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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know there is a similar thread right now on helping a friend through nursing difficulties, and this is in the same spirit. My very good friend, with whom I was pregnant and who had her DS 2 months after I had my DD, is having what must be the worst time breastfeeding EVER.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"><br><br>
Long story, but here's the short version: They have a raging case of thrush, and are having trouble getting the docs coordinated enough to get them what they need...too short a course of Diflucan and Nystatin aren't cutting it. Also, he's tongue-tied, and she has a very low supply, probably mainly due to the fact that she hasn't had a single day of nursing with a good latch since he was born 3 weeks ago. Of course, between the thrush and bad latch, she is in terrible pain.<br><br>
Currently, she is pumping the most tender side after each feeding on the least tender side, some days exclusively pumping. They are supplementing with formula after each feeding since her supply is so low.<br><br>
We are going to a LLL meeting this week, and I've sent her all kinds of links from kellymom and info about things like oatmeal & fenugreek for supply, and gentian violet/GSE for thrush.<br><br>
I guess what I would really like to know is, has anyone else experienced such a number of problems at once, this early on, and still gone on to have a successful/happy BF'ing experience? Is it possible to clip a tongue-tie, heal from thrush, and go on to find a good latch AFTER several weeks of bottle-feeding? (I think they just got the SNS). If these things do happen, will her supply increase enough that she could exclusively BF someday?<br><br>
I think she's losing hope, and I am losing hope for her. It breaks my heart that she may not get the nursing relationship she had hoped for. I'd love to hear from anyone who persisted through a similar situation.
 

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I have not had experience with the exact issues your friend is dealing with. However, I want to say that after nearly 8 months of various BF'ing challenges I STILL BELIEVE THERE IS HOPE that things will work out.<br><br>
Here are the challenges I have overcome: Sleepy premature baby, jaundice, poor weight gain, ineffective suck/ swallow reflex, low milk supply, severe reflux, thrush. It took about 4 months for the suck / swallow issue to improve and about 6 weeks on Domperidone to increase the milk supply so that by about 5 months we were finally EBF'ing.<br><br>
Then at 6 1/2 months we started dealing with the colitis/ food intolerances.<br><br>
But I think many times the person who reaches her goal is the one who stays in the race. These BF'ing issues of your friend are all able to be over-come. Yes, its overwhelming to have them all at once but if you can encourage her to take one day at a time she can get through it.<br><br>
Hope that helps -
 

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I didn't have that exact combo of problems, but I had a whole trainwreck of major challenges, especially with my first and second babies<br><br>
The SNS made all the difference. I just didn't have it in me to use the SNS ALL the time with #1. And we ultimately did not get to a good place.<br><br>
With #2 and #3, I was religious about using the SNS and nothing else. No pacifers, no bottles, etc. The first 6-8 weeks was still viciously challenging, but we made it through and everything worked out.<br><br>
LLL meetings made things much easier with #3, too. I wish I hadn't been scared to try LLL meetings with my first two nurslings. I stuck with hospital LCs and they just aren't as inspiring.<br><br>
Another thing that helped me was managing my expectations. All thru the pregnancy I thought you get thru and then the fun starts. I expected the first weeks to be a gossmer haze of happy mama and baby moments and the physical and emotional challenges of pregnancy to have vanished. Ha. Whether nursing is working or not, I don't think a lot of mamas have that experience. Yes, there are moments of joy. But there's also a lot of figuring out baby and energy demanded for your own recovery too. Gently sharing that with your friend might help reassure her that she'll get thru this dark time. And that breastfeeding, no matter how challenging, is not "causing" it.<br><br>
Strength to your friend to get thru this demanding time and on into the "reward" period of nursing. And blessings to you for helping her. A supportive friend is a wonderful asset when a new mama is struggling.
 

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There is ALWAYS hope. Most women notice an immediate benefit once the tongue tie is fixed, so the sooner the better on that one. The LLL, or a local lactation consultant, should know someone in the area who clips them. I know someone in the Atlanta area, if there is no one there.<br>
For the thrush, any chance she can get it to see an infectious disease specialist to get that taken care of?
 

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YES, I did and I nursed until 16 months. We had a raging case of <b>thrush</b>, which we got rid after 2 months of near heroic measures. My son starting <b>pulling off the breast</b> about every 2-3 seconds following that, and he did it without unlatching. The thrush damaged skin tore and broke open numerous times before we saw a pedi GI who give us meds for his <b>GERD</b>. That was at 4 months, and I was finally starting to heal. Nearly as soon as the skin healed, I started to get <b>plugged ducts</b>. Like one a week, and they required therpeutic ultrasounds every time they started since nothing else prevented them or treated them, and sometimes needle aspiration to the nipple to pass the chunk of condensed milk. We figured out that they were a combo of the ductal yeast and irritation from my son's pulling. Dr. Newman confirmed it as well.<br><br>
However, we hung on with fantastic support from my husband and my friends, and since my son couldn't tolerate formula (GERD), they made the whole stuck with BFing no matter how painful it is better for me. If you can help her, do it. Offer to watch her baby so she can rest (that is so important for milk and if she's in pain, it's hard to sleep), clean her pump, SNS, laundry whatever or just listen to her rant. Make her a batch of oatmeal or buy the fenugreek and BT and sort it into a little pillbox for her to take daily. If she can't make it through though, make her feel comfortable with bottle feeding, since she's going to feel bad about doing it. If I would have weaned, everyone in my support group would have been kind about it, and just knowing that helped me truck on, KWIM?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you all so much for all the replies. I didn't intend to start a BF'ing-horror-story thread, but that's what her situation seems like to me right now. It is very encouraging to hear from those of you who have been through similar struggles and overcome them. I was starting to feel like I was being too emphatic to her that it is possible to do this (which is probably meaningless coming from me, since I have had one of the easiest times BF'ing).<br><br>
She's not talking about giving up yet, which is great, but I just know it's getting really hard to keep up with all those things against her. I made sure she knows that I'll be there for her regardless of what she decides to do, but I just want to be sure that she has at least one "breastfeeding cheerleader" on her side, if that's what she needs.<br><br>
Hopefully the LLL meeting will be helpful...thanks again for the encouraging stories!
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>greene_mama</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/11592299"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Thank you all so much for all the replies. I didn't intend to start a BF'ing-horror-story thread, but that's what her situation seems like to me right now.</div>
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Actually those stories have made me feel a lot better about my own situation and knowing I'm not so isolated. My daughter is almost 3 months old and while I primarily give her pumped breast milk, I am now starting to supplement with formula and am feeling really guilty about it. She has thrush, I have low supply b/c I can't properly pump while at work, and she's never been able to latch onto my flat nipples so she's been bottle fed since birth. Those things coupled with being bombarded with "breast is best!" everywhere I turn, I feel like a rotten mother for not giving my baby milk straight from the tap as my DH says. I think knowing other women are having difficulties helps people to realize that we shouldn't feel guilty when mother nature just doesn't cooperate.
 
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