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10 April 2010

My Gentian Violet Girl

Quick purple-face pic, taken by the boy.

After a few days of super painful nursing (just on the right side) I started to realize it wasn't going away on its own and that I needed some intervention.

At first I thought I had a blocked duct, or possibly the beginning of mastitis, but after another day I'm more convinced that it may be thrush (sharp glass/razor pain in nipple while nursing) -- now we've got the gentian violet all over my nipples and Gretchen's mouth and my fingers are crossed that things start to feel better.

On Monday I'll be giving our doctor a call if I'm still in pain -- I'd be so upset if this was the thing to ruin our breastfeeding relationship. Right now the pain on my right side is so terrible I'm getting anxious about her even nursing on that side.

So, friends, please keep your fingers crossed and feel free to pass on any coping tips if you know of any!


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Blogger Tabetha said...

I hope this doesn't ruin your breastfeeding and that it heals up very soon, whatever it is. I'll keep you in my thoughts.

April 10, 2010 at 7:15 PM  
Blogger Johanna said...

Oh no Des! I'm so sorry- I hope it goes away very quickly.

April 10, 2010 at 7:38 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE be careful with Gentian Violet. I used it under the supervision of my daughter's doctor and lactation consultant. After a few days, my usually happy daughter seemed really unhappy. Then one night she refused to latch on. Once the purple faded a bit I could see her mouth was BRIGHT RED. She continued to refuse to nurse. By the time I got her to the doctor, more of the purple had faded. The gentian violet? It gave her chemical burns in her mouth! She was inconsolable. She wouldn't nurse. Wouldn't touch her pacifier. Thankfully she was able to take a bottle so I pumped. She was only three weeks at the time so I couldn't even give her tylenol to ease her pain.

Her pediatrician had never seen the chemical burns in a baby's mouth. He brought in both his partners. They were totally baffled. Then an old pediatric nurse came in ... she took one look and said, "That's a Gentian Voilet burn. We used to see them all the time in the early 80s."

Seriously. BE CAREFUL. We were diluting it like we were supposed to ... we followed instructions exactly. The lactation consultant was so upset since she was the one that encouraged us to "go natural" in treating the thrush. She will never use it again.

The same Pediatric nurse said that the Gentian Violet doesn't totally solve the problem. It treats the mouth but not her digestive tract. The yeast can still be growing and continue to cause you problems.

We went the antibiotic route after this episode. I ended up having to take Diflucan to treat the yeast infection in my nipples (strange but it works). I was also told to use an anti-fungal cream right on the nipple and wipe it off before my daughter nursed. Only using both of these things eased MY pain - which is terrible, isn't it????

After a week my daughter's mouth was healed and I was able to teach her to nurse again.

I really wouldn't suggest ever using gentian violet. It's not worth the risk and odds are, it won't even solve the problem.

April 10, 2010 at 8:07 PM  
Blogger buttercup caren said...

oh Des, I'm so sorry to hear about your pain & fear of hurting your breastfeeding relationship with little G.
Does taking a dose of probiotics help, and removing all yeast & wheat products? I know it helps with Candida overgrowth, but not sure about thrush infection of the nipple.
Healing thoughts!

April 10, 2010 at 8:16 PM  
Blogger Pittsburgh Perambulations said...

Oh my goodness, I hope the pain goes away quickly and that things will go back to normal for you! I'm so sorry!

April 10, 2010 at 8:22 PM  
Blogger Desiree Fawn said...

Christina -- thank you, and don't worry, I'm being sure to monitor her mouth and I absolutely will discontinue if there are any signs of burning, which I have heard can occur in some babes. I'm also being sure not to slather it on a ton, but I thank you for your concern. Right now she actually has zero signs of having thrush in her mouth, but if that is in fact what I have in my nipple, I know there's a chance it will spread. I've not been putting it right in her mouth, just on myself.

April 10, 2010 at 8:41 PM  
Blogger Desiree Fawn said...

Also, on Monday I'm going to renew my prescription for the dr. jack newman cream, just in case I need it :)

April 10, 2010 at 8:42 PM  
Blogger s a r a h said...

