Breastfeeding and a flare

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daniella510
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 48
   Posted 8/15/2009 8:05 AM (GMT -6)   
I'm hoping there are some been-there-done-that moms out there that can help me out sad
 
I just gave birth to my first child (little girl!) on the 2nd.  I have been breastfeeding her exclusively this whole time.  Well, with the no-resting, anxiety and crying that has come along with it I am of course heading into a flare now.  I just felt my first symptoms yesterday and I know that's what it is. 
 
I'm working with her pediatrician to see if the steriod enemas and prednisone are safe to use while breastfeeding.  But regardless of if they are safe, I feel as though I need to make a decision about it.  I don't know how much my body can support breastfeeding and trying to kick a flare.  If the flare gets bad then it's going to be awful around here, I can't imagine trying to take care of a newborn while in a full blown flare up.  Though I'm wondering if I throw in the towel on breastfeeding more as a precautionary measure if it's hasty of me. 
 
So has anyone out there tried to breastfeed through a flare up?
 
Any advice is welcome (and much needed!)
 
Thanks
Danielle  26/F
Dx: Pancolitis for 12 years
Meds: Asacol (400mg x12 daily)
         Prenatal vitamins + extra calcium supp.
         Fish Oil
         Culturelle x2 daily


AMK77
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 678
   Posted 8/15/2009 8:19 AM (GMT -6)   
Congrats on your little girl! I am breastfeeding my 2nd little girl, she is 7 months old. After she was born I had to take antibiotics and that threw me into a flare. Pred is safe during breastfeeding (I asked my pediatrician). I was on 40mg for a month and have been in remission since. I would nurse then take the pred right after so it would peak in my system before I would nurse her again. Hopefully the symptoms you felt were just a fluke and you're not headed for a flare. Rest rest rest! If you're feeling a lot of anxiety and crying don't feel bad about asking for something. I experienced some PPD this time around, I'm now on effexor and it helped me tremendously within the first week. Best of luck to you, I wouldn't throw in the towel just yet. Hang in there. :-)
32 yr old female
Mild Pancolitis
UC since 2000 - in remission for most of those 8 years med free.
Cannot tolerate mesalamine. Currently take probiotics and fish oil. Trying Applied Kinesiology & supplements.


fruitgirl
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7150
   Posted 8/15/2009 10:49 AM (GMT -6)   
Congrats on your baby girl! I started my first flare about four weeks after my son was born (he was born on Oct 13 last year). However, it took until the end of January for me to be diagnosed, partly because I went into a semi-remission in December, and then the symptoms then came back in early January.

At any rate, I can tell you it's hell on earth having a newborn and being in a flare. I was also breastfeeding, but lost my supply around 8-9 weeks because I was so sick. And I had problems with post partum anxiety. Whether the anxiety made the flare worse or the flare made the anxiety worse, who knows. I was a mess, though. Getting on Zoloft helped tremendously with the anxiety.

I would talk to your OB and to the baby's pedi about their opinions on the meds and breastfeeding. My best piece of advice is that if you feel you need to quit breastfeeding to keep yourself healthy (both mentally and physically), then do it! Your sweet baby girl will be MUCH better off being formula fed with a happy, healthy mommy than being breastfed with a sick, totally stressed out mommy.

DH and I plan on having a second (so long as my health stays OK) and I will try to breastfeed. However, if I get to the point I can tell I'm going into a bad flare, I'll quit.

((hugs))
Status: Remission since May 2009!
Symptoms began in November 2008, ~4 weeks after giving birth to my son.
Diagnosed with pancolitis on 1/30/09
Currently taking Apriso (4 0.375g pills ONCE!! daily), mesalamine enema twice weekly, Natural Factors Ultimate probiotic 12/12 Formula, and Zoloft (25 mg).


quincy
Elite Member


Date Joined May 2003
Total Posts : 31005
   Posted 8/15/2009 2:44 PM (GMT -6)   
Danielle...can you not use any 5ASA meds?

As well...consider fibre supplements to help bulk the stool and help the probiotics to work more efficiently.

