Battling Thrush

Friday, June 14, 2013

It is 5.45AM as I'm writing now and if you'd like to know why in the hell I'm writing a blog post so damn early in the morning, it is because I can't get to sleep.

Thrush is haunting me and if you may excuse me, in this post you're gonna see me talking about itchy nipples again and again, because this is the very reason that kept me up the entire night.

I didn't remember how it started, it was itchy probably a couple of weeks ago and I thought it was eczema - something I have quite regularly. I applied some moisturizer over the boob area and lanolin on the nipples just so that I don't crack it while tugging at it when it is itchy.

Shortly after, Dylan ran a fever for no particular reason. When I opened his mouth, I saw something like this on his inner lips and cheeks:

Having no prior thrush attacks before, I thought they looked something like ulcers and scared myself silly thinking that Dylan was having HFMD and I frantically checked his palms and soles but there were nothing.

I still didn't know that was thrush in his mouth.... until tonight, where the itch becomes so unbearable, I thought something must be really wrong. Of course, all I needed to do was to google "itchy nipples" and almost 90% of the search suggested that I could be having thrush.

Anyway, just to share, these are the few symptoms of thrush:

- Itchy or burning nipples that appear pink or red, shiny, flaky, and/or have a rash with tiny blisters.
- Cracked nipples.
- Shooting pains in the breast during or after feedings.
- Intense nipple or breast pain that is not improved with better latch-on and positioning.
- Deep breast pain.

I'm currently experiencing 3 out of these 5 symptoms and that is fine... except that most articles I've read so far has said that thrush is one helluva stubborn infection and it is very, very hard to clear up. It will just keep coming back and because Dylan has thrush in his mouth and I have thrush on my boobs, it is very likely that we will end up passing to one another.... It makes me scared.

It is also capable of infecting the milk ducts, which make me scared even more. I'm kinda worried right now if my ignorance has caused it to get worse over the past weeks. If only I had known!

My nips hurt as I'm typing. I know it is probably too much info but THIS is really unbearable. I can't wait for the shops to open so that I can run down first thing to buy some of the easier-to-acquire stuff to start my battle with this yeast.


Why I'm writing this

I think thrush is quite a serious infection, even though it is not life-threatening, it can be so severe that it disrupts your life (in my case, my sleep). It can infect anywhere that is warm and moist, so it includes the boobs area, private area and mouth... which is pretty horrifying to me.

I hope that by writing this, I'm contributing to the mountains of readily available information on the Internet and raising an alarm to all the mummies who are reading my blog who are thinking that your itching nipples are probably just a phase that will pass, it may not be as simple as you think!

And for the record, if you have thrush, it will not clear up by itself (or so I've read, I'm still rather horrified by this yeast!). You will need to seek medical treatment or it will get worse.


Since I'm writing about thrush right now, let me briefly share what are some of the things I'm planning to do/buy:

1. Cut off sugar in my diet - I was *just* saying that quitting sugar is the hardest thing for me and now, because of this infection, I'm forced to quit. Sometimes, it is hard not to believe that someone up there is trying to show me a sign wtf.

I was saying that I wanted to quit bubble tea just a month ago and what happened? News reported that the ingredients used to make those pearls contained too much whatever-acid and have been recalled back. It's like God is trying to tell me, "YES JUST DO IT."

2. Buy probiotics - It is proven that if I load up my body with loads of probiotics, it can fight against yeast infection. I will also need to buy infant probiotics I guess.

3. Buy Grapefruit Seed Extract - From what I've read, there are several topical medications available to fight against thrush but apparently GSE is probably one of the most effective one after Gentian Violet. I'm not so keen on the purplish stains that is very likely to stay permanent on my sofa and cushions after applying on Dylan.

4. Buy white vinegar - Apparently when diluted with water, it will relieve this damn nipple sore that I'm experiencing right now. It is also good for cleaning up Dylan's toys so as to permanently get rid of the yeast. Have to add it into my laundry as well and probably go without nursing pads for a while. Just let them breastmilk leak wtf.

I'm crossing my fingers that this episode of thrush is hopefully a one-off incident and it doesn't make a reappearance but well... I'd be ready when it does.

I think I really need to grab some sleep. It is 6.30AM right now and I'm utterly zombified.

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  1. Hi Jac

    I am also breastfeeding my baby who's coming to 7 mths old. When my baby was 4 mths old, I had some issues with my left breast which I thought was thrush as I felt symptoms that were similar. Scared the hell out of me as I read that thrush is very hard to battle with. Went to see a lactation consultant (LC) and turned out that I had a milk bleb in my left nipple. My left breast were hard and engorged despite continuous latching. It only cleared when the LC did a painful but hard massage for me + my baby latching to clear the ducts and the milk bleb on my nipple. Took me 2 weeks. So I can totally understand your anxiety. Hope u can do an update on your battle with thrush so that mothers like me can learn and benefit from it :)
    All the best in your breastfeeding journey and your battle with thrush!


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