Yowzers! Thinking of you... I had thrush in the beginning and I know your pain... horrible. For me it was worse than the first stages of scabby nipples. I was finally getting the hang of breastfeeding and then this shooting pain started - it.was.horrible.

April 10, 2010 at 11:23 PM  
Blogger s a r a h said...

ps. i think lucia is self-weaning. she rarely asks to breastfeed anymore ... it is me initiating any exchange. i'm kinda sad, no lie.

April 10, 2010 at 11:25 PM  
Blogger s a r a h said...

ps - i ate tons of yogurt and cut out yeast - it really helped get me over it quickly. the cream helped and diflucan.

April 10, 2010 at 11:27 PM  
Blogger Desiree Fawn said...

Awe, I guess they all do it at different times... G sometimes asks all day long, shoving her fist up hight to do her little sign for milk.
Some other days it's only 3 or 4 times... just odd!

April 10, 2010 at 11:28 PM  
Blogger Desiree Fawn said...

Ooh yes, I've been cramming in the yogurt tonight, and I'm officially off sugar and any yeasty foods til this is done!

April 10, 2010 at 11:28 PM  
Blogger Christina Edwards said...


this might help. feel better soon.

ps - is that a teething necklace, i see?! any luck with it?

April 11, 2010 at 12:05 AM  
Blogger Desiree Fawn said...

Thanks Christina -- a friend actually linked me that on Facebook earlier! Def. going to try the extract.
And yes! It is a teeth necklace, and I feel like it does make a difference. She's still upset when the teething is really bad, but when just one tooth is coming in at a time, that plus a bit of tylenol, or maybe just some orajel keeps her pretty happy.
Who knows, but I believe it to work :)

April 11, 2010 at 12:07 AM  
Blogger Jayna said...

I also had thrush, it was right at the beginning of learning to breastfeed! Terrible, mind-numbing pain, and I somehow lasted an entire month of it. My pediatrician was no help, only prescribing medication which didn't do anything. At the urging of a midwife I started pumping. Since I nurse baby on both breasts during a feeding I would nurse her on the least painful side while pumping the other. Then I'd feed her the fresh bottle. It worked, somehow let the nipple heal. That was a major hassle, about 1-2 weeks per side, but it completely worked. Now 5 months later we are doing wonderfully! It made me appreciate breastfeeding so much, and made me realize how strong I can be in facing pain for the sake of baby. You will be surprised how much you can handle if it's for baby. Hopefully this could work for you, it's a simple solution and worth a try!

April 11, 2010 at 12:31 AM  
Blogger Dallas Ann said...

Oh, thrush is such a horrible thing to deal with. I'm fairly certain I have systemic yeast as we get it about every 8 to 10 weeks or so.

Diflucan is my savior and my midwife is always happy to prescribe it for me.

Whenever I get it as badly as you have it right now, I just nurse to ease any fullness on the infected side and nurse almost exclusively on the uninfected side until things become more bearable.

I hope you feel better very soon!


April 11, 2010 at 8:12 AM  
Blogger Lauren said...

Oh, I'm so sorry! I've had thrush twice...once when baby was only two weeks and again at 4 months. I'm always on the lookout. We used Gentian Violet also. Be careful with the yogurt...most of it is loaded with sugar. Take a TON of probiotics (and different strains/brands). My midwife said 3-4 times the recommended dose. Also, break open the capsules and sprinkle on your nipples, in gretchen's mouth and in her diaper! Wash everything (especially bras and diapers) with vinegar also.

April 11, 2010 at 9:46 AM  
Blogger Desiree Fawn said...

Thanks Lauren :) and don't worry, I don't eat yogurt with sugar anyhow.

April 11, 2010 at 9:59 AM  
Blogger Felicia said...

I hope it goes away. The ONLY thing that worked for us was the antibiotics. Collin and I had it the whole 4 months I breastfed him until I couldn't do it anymore. It is SO painful. We literally tried everything. Vaughn got over it after a few weeks thankfully. I hope it goes away for you. It's not a fun way to stop your feeding. But just remember you did it as long as you did and that's amazing, if it comes to that.
Good luck Des!

April 11, 2010 at 10:22 AM  
Blogger Desiree Fawn said...

Awe, thanks Felly! I'm keeping my fingers crossed!!

April 11, 2010 at 11:52 AM  

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