Congratulations on your baby!

quincy
*Heather* Status: ...Asacol 3 twice daily; Salofalk enemas every 2nd night
~diagnosed January 1989 UC (proctosigmoiditis)
~UC meds: Asacol (3 @ 2x daily); Salofalk enemas nightly for flares & taper to maintenance 
~Bentylol (dicyclomine) 20mg as needed; Ranitidine (reflux);  Effexor XR 75mg(depression);  Pulmicort/Airomir (asthma) 
~vitamins/minerals/supplementsProbiotics....(RenewLife Ultimate Flora Critical Care + Primadophilus Reuteri). @ bedtime
~various digestive enzymes as needed
~URSO for PSC (or PBC) 500mg X 2 daily (LFTs back to NORMAL!!)
My doc's logic.. "TREAT (FROM)BOTH ENDS"  worth it !!!
 


pb4
Elite Member


Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 20577
   Posted 8/15/2009 2:55 PM (GMT -6)   
Congratulations on your baby girl!!!

Cortifoam is the only rectal meds that work for me, 16 yrs ago I was breast-feeding my son while on cortifoam, my doc assured me that because of the foam not getting into the bloodstream the way oral pred does that is was perfectly safe and so far my son is 16 and completely healthy (touching wood he stays that way). Good that your consulting about it, but thought I would just let you know I've been there and done that and all was/is fine.

:)
My bum is broken....there's a big crack down the middle of it! LOL :)


quincy
Elite Member


Date Joined May 2003
Total Posts : 31005
   Posted 8/15/2009 4:15 PM (GMT -6)   
Just to add....the proctofoam would be less steroid intake, if you prefer the steroid.

q
*Heather* Status: ...Asacol 3 twice daily; Salofalk enemas every 2nd night
~diagnosed January 1989 UC (proctosigmoiditis)
~UC meds: Asacol (3 @ 2x daily); Salofalk enemas nightly for flares & taper to maintenance 
~Bentylol (dicyclomine) 20mg as needed; Ranitidine (reflux);  Effexor XR 75mg(depression);  Pulmicort/Airomir (asthma) 
~vitamins/minerals/supplementsProbiotics....(RenewLife Ultimate Flora Critical Care + Primadophilus Reuteri). @ bedtime
~various digestive enzymes as needed
~URSO for PSC (or PBC) 500mg X 2 daily (LFTs back to NORMAL!!)
My doc's logic.. "TREAT (FROM)BOTH ENDS"  worth it !!!
 


pb4
Elite Member


Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 20577
   Posted 8/15/2009 6:12 PM (GMT -6)   
Cortifoam is completely safe and it's also effective.


:)
My bum is broken....there's a big crack down the middle of it! LOL :)


quincy
Elite Member


Date Joined May 2003
Total Posts : 31005
   Posted 8/15/2009 8:35 PM (GMT -6)   
unless one has side effects that bother them....and it's certainly not unheard of since some have complained of them.
Definitely worth a try if the 5ASA aren't your preference.
q


*Heather* Status: ...Asacol 3 twice daily; Salofalk enemas every 2nd night
~diagnosed January 1989 UC (proctosigmoiditis)
~UC meds: Asacol (3 @ 2x daily); Salofalk enemas nightly for flares & taper to maintenance 
~Bentylol (dicyclomine) 20mg as needed; Ranitidine (reflux);  Effexor XR 75mg(depression);  Pulmicort/Airomir (asthma) 
~vitamins/minerals/supplementsProbiotics....(RenewLife Ultimate Flora Critical Care + Primadophilus Reuteri). @ bedtime
~various digestive enzymes as needed
~URSO for PSC (or PBC) 500mg X 2 daily (LFTs back to NORMAL!!)
My doc's logic.. "TREAT (FROM)BOTH ENDS"  worth it !!!
 


pb4
Elite Member


Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 20577
   Posted 8/15/2009 9:03 PM (GMT -6)   
Side effects from cortifoam are basically slim to none because of the fact that not near enough gets into the bloodstream compared to oral pred...it's super rare to get side effects from cortifoam and at best it likely still wouldn't have an effect on breastfed babies (speaking from experiance of course).

daniella cortifoam is a good place to start when it comes to rectal meds if you're concerned about safety with breas-feeding and you want quicker results.


