by Audra Krystell Kish
Looking back at Clark's baby pictures, I now notice he had thrush for quite some time
before it ever affected me. In a six-week photo, his mouth agape in
a smile, I now notice his tongue was completely white. It wasn't until he was
three months old that thrush became a real problem.
I had one of those perfect breastfeeding experiences, where my son latched on like a
hungry shark within minutes of his birth, and we'd been an unstoppable duo ever since.
His latch was immaculate: I didn't suffer cracked nipples, and despite a minor duct
plug the day my milk came in, I found breastfeeding to be the easiest, least painful
skill I'd ever learned. That is, until the thrush sneaked into my breast.
It started out innocently enough, with a pulling pain in my nipple while Clark nursed.
It felt like he was sucking too hard and pulling my nipple too far back into his
throat. Ow! I realized that something must be wrong, as I'd never felt pain
while nursing before. After a visit to a doctor, Clark started on the yellow
liquid...the evil nilstat/nystatin/mycostatin (just like the devil, it too has many
names!) Anyway, the doctor and the pharmacist both told me to rub the liquid into my
nipples. HA! What a mistake that turned out to be. DO NOT DO THIS! The
yellow liquid is high in sugar (hmmm...what does yeast like to eat?) and is sticky!
I screamed when peeling 1/4 of an inch of nipple off along with my flannelette
nursing pad. The raw, exposed nipple did not help in abating the thrush.
As for my son, he was prescribed the yellow liquid 3 times!!! Three bottles of this
crap, which gave him foul smelling, mucous-y poo, not to mention gas and a rash on any
part of his body that the liquid touched. His chin was constantly rashy from the
inevitable, vile-tasting mouthful that he spat out . My nipples were not getting any
better, either. The thrush would seem to go for a while, but it always came back.
Finally, I gave up on the yellow liquid! The thrush took exactly one week to clear
up as soon as we STOPPED the medication. Here's what I did:
1. After each feeding, I washed my nipples in a solution of 1 tsp baking soda mixed into a
glass of warm water (baking soda is known to inhibit the growth of yeast). I rinsed
it off with a splash of warm water, and let my nipples air dry.
2. I washed my nursing pads in HOT water (along with the diapers) and
changed them very often. I went around topless/braless when I could. I
never wore a bra to bed.
3. I started taking one L. Acidophilus tablet daily to restore the good
bacteria in my body that keeps yeast at bay.
4. I changed the bedding constantly, and aired out the bedding for a few
hours each morning.
5. I reduced the amount of refined sugar in my diet.
6. This information is rather, er, sensitive, but I think it is
important and makes sense. Do not let your partner touch or kiss your breasts after
sexual contact. The vagina naturally carries some yeast, and if vaginal secretions
get on the nipples, so does yeast. Make sure to wash nipples with baking soda after sex if
you can't/don't want to impose a temporary "hands off".
7. This is sort of weird, and I'm not sure if it was what did the trick,
but I think that gripe water was helpful. The nilstat gave him such bad gas, since 3
weeks of consumption of it had created an imbalance in his intestinal flora. The
balance was not restored until after a week after treatment, so in the meantime, I started
giving him (alcohol-free) gripe water to help with gas. Well, there is baking
soda in gripe water, so after the last feeding before a predicted long stretch of sleep,
I'd squirt some gripe water into his mouth. This may have helped, but I'm not sure.
After being vigilant about these things (not so much with the gripe water thing-- that was
just an afterthought) we beat the thrush! It has now been over 6 months without a
pain, a rash or a white patch in the mouth. I washed my nipples with the baking soda
every night before bed for a month or so after, but I don't anymore and we're still yeast
free! Luckily, the thrush never created a vaginal yeast infection for me, nor a bum
rash for Clark. However, when I think back to what my pharmacist told me, I have a
hearty, bitter chuckle. As he handed me the first bottle of nilstat, he said:
"You should notice a major improvement in less than two days, and the thrush should
clear up by the end of the week. This medication is VERY effective."
HA! Obviously, this man never had a breastfeeding wife and child.
Audra Krystelle Greer
206 Cumberland Avenue North
Off the Line
Sweet Homebirth (Video)
Midwives have existed since the
beginning of humanity. Why, then, is it so difficult to find a midwife in America?
What events occured between the mid 1800's until the present day which nearly made
midwifery extinct in America? And why are more families now looking into homebirth as a
refuge from hospital care?
Home Sweet Homebirth provides
the answers. Interviews with noted doctors, historians and midwives. Very interesting and