A friendly resource for women who want to lead better lives

This is why I am sticking with breastfeeding

It has been a rough couple of months for me. If you follow this blog you know that I’ve been struggling with nursing. Last time I wrote about it- on July 26!- I thought I was on the mend. But here I am in mid September and I am still not 100 percent. Last Thursday was the worse day of all, actually. So I called a third lactation consultant, and after a very short talk she seems to have figured out exactly what is going on. Thrush!

Thrush is an overgrowth of yeast, in my case it is quite possibly in the milk ducts. I have no outside symptoms and my baby doesn’t have any symptoms either (which is good), so diagnosing it was not easy. Now that I know, everything seems so clear to me. I have been exhausted, craving – and eating- loads of sugar, and have pain that feels like glass inside of me. These seem to be very typical of thrush.

After being on medication- diflucan– for less than 48 hours, trying to strengthen my immune system and using some home remedies agains thrush, I am already better, although I am still more exhausted than usual, sore and genuinely scared that the really bad pain will come back any minute. However I can feel like a normal person again, almost.

My friend told me very sweetly last night that it would be fine if decided to stop nursing. My sister and Mary have also reassured me that it would be O.K. if I did.

I have considered it many times in the last 2 months, sometimes on my own, other times when my friends and family have brought it up. At 7 months old, my baby has started to eat solids, and she’s gotten a lot of breast milk already. At the same time I know the benefits of breastfeeding for both of us, and when not in pain, I enjoy nursing.

This is not an easy decision for me, even though I realize there is no wrong answer. My baby will be fed regardless of what I decide. At a different time in my life I would have written down a pro/con list, but these days I don’t have time to do that, so I did what mothers do, a mental list of why I would or would not stop nursing.

After much consideration, I have decided to keep at it, at least for the time being. Mary has said that I am determined, but this list has some self-serving reasons, so don’t call me a hero. This list could change and something could tip it over to the other side.  I am taking it day by day. Here is my pro list:

1- Regardless of what I do about nursing, I would still need to get this yeast thing under control. Since a cure is near, or at least I hope it is, once I am without pain, nursing will be good again- it is already a lot better

2- Only one side hurts, the other is a constant reminder that healthy breastfeeding does not hurt, and this is temporary

3-I don’t think I have it together enough to remember to bring formula with me everywhere I go. I also have no desire to do anything else in the kitchen than what I already do, especially sterilizing bottles

4- I am not ready to eat fewer calories. Seriously. I like eating large amounts of food, healthy food, but in large quantities. Breastfeeding an infant allows me to do this and still get closer to my pre pregnancy weight, even if my tops still don’t fit well

5- After having issues bonding with her, I feel like I just started enjoying my baby, and I want to give her this time of being just us. There is a nutrition component in nursing, but also an emotional one for both of us. I know I could have this bonding time with a bottle, but the way life is with two small children and a husband who works a ton of hours, I know that if I don’t have to stop to feed her I won’t

I know there must be a lot of women reading who have kept on breastfeeding despite difficulty. What was your reason to keep it up? If you decided to stop, what made it clear that this was the right thing for you? I’d love to know.

-Olivia

10 Responses to “This is why I am sticking with breastfeeding”

  1. vrein11

    I wish someone would have suggested thrush with my last 2 babies! I had the hardest time nursing both of them initially. one was treated for thrush but i was never. I bet that is why i had such a hard time!! Thanks so much for sharing that.

    Reply
    • oliviascribe

      I am sorry to read this. From what I am learning, mom and baby should be treated at the same time because you can pass the thrush to each other while nursing. The pain is really terrible.

      Reply
      • vrein11

        yes it most certainly is!!! Glad to hear you are feeling better!! Praying for a quick recovery now!!!

      • vrein11

        Oh- and what are you doing naturally to help?? Just curious and wondering if its something I should consider…

      • oliviascribe

        I am taking a lot of probiotics, and giving them to my kids too. Also staying away from sugary foods, breads and potatoes. I am also doing a vinegar rinse after nursing.

  2. Samantha

    I breastfed my son for almost 18 months. He started weaning himself around 14 months and at some point around 18 months he just stopped. I continued for many reasons, especially for the bonding, but other than that i would say the #1 was convenience or as i told my friends i was lazy. I did not have to pack bottle in the baby bag, i would just grab diapers and wipes and head out. I did not have to take apart, clean, sterilize, and re-assemble bottles–which i absolutely despised!! It was easier, and i did deal with mastitis twice which was excruciating, but it was worth pushing through it.

    Reply
    • oliviascribe

      Thank you for sharing, Samantha. The convenience part of breastfeeding is a great bonus. I cannot imagine dealing with bottles etc. Sorry to hear about your mastitis times two. 18 months is amazing!

      Reply
  3. draxela

    Good on you mama!! Sometimes breastfeeding is so freaking hard! You’re really amazing for trying so hard. Give yourself credit for that. Hugs for the pain. It’s so hard to keep at it when it hurts. Have you considered a tongue or lip tie? Sometimes that can be misdiagnosed as thrush.

    If you’re interested in my breastfeeding story – stopping the first time before I was ready and still going with the second – I blog here: draxela.wordpress.com xx

    Reply
    • oliviascribe

      Draxela, I read a couple of your posts, amazing stories. We’ve had four months of completely problem-free nursing, so I doubt she has a tongue tie. I have a meeting with another -4th- lactation consultant next week, though, so I’ll bring it up. Thank you! By the way, I love what you say “Everyone’s hard is hard.”

      Reply

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