*
Good ones are gold but they are not empowered to write a prescription. So when a mama runs into trouble, she falls into this DMZ zone between docs. Your baby’s pediatrician cannot treat you. Your regular GP hasn’t a clue and your OB only knows how to deliver babies.
Say for example you get thrush. I’m sorry. It sucks. Often you get thrush after getting mastitis (sorry again) and being put on antibiotics. This thrush decided it likes the southern California weather and sticks around being passed back and forth between you and the baby like some hot potato for MONTHS.
For months said one mama, “It felt like he was trying to suck shards of glass out of my nipples.” You are suffering as everyone is commenting about the wonder of breastfeeding.
And all the lovely oxytocin hormones that make you feel ooogie and blissful when you are breastfeeding, the happy-natural-legal drugs that are the only thing between you and a straight jacket, the happy-natural-legal drugs helping you survive the sleep deprivation, survive the nursing around the clock every two hours, the salvation that allows you to relax and let down both your hair and your milk, those hormones, the ones that make it all worthwhile… THEY ARE GONE! Crushed into slivers of nothing but the pain of sucking glass through your nipples. That? That is thrush.
So after scouring every source, (check out ww.kellymom.com) after painting your nipples and the baby’s perfect pink rosebud mouth with gentian violet (and along with his little mouth, the sink, your new white sheets, pajamas yours and his and the onsies and everything the baby spits up on is now a shade of angry violet) after removing every source of sugar or anything that could ever possibly become sugar (read: everything) from your diet and after suffering blood sugar crashes each morning, so staggering you almost pass out, after trying tea tree oil, then vinegar wash, then grape seed extract and some voodo mojo STILL, months later, you are suffering from sucking glass through your nipples. You go for the big guns.
The RX. First of course you tried the standard Nystatin. But why you may ask is the baby’s nystatin is in a sugar solution when you have worked so hard to get rid of sugar? We know that thrush grows back within two hours in, what? SUGAR! Just as logical (not) as baby’s reflux meds being flavored with peppermint when we know that mint exacerbates heart burn …why sadistic medicine makers? Why?
So what next? This very happy to over stay her welcome resistant thrush is not even tempted by nystatin. Um thanks says the thrush but no thanks, I like this weather just fine. So, on to diflucan. The lactation consultants and internet sources were clear that you needed a gazillion times more than someone who had a vaginal yeast infection. No, one day 100 mg dose would kill this sucker. But who would give it to you? Your OB said it was beyond her scope of practice. She looked it up and was worried about liver damage. After some serious hair pulling and cuticle biting you call your GP to say you have thrush from breast feeding. He said,
“You mean in your mouth?”
“Um no,” you say, “my nipples.” So, liver damage be dammed it was this or bust. You get the Rx and blissfully soon the pain recedes and you stop resenting your baby as that oogie good feeling comes back.
This rant is in honor of Worldwide Breastfeeding AwarenessWeek http://www.worldbreastfeedingweek.org/and for all the mamas who tried and didn’t have the resources or enough support.
*I have to ask again, why don’twe have breast doctors? Why don’t we give lactation consultants the ability towrite prescriptions? To find a list alactation consultant sees my resources page.