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It’s Like Murphy’s Law of Breastfeeding

By Katie |

For those unfamiliar with Murphy’s Law, it states that anything that can go wrong, will go wrong. And that sums up our breastfeeding journey pretty perfectly.

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.

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About Katie



Katie is a former teacher, part-time PT, wife, and first-time mother to the baby with the best ears on the Internet. You can find more of her grammatically questionable writing at her blog, Overflowing Brain. Read bio and latest posts → Read Katie's latest posts →

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11 thoughts on “It’s Like Murphy’s Law of Breastfeeding

  1. Dana Schmidt, RN, IBCLC says:

    Your lactation consultant can help you with this. You’ve been through so much. Hugs to you and hope tomorrow will be a better day

  2. Lonek8 says:

    Oh my gosh, I can’t believe you are having so many issues! I’m really impressed with your dedication and I hope everything clears up and goes smoothly from here on out!

  3. Diana says:

    Check out or The Leaky B@@b (they have a great FB group). Good luck!

  4. laurel says:

    Good luck to you, you are absolutely amazing with your dedication.

  5. Meagan says:

    Oh I’m so sorry you’re going through this. I said it before, but I want to repeat myself: in a year, none of this will matter. You aren’t a failure. Breast feeding is great, but it’s not a mirical elixor, and maybe it’s just not worth it. I get it, this early, you’re vulnerable and exhausted and in pain and you feel like feeding your baby is the one thing you SHOULD be able to do right, but you’re not doing anything *wrong* and your baby is going to be JUST FINE whatever happens with breast feeding. Please take care of yourself.

  6. purplebreath says:

    He’s so beautiful :)

  7. Erin says:

    Take it from me, get yourself some probiotics stat! My baby and I went through a 3-month thrush/yeast infection cycle that caused the most excruciating nipple pain and near-permanent damage to my left breast. Probiotics should help keep everything in balance. Good luck!

  8. Adrienne says:

    oh yes- been through thrush more times that I can count. Continuing to nurse is actually GOOD for you and baby, even though the pain is AWFUL. I remember pounding my foot HARD against the floor when E would latch it hurt so bad. What works is AIR, Vinegar and anti fungal solutions/formulas. I’ve found homeopathic to be the best way to go- Good luck! You can do this!

  9. Julia says:

    fed through thrush for a month…yes it wrecked and yes I cried at basically every feed but we got through it…

  10. Kel says:

    I had thrush for a couple of months– like you, I was given topical treatments. But those feelings like stabbing during letdown? That’s thrush in your milk ducts, and no cream is going to do anything. Call your doctor and ask for a prescription for diflucan; one dose should clear it up, but you may need to take it several days in a row. It took me three days. And you absolutely need to give the baby something too– diflucan is a one dose treatment for baby too, nystatin you have to apply six times a day– ask for the diflucan. It’s safe, fast, and WAY more effective. You’ve been through enough.

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