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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My beautiful, generally healthy and frequently breastfed DH won't stop getting ear infections! She's 8 months old and was only breastfed for her first 6 months. She's had 6 ear infections already, and according to the ENT, has mild transient hearing loss because there's almost always fluid behind her eardrum, and it just doesn't drain very quickly.<br>
So they've scheduled her for tubes, and I wondered if anyone had any thoughts on this. I don't want to keep giving her antibiotics at this young age, but also don't like the idea of surgery -- even though it's only a 3 minute procedure (especially since they're telling me no food, water or breastmilk (!) for 8 hours prior to the surgery).<br>
Anyone chosen to get or refuse to get tubes for their kids?<br>
Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
You mean putting breastmilk IN a baby's ear can cure an ear infection??? I've never heard that before. How is that supposed to work? If that's all it takes, I'll feel pretty foolish for not posting this question 5 ear infections ago...
 

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Breastmilk is very antibacterial, so it can help.<br><br>
However, some kids have ears that are shaped in such a way that it makes fluid difficult to drain. I have known a number of people who have been helped by chiropractic and/or craniosacral therapy to help allow the fluid to drain. If the fluid can't drain, it's hard to clear up the infection.
 

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I went throught this with my BF ds and after two rounds of antibiotics I decided there had to be a better solution. It seemed like congestion brought it on and I noticed that anytime he got congested he would spike a fever very quickly and his ears would flare. What worked for me was Sudafed. I did feel bad having him on Sudafed so much but his fever and ear infection would go away almost instantly and he never was on antibiotics after that.
 

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I personally would not get tubes. In the book I am currently reading, : How to raise a healthy child in spite of your doctor by Robert S. Mendelsohn, MD . He suggested for the middle of the night drops of whiskey for pain and sleep. The use of a heating pad and warm olive oil in the ear. Let me know if you want specifics.He said sometimes ear infections simply work themselves out. This doctors strongly urges not to get tubes. He also noted the allergies and antibiotics can cause ear infections.
 

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My older ebf dd was plagued with ear infections. We've gone 1 year without one so far. DH had them, too, and still gets them, but he doesn't nurse any more <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"><br>
BF helps prevent them for the most part. I remember reading in the Dr. Sears Breastfeeding book is to watch the position in which you nurse, and that having a baby lay down and nurse (like on a boppy) can be a contributing factor.<br>
I avoid nursing Ingrid on a boppy, and try to limit the laying down nursing to just night time.<br>
A little warm olive oil in the ears is very soothing.
 

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Really Momma, don't beat yourself up. My DD and 2nd DS both have recurring EI's. DS1 didn't get them at all. They were all BF. EI's have more to do with the facial structure and muscle developement of a child than anything else. DS2 has fluid behind his ears almost all the time and it gets infected. Not much I can do. As for waiting on the tubes, I would visit with an ENT not a pediatrician. I voiced my concern over my DD's re-occuring EI's several times and the pedi didn't do squat. She failed her hearing test upon entering kindergarten. I took her to the ENT and she was missing 50-75% of conversation. I feel so bad because I should known. She had a speech delay because of it. There was such a remarkable difference in her hearing after the tubes were put in. I was amazed at what she was missing. The first time she flushed the toliet she ran out of the bathroom with her hands over her ears! I am sorry you are having a hard time with the EI's but I don't think putting BM in the ear is enough to take care of it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Wow! Thank you so much for all your thoughts. I have been beside myself with feelings of guilt I didn't want to express.<br>
My 3.5 year old son NEVER got an ear infection (and has almost never been sick at all) and I attributed his good health to BF, so this has taught me a lesson.<br>
Apparently in my daughter's case (yes, I should have typed 'dd' not 'dh' in the original posting) the problem is with the STRUCTURE of her eustachian tubes. Every time she gets a cold, the nose congestion drains INTO her ear, instead of having whatever fluid is in her ear drain OUT into her throat/nose.<br>
But even though the doctor told me it was a structural problem, I was inclined to feel like there was something insufficiently healthy about my breastmilk! So thanks for all the warm words.<br>
I do nurse her lying down all night long, so maybe I'll have to put a stop to that, although I hate to think what that we'll do to our sleeping routine...<br>
I'm still not sure about the tubes. Generally I'm strictly against elective surgery, but I don't want my girl to have a hearing/speech problem because I wouldn't listen to the doctor...<br>
Ugh.
 

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My ds was in the same situation. I have loads of advice but dont have time to write it all now. I am getting ready to leave. My ds is 9 months and over the course of 3 months had 5 ear infections. The last one I called a homeopath and didnt do antibiotics and he has been infection free for 2 months now after getting them literally a day or two after the antibiotics were stopped. He has both ears infected all the time and lots of fluid behind the ear. It was a constant cycle of antibiotics and then nothing for a day or two and then back to the doctor for more antibiotics. I will write more info later. I went for a follow up to the ENT a few weeks ago and he said "at this point I would do nothing, his ears look great!"
 

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Ok, I am back. A couple more things we did was to get a few books. One is called No More Antibiotics by Dr Mary Ann Block. She has a massage technique to help drain fluid. I think this helped. I still do this. She has lots of good info in her book as well. The other is Treating Childhood Ear Infections by Micheal Schmidt (sp?). He gives all kinds of info in supplements. I started giving my son 1 tsp flaxseed oil along with the col liver oil I was already giving. In my opinion, those two books are a must if your child has chronic ear infections. I also think using the antibiotics made my ds's ear infections chronic. Once we stopped them and started the homeopathic medicines they went away even though my son still had fluid behind the ears for well over a month. I did not believe in homeopathy until I used it on my son. The key is to work with someone who knows what they are doing. I found someone who works with me over the phone and charges me $55 for the entire month I need her. The first couple of nights using homeopthy were rough. After that he's been great ever since. Thats all for now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thank you so much for all that information! Yes, I am definitely dealing with chronic ear infections here, and since they do often start within days of the last round of antibiotics, I'm just not interested in antibiotics any longer. I'm about to move to a new area where I will not have a pediatrician, so I'll be finding a new one anyway and I'll try to find someone who knows about homeopathy. This will be new to me -- any advice about what to look for in a good expert? Homeopathy is very popular in Austria, where I have lived -- over there you can get homeopathic remedies in every pharmacy -- but I'm not so sure how this will work in Boston...<br>
Anyway, thanks for the tips. I'll buy those two books and look into drops.<br>
Thanks!
 
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