Candidiasis

It is nearly midnight as I am writing this. Why am I up you ask? Because I stupidly drank a caffeinated beverage with dinner and because I am in pain. I’ll get to the pain part in a few minutes.

The following is probably more information than you ever wanted to know about me. I blame it on the caffeine induced insomnia. I also share it so that other breastfeeding moms don’t make my same mistake(s).

On March 20 (I share the date because the amount of time that has passed shows just how dumb I am), I started to feel like I was getting a yeast infection.  This is really nothing new for me. I am just prone to these things. Please spare me the “clean up” lecture. I’ve had that awkward conversation enough times with enough awkward parties.

I’ve been getting them for as long as I can remember. If I do something really physical like running or hiking or whatever I get one. If I don’t wear cotton underwear I get one. If I go swimming for the day and stay in my swimsuit the entire day, I’m definitely asking to get one. Like I said, I’m just prone to them.

Anyway, I did what I always do. I upped my yogurt intake (as in actually ate some) and took a couple acidophilus capsules for a few days. When the symptoms stopped I got lazy again and stopped taking all the stuff. Being that I’m prone to them, I should probably just make acidophilus a regular part of my daily diet, but I don’t. Who really wants to be stuck on pills their whole life? Not me.

Anyway, about this time is when Bean was starting her crankiness. She also had develped a diaper rash. I attributed the diaper rash to the change in laundry detergents because that brand had been implicated in diaper rash problems amongst other babies. I felt confident in this diagnosis when I made my own detergent and the diaper rash seemed to be less red and yucky looking after a couple diaper changes.

Well, then the diaper rash came back with avengence. Nothing was working on it. Baths? Nope. Hanging out without a diaper on? Nope. Diaper rash cream? Nope. Changing the diaper every single hour? Nope. Poor little Bean still has a nasty red bottom as I write this.

Also during this time I thought Bean was teething. And who knows? She probably was some of the time. Motrin did seem to help last week during the worst of it and she now has a little tiny white spot showing through on the left side of her mouth to match the one that showed up on the right side at 3 months.

Well, because she was teething she was nursing a lot. And I was getting really, really sore. Like as bad as it was in the beginning sore. But the thing is, she has had long nursing spells prior to this and it didn’t hurt a bit. So I figured that maybe she wasn’t latching on properly. Or she was biting me. I started paying more attention to her during nursing time and it wasn’t any of those things. 

A few nights ago the pain was so bad that I could hardly stand to nurse. I almost wanted to give it up completely. Bean’s fussy behavior and constant night waking coupled with the painful nursing experience really had me in an emotional state. I told Stephen the next morning that I didn’t want to breastfeed anymore and that I wanted to get a “real” job because I just couldn’t take being a full time mom anymore.

After some talking down from the ledge by a few different people I was OK.

But breastfeeding was still hurting. Like a lot. 

So I’m running the gamut of possibilites… “Am I pregnant? No way. I would know. My chart would tell me. Or maybe it wouldn’t. Well maybe I’m getting ready to have the monthly thing a little early. I’ve heard that some women experience painful nursing during that time so maybe that’s what it is. But then why hasn’t it hurt all the other times? And this is like a lot of pain. Wouldn’t they just give up? What is going on? Why does it hurt so badly?”

I usually knit or read while Bean is nursing because they are easy things I can do while sitting. Knitting is so easy for me that I can do it with my eyes closed. Only tonight when I was breastfeeding it hurt so bad that I couldn’t even knit because that task would require way too much of me when I was in this kind of pain. All I could do is grit my teeth and try to breathe.

And then for some reason I remembered a post I read about sudden onset of pain during nursing and it hit me like a ton of bricks. It all made sense. How could I be so dumb?

Thrush.

Also known as a yeast infection or candidiasis.

So once again I miss all the signs and symptoms for a significant period of time. You will note this all started back on March 20 as I said and it is now APRIL 13.

