Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Update: Treating Breastfeeding Problems at 10 Months

A couple of weeks ago Julian and I were having some breastfeeding problems.
  1. He seemed disinterested in nursing.
  2. My milk supply was dropping.
  3. His little teeth seemed to be grinding on my like sandpaper.
I made an appointment at the Newman Breastfeeding Clinic & Institute.  It is run by Dr. Jack Newman, one of the world's greatest authorities on breastfeeding, consultant to La Leche League and author of many breastfeeding books.  Dr. Newman wasn't at the clinic that day but I was seen by two lactation consultants on his staff, the clinic director Edith Kernerman and a pediatrician, Dr. E. Weinberg.

Regarding the first problem--Julian's lack of interest in nursing--they recommended that I offer to nurse as often as I can and that I make it fun, easy and comfortable.  I was pretty much doing that already and that problem has taken care of itself.  In fact, Julian is asking to nurse now as often as he was a month ago, much to my relief.  Indeed, I am thrilled that he no longer appears to be trying to wean at all.

Regarding the second problem--dwindling milk supply--they recommended that I continue to drink the Nursing Tea and that I add some herbs:  Fenugreek and Blessed Thistle, 3 capsules of each, 3 times a day.  They also talked about my diet--which is already so healthy that they were pretty impressed!--and they suggested that my recent loss of milk may have been caused by simply not eating enough.  So I'll be upping the calories, I guess.

Regarding the third problem--unbelievably sore, torn nipples--they diagnosed yeast as the culprit. They recommended probiotics for Julian-- 2 times a day for 7 days, and for me--2 capsules 3 times a day for a month.  They also prescribed the Dr. Newman All Purpose Nipple Ointment (APNO) which has to be made a compounding pharmacy and contains an antifungal and an antibiotic.  It can also be used on Julian if I see signs of a yeast infection on his little bum.  Finally, they suggested drinking Grapefruit Seed Extract in water.

I was pretty surprised that they diagnosed yeast as the cause of my pain because I was so sure that the problem was Julian's latch.  On the other hand, I've had problems with yeast since I was in my early 20s (sigh--was that really 15 years ago?).  I asked the clinic director if it would be OK for me to work with my naturopath to do a detox and she said that a slow and gentle cleanse under the direction of my naturopath would be completely safe for both me and Julian.  This was very good news to me, since I've been eager to do a total body cleanse since I first started seeing Dr. Peter Klassen 2 years ago.

So I'm doing almost everything they recommended and I am seeing some improvement.  I still have to pick up the special ointment from the compounding pharmacy and I am getting a little impatient to get started using it.   Hopefully the pain and irritation are cleared up in a few more days.

Thankyou for the kind words of support from many of you who wrote comments or sent me an email of encouragement.  If you have a breastfeeding problem at any stage or age or nursing, please contact an expert and get help.

P.S.  To give probiotics to a baby, simply open the capsule and pour approximately 1/4 of the powder into the baby's mouth OR wet your finger and dip it into a little powder on the palm of your hand then let your baby suck it off.


  1. Hooray! So glad things are getting back on track and that the folks at the clinic were able to give you so much information!

  2. Thank you for posting about this. I seem to have the same problems with my 10 months old right now. I will contact my lactation consultant and see how it goes.