Bible Verse of the Day: Keeping God First

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Breastfeeding Hasn't Always Been Easy

I was looking back through Josh's camera since I plan on using it to take better pictures of Zakiah for now own and noticed some pictures I have totally forgotten about it. On his camera were several pictures taken of Zakiah when we were dealing with our battle of thrush several months ago. For those who don't know, thrush is, in simplest terms, a yeast infection inside a baby's mouth and on his tongue. Sometimes in vaginal deliveries, babies can contract a yeast infection orally and cause an overgrowth of the yeast on their tongue over time. Many times, this does not cause any discomfort to the baby but to the breastfeeding mother...oh me, oh my. A baby can pass thrust to the mother via suckling at the breast, which can translate to throbbing, radiating pain deep inside the mother's breast tissue.


The pain hurt so bad that I really thought I was going to have to give up breastfeeding. But deep inside and despite the pain, I knew I wanted to give Zakiah the best source of food possible. She depended on my milk supply to satisfy her hunger and to provide her soothing comfort although simultaneously I had tears down my eyes with my toes clinched in pain. PLUS, I didn't want to give up the bonding experience that is associated with breastfeeding so soon. Therefore, I went through several different methods to treat this condition.

Zakiah's pediatrician prescribed us some Nystatin to help resolve the thrush. However, as I was researching more about it, I noticed it was basically a sugary mixture that has basically lost half of its effectiveness over the years due to the increasing strength of the yeast strain. Besides, doesn't yeast THRIVE on sugar??? Anyway, Zakiah and I used Nystatin, and after two weeks, it didn't work. GO FIGURE!

I decided to pump like crazy and feed Zakiah with a bottle to provide me some relief from the stabbing pain in my breast. Um, how about I pumped so much that my poor nipples were raw. Yes, bloody raw. I guess that explains why I haven't really pumped much since then.

My mom gave me some Diflucan to help clear up the yeast orally over the course of three days. It helped with the pain, BUT since Zakiah still had the thrush in her mouth, she passed it right back to me after I took the Diflucan medication. Thrush must be treated for both mother and baby at the same time or else they can pass the infection back and forth in what can seem like a never ending cycle.

SOOOO, I decided to research some more and seek natural ways to treat thrush. I came across this solution called Gentian Violet. I even called the La Leche League for some more information about this solution. I was told that this solution was used commonly back in the day to treat thrush and was VERY effective (but later you will see...messy) method at doing so. I even mentioned it to Zakiah's pediatrician AND my mom and they both heard of it and recalled it being used several years ago. The pediatrician even said that their office used to carry it but stopped when all these other SO CLAIMED effective (aka NON-EFFECTIVE) medicines and treatments came out.

Anyway, Josh ordered some of this Gentian Violet from the local pharmacy for less than $2 for a couple ounces! And just to think we wasted over $30 for the Nystatin treatment. Well, I tell you, the Gentian Violet worked like a charm! It took about a week of treatment with a dab of the solution rubbed on my nipples and the inside of Zakiah's mouth daily. I immediately felt relief and the yeast began clearing from Zakiah's tongue.

I hope to never EVER have to experience the type of pain I experienced with thrush. But if I do, I definitely will use Gentian Violet again. Just to think that in a couple of weeks, Zakiah and I would have been on this breastfeeding journey for SIX months! Woot! Never thought I would be at this for this long. Thank God for the strength and endurance and PATIENCE to make it this far.

Oh, let me not forget to mention the drawback to using Gentian Violet: it left me stuck inside the house with a baby who looked like she took a big bite out of a big grape jelly doughnut!!!

LOL. Yes, my friends, Gentian Violet works, but it is messy and stains like crazy! This was taken on August 29, 2009. :)


  1. LOL shes so cute. Thats a great picture! How long did you breastfeed? Or will breastfeed?

  2. LOL...this shows that breastfeeding is not necessarily this beautiful and natural experience between mother and baby. Tomorrow will mark 6 month of breastfeeding. I am not sure how long I will continue but will just take it one day at a time for now. We are starting solids now so she might even eventually self wean herself. Its all tentative.


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