I know I seem obsessed with nursing by this point, but just wanted to make one more follow-up post on the one below. I found out through the forums on La Leche League website that the reason why feeding is so painful is because I have thrush. This is a self diagnosis, but I really believe I do because I fit all of the symptoms. I would’ve noticed it earlier had Parker had symptoms of this (white tongue and/or white spots int he mouth), but apparently the baby can by asymptomatic.
Here are the risk factors:
- Antibiotics administered to the mother during pregnancy, during labor and delivery, or shortly before or during the time that yeast symptoms occur. Please note that antiobiotics are always administered when a cesearean section is performed or when GB Strep is diagnosed or is being treated preventatively prior to delivery. A history of long-term or frequent antibiotic use in the mother is also a predisposing factor for yeast.
- Antibiotics administered to the baby
- Long term or frequent use of steroids in either mother or baby
- Nipple trauma such as cracks. The breakdown of the skin allows for the entrance of yeast as well as bacteria. Cracking is not normal. This type of nipple trauma should be addressed quickly by a lactation consultant.
- Maternal use of oral contraceptives containing estrogen
- Allowing damp nursing pads or bras to stay up against nipple tissue for long periods of time
- Using plastic lined nursing pads which prevent good air flow to the nipple area
- Pacifier use in the baby
- Excessive consumption of dairy products, artificial sweeteners, or sweets in the mother
- Diabetes in the mother
- Anemia in the mother
- Vaginal yeast infection in the mother either during pregnancy or shortly before or during time that other yeast symptoms occur. Mothers who have a history of frequent vaginal yeast infections are also more vulnerable.
Here are the symptoms:
In the Mother
- intense nipple or breast pain that occurs from birth, lasts throughout the feeding, or is not improved with better latch-on and positioning
- sudden onset of nipple pain after a period of pain-free nursing
- cracked nipples
- nipples that are itchy and/or burning and that may appear pink or red, shiny, or flaky and/or have a rash and tiny blisters; nipples may also appear normal
- shooting pains in the breast during or after a feeding if the yeast has invaded the milk ducts
- nipple or breast pain with correct use of an automatic electric breastpump
- a vaginal yeast infection
In the Baby:
- diaper rash that does not respond to typical rash ointments
- creamy white patches that cannot be wiped off on the inside of the mouth, along the inside of the gums, inside of the cheeks, roof of mouth, throat, or tongue
- a shiny or “mother of pearl” look on the inside of the mouth
- breast refusal, pulling off breast, or a reluctance to nurse due to mouth soreness
- repeated clicking during nursing
- excessive gassiness due to the yeast’s invasion of the gut
Let’s just say that I have several of the risk factors and symptoms, so I’m pretty sure this is what it is. Thank you Danielle for showing me the La Leche website because I may have gone on a few more weeks thinking that I had “normal” breastfeeding pain. I hope this helps others out there wondering about persistent breastfeeding pain. Even if you’re prepared with reading all the books and talking to several lactation consultants, there still could be more answers out there if you dig for it.