:)
My bum is broken....there's a big crack down the middle of it! LOL :)


mjw82704
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 251
   Posted 8/16/2009 3:10 AM (GMT -6)   
I flared with my son (born 10/08) while breastfeeding. I got through the flare and am still currently breastfeeding. I will breastfeed him until he is a year. I am currently on Remicade the molecule is too large to get into the breastmilk anyway I was on prednisone and hydrocortisone enemas for a while til the remicade and I have taken Asocal pretty much forever now. As you'll see in my non-updated signiture I tried being off but it was a must to keep me in Remission along with the Remicade. When I was really sick I did not eat for a while (9 days) but I kept breastfeeding. I supplemented with formula. I called the La Leche League and got support. I was told that there are mothers who nurse in undernourished countries and their babies are still better off breastfeeding so I continued even when I was not eating much. My husband would give me the baby and I would nurse until I had to run to the bathroom or he fell asleep. I had a lot of support from my husband. When the flare was over my milk supply started to dry up so I called La Leche league again and they recommended an herbal supplement (I can't remember the name). I also referred to a book called Meds and Mother's Milk by Dr. Thomas Hale http://www.ibreastfeeding.com/ . He is the brestfeeding and Med Guru that doctors follow. This helped me (along with my doctors) to decide whether I could take certain meds while breastfeeding. I also went to a breastfeeding clinic in my area. They have nurses who weigh your baby before and after feedings to see how much milk they are getting. I got a lot of support from the nurses regarding this disease and breastfeeding. Now my main concern is weaning my little guy because he finds breastfeeding so comforting. All this being said. It is your choice. Like Fruitgirl said you need to take care of yourself in order to take care of your little girl. Good luck with the choice that you make. I only share my story to let you know that it can be done during a horrible flare but there are plenty of formula feed babies that are healthy and smart. My main issue or concern for my son was helping his immune system so even though I am breastfeeding when I do make him a bottle I add baby probiotics http://health-and-beauty.become.com/countrylife--probiotic-powders-fltr---brand-html you can buy them at your local wholefoods type store. I wish you the best

Melissa
Female, Left-sided colitis diagnosed at age 28 in 2001
Remicade stopped a major flare for me I am now off all meds except the remicade.

Post Edited (mjw82704) : 8/16/2009 2:13:12 AM (GMT-6)


fruitgirl
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7150
   Posted 8/16/2009 1:44 PM (GMT -6)   
I just wanted to comment on things Melissa said. Some lactation consultants and LLL members aren't always too realistic of what moms can do. I had one lactation consultant tell me that I should breastfeed, because to not to so would be like feeding my baby McDonald's when I had access to wholesome organic food. This was just a few days after Ben was born, when we were struggling with jaundice and latch problems, so I wasn't sick yet. However, this was NOT an appropriate thing to tell a new mom having trouble with breastfeeding and caused me to have a lot of guilt. So, DO NOT let anyone make you feel that way. Some LCs and LLL members are a bit militant about breastfeeding.

Second, I also took the herb that Melissa refers to. It's called fenugreek, but it gave me diarrhea, which is a common side effect. I know it wasn't the UC starting up, because it stopped immediately after I quit taking it, and I didn't start having diarrhea again until about three weeks later, which is when I think the flare started. So, I would urge you to stay far, far away from fenugreek. I can't believe anyone recommended it to a person with UC.
Status: Remission since May 2009!
Symptoms began in November 2008, ~4 weeks after giving birth to my son.
Diagnosed with pancolitis on 1/30/09
Currently taking Apriso (4 0.375g pills ONCE!! daily), mesalamine enema twice weekly, Natural Factors Ultimate probiotic 12/12 Formula, and Zoloft (25 mg).


daniella510
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 48
   Posted 8/16/2009 4:12 PM (GMT -6)   
thank you all so much for your replies, it's really comforting to hear from other moms having gone through something similar.  I'm still wavering over what the best decision will be for both of us.  I'll hear from my docs monday and we have a pedi appt for my daughter tuesday, maybe after all of that one of the docs will have some more insight for me b/c for now i'm just going in circles with myself over all of this.  I'll certainly keep you updated though.  Again, thank you for the replies, i really appreciate all of your support. 
Danielle  27/F
Dx: Pancolitis for 13 years
Meds: Asacol (400mg x12 daily)
         Prenatal vitamins 
         Culturelle 


mjw82704
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 251
   Posted 8/16/2009 9:23 PM (GMT -6)   
Fruitgirl thank you for clarifying the supplement. But I did want to let you know that it did not give me diarrhea. I think it is different for everyone. There are also other supplements out there for milk production. Kelly Mom is a great resource http://kellymom.com/. Also I agree with LLL comment they can be militant. I took what I need from our conversations and let the rest go but. But as I stated in my last post there are plenty of formula feed babies out there who are healthy and smart it is just good to know all your options. My little guy has still had three ear infections since birth and I was so sad because I thought breastfeeding would take care of all of these issues but no it did not. Breastfeeding or not Breastfeeding is definitely a personal choice.

