The past few days I haven’t been feeling well. Tuesday was the worst – I had a fever and of course that day Paul unexpectedly had to work late and got home at 8pm. I laid in bed with Savannah, but didn’t feel like I really got a chance to rest because of course she wasn’t tired. :-) My fever broke Tuesday night, and I have felt a bit better each day.
A few weeks ago, before we went to the Dominican Republic, it all of the sudden was really painful to nurse Savannah. I was hoping the pain would go away, but it didn’t, so when I came back I decided to get help. I was also having trouble with bleeding and pain even after she stopped nursing. I wasn’t sure where to turn though.
Because it was so painful to nurse, I would skip nursing on that side and only nurse on the other. However, that was painful in of itself. I was very engorged (just on one side) on Tuesday, and it hurt all the time – even the pressure from the seatbelt hurt! I decided to try putting cabbage leaves on my bare skin, which I did for a few hours. Wow, that helped a TON! Tuesday night that side was feel much better and not as engorged – I still had the fever though.
I kept going to sites like kellymom to try and figure out what the problem was. I wasn’t sure if I should call La Leche League, or my midwife, or my primary care physician. I first called LLL, who said it probably was a bad latch and advised me to use lanolin for the cracks and bleeding. I did that, but wasn’t convinced and went back to the online descriptions.
As I read about thrush, a lot of the symptoms were the same, but not all. The only thing I noticed about Savannah (usually the baby has symptoms too) was that she had a diaper rash – no white spots or anything. I called my midwife to see if she could help. She prescribed an all-purpose ointment that would help heal, which I will pick up from the pharmacy tomorrow.
This morning, Savannah’s rash looked better, and I began to wonder if it was thrush after all – maybe it was a bad latch like LLL said? I was getting frustrated because I just wanted to talk face-to-face with someone – I felt like all these phone consults were not really helping, because no one could really see the pain I was in and I didn’t feel confident that they could really know what the problem was. I decided to try and find a lactation consultant, and found that a hospital near me had LCs as part of their maternity department. They were able to fit me in today, and I was so relieved.
The LC was SO helpful! She confirmed that Savannah has a shallow latch, which probably caused some of the cracking and bleeding. This allowed the yeast infection to get in – so the thrush. Me not letting Savannah finish nursing on that side kept her from emptying that side when she ate, which was leading to the engorgement and also a clogged duct. So basically, it was a whole bunch of things!
I felt so much better after talking to her! She said the ointment that I am picking up from the pharmacy tomorrow will help, and she showed me some pointers for how to help Savannah latch better. She also said I should pump that side empty after Savannah finishes eating so that my milk production doesn’t go away, and that would also help with the clogged duct. And lastly, warm compresses will also help with the clogged duct. I left feeling so relieved that I was able to have someone sit and listen to me.
So here’s hoping I start feeling better! I have been thinking that my only option at this point would be to wean Savannah, because I’m not sure how much longer I could go on with the pain. It will be nice to nurse pain free for a change!