Anyway, where I went wrong in this whole thing is that I didn’t take the acidophilus for long enough. Do not be lazy like me. The recommendations that I found said to take 2 capsules 3 times a day and that it should continue to be taken 1-2 weeks AFTER symptoms have gone away. I also found that Bean can have one capsule three times a day (made into a paste and put in food).

Since this particular infection has had quite a bit of time to get established I think I’m also going to throw in the other recommendations I found to help the acidophilus along. These are:
-rinse infected areas with a vinegar and water solution (excluding baby’s mouth)
-antifungal creams (Monistat or Lotramin) can be applied to baby’s bottom, mom’s nipples, etc., but needs to be washed from nipples prior to a feeding
-take 4-6 capsules of odorless garlic a day for 1-2 weeks until after symptoms are gone
-take 250mg of grapefruit seed extract three times a day for 1-2 weeks until after symptoms are gone
-yeast thrive on milk and sugar so aside from yogurt, try to avoid them in your diet until symptoms are gone

So yeah. I took a couple acidophilus capsules tonight. I’ll be picking up my other fungus fighters tomorrow. I’m hoping to kick this thing good and hard and make it go away for awhile.

At least I know what the heck is going on finally. Jeeze.

7 Comments

Filed under Ramblings

7 responses to “Candidiasis

  1. Emily

    Yeast is no fun at all. You can use gentian violet for Bean’s mouth but it’ll stain everything very purple. My go-to for nipple/diaper yeast is the generic for lotrimin a/f – use it 4x a day and use it for a few days after everything’s gone. Also, if you order rash magic (I like the one in the tub, not the stick) from jacksmagicbeanstalk.com, there’s GSE in it so it keeps yeasties at bay, and it’s safe for cloth diapers. It costs $10 but lasts forever. Good luck and I hope you feel better quickly!!

  2. Ruth

    Oh, Lisa, that sounds miserable. I’m so sorry! On the other hand, I’m glad you finally figured out what is bothering her, and hopefully some easier days are ahead of you!

    If you don’t like swallowing the pills, they sell a liquid probiotic at whole foods – it’s in the little refrigerated section with the essential oils, over by the vitamins. You only need to take a tablespoon a day and it tastes just like thin strawberry yogurt. It’s good mixed in OJ too!

  3. No fun! Hope you both are feeling better SOON!

    I have been reading about Northern Essence Better Butt(er). I really want to try it because it has GFSE in it and is supposed to be anti yeast. Sometimes I wonder if my LO has a bit of a yeast infection rash.

  4. Yikes! Sounds like such a nightmare. I’m glad you know what the problem is now and can get it fixed though!

    Good luck! And I was going to tell you the same thing Ruth did about the probiotic at Whole Foods. 🙂

  5. Kourtni

    Juliet had a BAD thrush infection when she was only a few weeks old. I actually wasn’t breastfeeding her though, so it didn’t do anything to me. I’ve been crossing my fingers and PRAYING that Genevieve wont get one too. I thought she had gotten one when she was 3 or 4 weeks old, but nothing ever came of it. Poor Bean.. and poor you!! I hope you shake it soon.

  6. Swee’Pea had thrush starting at like three days old. The skin on his poor little newborn tush literally peeled off because it was so bubbly and burned from the infection. Nursing was so ridiculously painful for like 2 straight months because of the fact that he was nursing like 10-12 times a day and I never had a break to really get the ointment on my nipples. Hang in there!!! I’m glad that you figured out what the problem is so you can get to fixing it!

  7. when i was nursing calvin for about a week he got thrush and gave it to me on one side. it was the most painful nursing experience i ever had in my life and it lasted for 6-8 weeks, despite every natural method i tried…vinegar, acidphilus etc. even the prescribed medicines barely worked! hang in there! oh boy, do i feel for you. with this new baby, i will be on acidophilus from the get-go!

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