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May 02, 2012

Dealing with Thrush

If it isn't one thing... it's another.

On April 18 (2 weeks ago) I noticed some white spots on Annabelle's lips. I had noticed her tongue being white for a couple days prior to this but thought that was just milk and paid no mind. When I saw the spots, I immediately thought "THRUSH!!!"

We put a call into our Dr's and through no mistake of the lactation consultant/nurse (who received the message late), by the time we got the return call we were already on the road to NJ. We made an appointment for the following week upon our return.

The spots moved. Never stayed in one same spot on her lips. On one day it seemed to have cleared up all together. But then the next day it returned.

When we went to the pediatrician's office, we were correct in assuming it was thrush. Thrush is basically a yeast infection in the mouth. It is more bothersome than harmful but can cause pain when feeding if not contained. Annabelle was not bothered by it... yet.

Her pediatrician prescribed her Nystatin... just one more thing for her to take **sigh** Because it is something that we can pass back and forth to each other during nursing, I have Nystatin cream for myself and liquid Nystatin for Annabelle. Because it is not digestible (like the simethicone - gas drops), it doesn't interact with her liquid Zantac. But it can take up to 3-4 weeks to be fully out of our systems.

So the past week our days have consisted of the following...
  • Annabelle gets her liquid zantac 3 x a day on most days... depending on when that third dose is b/c she is sleeping through most nights now, i don't wake her to give her a dose.
  • I apply Nystatin to her lips and mouth 4 x a day
  • I apply Nystatin cream to myself 4 x a day
  • I use a vinegar water solution (1tbsp of vinegar to 1 cup of water) to her mouth, her pacifiers, her hands, to myself after feedings and to anything else she may come in contact with (nail clippers or toys). Vinegar kills yeast.
  • I use vinegar in the clothes washer and everything is washed in hot and dried in high heat. 
  • I wash all her burp clothes or hand towels daily and don't use them for more than half the day. 
  • I sterilize all her pacifiers etc in the sterilizer daily
  • I eat 5-6 probiotic pills a day
  • Annabelle gets bits of probiotics that i put on a wet finger and have her lick off my finger. 
  • When we bathe her, we make sure her towel to dry her face never comes in contact with her lower parts.
  • I am washing all things that come in contact with my breasts daily and on high. 
  • I am washing her sleep linens frequently on high. 
  • I am air drying after feedings as much as possible and limiting the use of breast pads.
  • I am changing my breast pads frequently - they are disposable.
  • I am trying to make sure Annabelle and I both get as much rest as possible so our body can do what it needs to, to balance things out. 
  • I am trying to abstain from sugar and sweets. So my huge Costco Jelly Belly container is staying 80% full for the time being!
  • And of course, washing our hands all the time.
We have yet to take a stronger course of action... either with the gentian violet, diflucan and/or other yeast killing medications. Right now it seems contained (knock on wood). There were a couple days where I started feeling a little worse - my nipples were sore and a little painful. However, I think with consistent and diligent monitoring, I was able to keep it at bay.

Annabelle still doesn't seem too bothered by it... but sadly, we may have to do this for another 3-4 weeks since fungus is hard to eradicate.  Hopefully, it will be gone before her 4 month pediatrician visit... our po' little girl. I feel bad for her but I'm grateful to know I am doing all that I can to make her better!

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