Good luck to you for whatever decision you make.

Melissa
Female, Left-sided colitis diagnosed at age 28 in 2001
Remicade stopped a major flare for me I am now off all meds except the remicade.


Old Hat
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 5191
   Posted 8/16/2009 10:47 PM (GMT -6)   
Congratulations on your new baby girl! If you want to look up a veteran BFing mother's post, try *Jen*. She hasn't been on the forum lately, but posted a lot earlier this yr & has a very supportive IBD gastroenterologist who does maternity studies. She uses 5-ASA meds generally & some Cortifoam after her 2nd childbirth last Nov. / Old Hat (30 yrs with left-sided UC ... [etc.])

AmyWaffle
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 173
   Posted 8/17/2009 2:41 PM (GMT -6)   
Been There Done That, for sure. I attempted to breastfeed my first daughter through a horrendous flare and it was a mistake. We both spiraled downwards in health, with her ending up 'failure to thrive' and me ending up in a hideous state. Both my pediatrician and GI recommended stopping, which I did at that point.

I was very emotionally attached to the idea of breastfeeding, and I think that clouded my judgment.

My second baby was formula fed from day one and it has been such a huge relief to be able to make decisions about my health, medicine, diet, without worrying about their impacts on her.

It is a very personal decision, of course. I just wanted to share my experience since you asked! And Congratulations! Little girls are so much fun.
UC since 1996 (age 20)
Mommy of 2 sweet little girls.

Asacol (12/day)
Azathioprine (175 mg)
Prednisone (currently 80 mg)
Rowasa nightly
Immodium daily
First Remicade 6/22/09 [discontinued 8/12/09, not helping]


thatfield
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 823
   Posted 8/18/2009 8:49 AM (GMT -6)   

Hello Danielle -

 

I was first diagnosed with UC a few months after giving birth to my first child.  I was in a horrible flare and did not even know when it started because I thought I was having hemorrhoids and birth related problems.  I also had some other non-UC related issues with hemorrhaging after giving birth.  I had a horrible time breast feeding but kept on pushing myself for weeks.  I never produced enough milk, I pumped to try to increase my supply for four weeks to no real avail, I talked to lactation specialists my doctors, cried every day...then I had to be put on some medications due to my hemorrhaging that made it impossible to breast feed for two weeks.  Not long after that I was sent to my GI for my UC symptoms...I could have continued to pump and throw the milk out while on medications but decided enough was enough.  My OB/GYN told me he would not even recommend that his own daughter keep trying to breastfeed at that point. 

 

It is so important to listen to your body (mentally and physically).  It is MUCH better for you to be a happy and healthy mother.  Your daughter has already gotten lots of good anti-bodies from you since she has been breastfeeding for a while.  If you cannot physically or mentally continue PLEASE do not beat yourself up.  If you need to stop completely or need to start supplementing that is okay.  There are TONS of happy, healthy and SMART babies who were not breastfed or not breastfed exclusively.  Many women will not even admit that they supplemented with formula or did not breastfeed at all because they are afraid of the negative feedback from others.  My daughter was breastfed for a little over a month then we switched to formula.  She is three years old now and has NEVER had an ear infection, has no known allergies, has been on an antibiotic twice in her life, is not overweight, is very tall and slender, talks like a five year old...very healthy active child....all the things I laid awake at night beating myself up about when I had to stop breast feeding did not happen.  You and only you know what is right for you and your child.  I wish you the best of luck with whatever your choice is and hope you can relax and enjoy this precious time with your child! 

 
Dx 2006 right after the birth of my daughter
Lialda 3 pills a day!
Canasa daily
Probiotics Daily
 

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