Friday, June 12, 2015


Thrush is awful.  It's yeast...on your boobs (and also in mouths, like baby mouths).  It's painful on the surface and comes with shooting pains in the breasts.  And it can be very stubborn.  I've been nursing pain free for two weeks now, so I'm comfortable enough saying I finally beat it.  That said, I'm well aware it could come back, especially with the warmer weather.  Since I got so many great tips, I decided to put them all in one place here.  I literally did all of this stuff.  I have a Thirty One tote I dubbed my thrush kit.  It's sitting on my kitchen table which is what reminded me to finish up this draft.  I'm still using my Rx, but should be able to put all this junk away very soon, just being extra cautious!  I saw two different doctors on three different occasions, had a lactation appointment, follow up with a lactation nurse, and talked to many other mothers.  It was so, so awful.  I would dread feeding Niko and have to give myself a pep talk to make it happen...then I would cry while feeding him.  It got better at some point, but only for a day or two.  I seriously considered quitting breastfeeding, but 1) I'm stubborn and 2) I knew I'd regret it once the thrush (or whatever it was, I didn't know it was thrush for the first month or so) cleared up.  I'm so glad I hung in there!

For Mom:
Don't give it a home - Yeast loves warm, moist places, so wearing breathable clothes or none at all as much as possible will help.  Thrush can just happen for no real reason, but I'm pretty sure all my babywearing while packing gave it a nice place to grow.

Don't feed it - Cutting carbs and sugar (sad, I know) will help.  Proteins and healthy fats are your friend!

Gentian Violet - Though it's messy and stains, it is generally very effective, read more here.

Vinegar - Vinegar is a natural super-cleaner.  Click here for the recipe and method for using vinegar for thrush.

Grapefruit Seed Extract (GSE) - I think this is what put the final nail in the coffin for my thrush.  I actually took it in pill form, but this link talks about why it works and how to use it.

Prescription - Nystatin is the one I hear about most, though which actual Rx you get may vary by doctor and their theory on thrush.  Some will say many strains of yeast are getting resistant to Nystatin.  I got Ketoconazole.  It may also be important to get an Rx for baby, talk with your doctor.

All Purpose Nipple Ointment (APNO) - Though I didn't use this for thrush, I actually used this in the early days of nursing Myra just because I was in so much pain from latch struggles and constant pumping.  It's called all purpose because it works for just about everything.  Click here for more info.

Probiotics - The good bacteria in probiotics (also the live and active cultures in yogurt) will help fight off the yeast.

Bleach and Sun - Also addressed in this link from above.  This link, too.

Pain Management - I constantly regretted forgetting to take ibuprofen.  Click here for information on medications and breastfeeding.

For Baby:
Prescription - see above.

Gentian Violet - see above.

Pacifiers and Bottles - Boil daily.  We had a rotation of pacifiers so I was only actually boiling every 2-3 days, but would consider them dirty after no more than one day's use.  Boil your pump parts, too, if you're pumping.

Grapefruit Seed Extract (GSE) - see above.

Don't feed it - If baby is eating solids, keep diet in mind as mentioned above.

Diaper rash - Thrush can present as a yeast diaper rash, too, so be on the look out.  Myra had that and it was a pain.  I bleached all her diapers and used disposables until we were done treating it.  Lots of naked time! is a great resource for all things breastfeeding.  Click here for her thrush info page.  If you're looking for more general breastfeeding info, Dr. Jack Newman is also a favorite, especially his info on drinking alcohol while breastfeeding (also cited here).

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Niko at 4 Months.

I finally found our monthly stickers so I guess that means I have to write monthly blog posts, too, huh?  Good idea.  I have lots of good ideas.  There is proof of that in my drafts folder of this blog.  I just need the time to sit down and finish them.  I digress.

Niko is four months old today and man does time fly.  I should copy+paste that and just change the number every month because I don't anticipate the "man does time fly" part changing.  But, these four months really have flown by and they have been entirely different than my first four months with Myra.  I learned a lot in Myra's first four months, but I really couldn't tell you how I survived.

Niko is the world's easiest baby.  He used to be the world's easiest baby who took 1-2 hours of bouncing/walking/slow dancing (but most certainly not rocking while sitting down) around a dark room to fall asleep, but now he is just the world's easiest baby.  What changed, you say?  Well, let's not beat around the bush.  We sleep trained him.  There are lots of feelings about this topic, but I'm not shy.  He's getting heavy, I have two kids, I'm alone at bedtime often, our house is for sale, and most importantly Niko needed sleep just as much as I wanted him to sleep.  So, after trying to put him down "drowsy but awake" with semi-success, we decided it was time.  For the record, sleep training (yes, cry-it-out sleep training) is where we do the bedtime routine, put him in his crib, tell him we love him, and leave.  We do not let him cry all the time and we do not ignore him in the middle of the night if he wakes up.  Night one he cried for 20 minutes then fell asleep (much faster than if I had tried to put him to sleep myself!).  The next day, there was zero crying for any of his three naps.  At bedtime, he cried off and on for 15-20 minutes.  Other than that, putting him to sleep has been a total breeze.  If we have a crazy day and he's over tired, he may fuss a bit, knock his pacifier out and need me to put it back in (he's SO close to being a finger sucker!), but he's just learned how to put himself to sleep and everyone in our house is so much better off, especially Niko.  So, say what you will about CIO sleep training, but it worked great for Myra and proved very effective for Niko, too.

It's a toss up between Myra and me for who wins as Niko's favorite person.  (He loves Daddy, too, but is gaga over us ladies right now) He sure loves his mama, but man does he light up for Myra.  We have had z-e-r-o sibling drama.  No jealousy, no hitting, no nothing.  If Niko gets pretty fired up crying and Myra has no escape (in the car, for example) she will sometimes cry (or do this awful shriek thing), but that's it.  I don't blame her.  Otherwise, she adores him and the feeling is mutual.  Niko is so, so smiley.  This big, giant, whole face smile.

Nursing is going great (minus battling thrush for 2+ months - AHHHH!!! that's one of the posts in my drafts).  He's gaining weight very well, nurses every 4-5 hours and has been waking me two times per night but it's so quick and easy it's really not a big deal.  He still loves to be carried around and 'worn' by me, but is more content in his Rock N Play or on the floor than he was as a newborn.  He actually really likes tummy time and Myra doesn't let me forget to do it.  "Want to do tummy time, buddy?"

Today we went to hang out with some friends+family (they're both, how fun is that!).  Here's Niko looking up at his (second?) cousin.

And here are some random photos from the last week or so.

We know, "Back is Best," this is an informed decision.  Zero sleep isn't good either, so we picked one.

And my 4 month postpartum belly, slowly shrinking!  I gained 50 pounds and at my six week follow up I was down 25.  I certainly haven't lost the rest of that yet, but I'm sure I've lost a little more.

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