First there was the lack of a sucking and rooting reflex for the first day. Then there was a flow preference. Then there was a nipple aversion. Then there was the inadequate supply. Then there was ravenous baby after 45 minutes of breastfeeding with a nipple shield. This seems like enough, right?
Well, at the end of our week long breastfeeding break we have found ourselves a brand new problem that is making our break longer than planned.
Sigh. For those who blessedly have never heard of thrush, it’s a yeast infection on the nipples and/or in the baby’s mouth. Somewhat thankfully, the baby does not seem to have any symptoms, likely thanks to our breastfeeding break/pumping festival. I am not so fortunate. And you guys, this is awful.
I obviously have no proof, but I think it is the result of using silicone breast cups that trapped milk against my nipples. It’s pretty much the perfect environment for it, despite my diligence with cleaning myself and the cups at each feeding. If you’ve never had thrush, I can only describe it as a nightmare.
It started out with some mild itching. I have inanely sensitive skin, so I didn’t think much of it. Then they turned bright red, then started burning. Now whenever I let down I feel like someone is jamming needles into my nipples. Even if I wasn’t worried about giving the baby thrush, I don’t know that I could bring myself nurse now if the baby suddenly wanted to.
So now I’m on cream and pills and waiting for a call back from the pediatrician re: prophylactic treatment for Eli. No one will tell us when it’s safe to restart nursing, so my tentative plan is to wait until most of the symptoms have cleared and when letting down doesn’t make me cry. Hopefully that day will come soon, because this is just no fun, at all.
I’ve worked hard to not give up on breastfeeding, but I have to admit, I am at the end of a short, fraying rope. And I’m just waiting to see what Murphy has in store for us next.