Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Things no one told me - Part Two

This 'thing' is actually a couple things all having to do with nursing, while I have a lot to say about nursing in general (regading the fact that this is a lot different in practice than it was in theory) but I'm going to remain focused for now on one issue in particular. Once I started breast feeding, the nurses and doctors all were very concerned with the condition of my nipples, but no one really said anything about WHY they were concerned. I assumed it was just for my comfort and didn't realize there was so much more to their concern than that.

We had a really scary experience with Colin while Sean's family was visiting. Randomly, he spilt up a blood clot, the front of his shirt was splotched with blood and he had a little clot just sitting there on the colar. It was absoluetly TERRIFING! We called the pediatricain, of course it was after hours so we had to wait for the on call doctor to call us back. It seemed like it took 2 hours for them to call back but it was probably no more than 10-15 minuets, but in the meantime we are getting everything ready for a trip to the ER. The doctor calls back and very non-chalately says 'oh thats nothing to worry about its probably from your nipples'. I'm thinking 'WHAT?' Apparently what I thought were just blood blisters were more actively bleeding during nursing causing Colin to ingest blood which subsequently came back up when he spit up. The doctor made me wake him up and make him nurse and she said if he nursed he was fine. Well the kid never has trouble eating so once we woke him up (not always easy) he ate like a champ, so he was obviously fine but it was very very scary. I don't know why if this was no big deal why it wouldn't have been mentioned somewhere?!? Just FYI babies spitting up blood is not necessarily an emergency.

The other real 'nipple health' issue that is important to be aware of, that I feel like I only narrowly avoided, is thrush. It is a yeast infection that occurs on the nipple and in babies mouth. It is a pretty nasty little problem not only because the treatment has to go on for weeks and weeks and baby and mom can juts keep re-infecting each other but it is painful! I took a preventative measure and started rinsing in a very mild vinegar solution which is supposed to discourage yeast growth. So far so good! There are also a couple good products that are like chap stick that you don't have to clean off before nursing and that discourage cracking.

5 comments:

Randi said...

Just I don't feel bad about not warning you, watch out for impaction. I went on a trip when Spencer was about 3 months old, I thought he would be able to take a bottle no prob, never mind that he had no had one and that I would be able to pump. I did not factor in the plane ride. I got hard as a rock, it took 2 people pressing down as hard as they could to unblock. Then I freaked out everyone in the communal bathroom, expressing my milk. Get Colin use to a bottle as soon as you can, Sean gets to feed him then, double bonus!

Anonymous said...

Thrush doesn't happen to everyone, not trying to jinx myself but 3 down 1 to go! The blood blister thing is from him not getting the nipple completely in and just using it as a pacifier, right? it won't always happen, the longer you breastfeed the strong your nipples become. To add to Aunt Randi mine never took a bottle when breastfeed(after I stopped 2 did) we tried and they took it a bit but never when I needed them to and none of them took a pacifier ever and we tried. But it was one thing less to break. Also, car trips Brendon threw up almost every car trip lasting longer then a 20 minutes but we still went!

Anonymous said...

Wow...that does sound quite scary and that perhaps someone should have told you this "may" happen. So I thank you in advance for sharing what typically is thought of as TMI. Although it does make me anxious to learn information, it also gives me peace at the same time.-Elaine

Erin said...

A couple of my friends have had thrush, and one of the biggest things you can do is change your nursing pads/bras all the time so that they are never wet. They also recommend that you wash your bras, nursing pads, shirts, etc in hot water and to add vinegar to the wash (which it sounds like you're doing in some modified form!).

Michelle :) said...

I had thrush (well, WE had thrush). It was awful. Nursing was excruciatingly painful for over a month, and although I was willing to "nurse through the pain," once I found out that Asher was hurting too, I felt like a horrible mom, letting it go on for so long. We got medicated and it took a month to heal. Ick. I'm glad you're taking preventative measures... I wouldn't wish that on anyone.