Saturday, January 27, 2007

Are You Anti or Pro? I'm Both.

A friend from our hypnobirth class who also tested positive for GBS mentioned that she is taking probiotics to prevent the antibiotics she will receive in labor from giving her thrush. To which I said, Gaaahhhh!

I know some of you out there have experienced the agony of trying to breastfeed with thrush, and it is not a club I long to join. So I asked my doula about it, and she said, yep, so now I'll be adding a supplement of an acidolphilus/bifidus to my daily regimen of prenatal vitamins and red raspberry leaf tea.

It's a lot better than the alternatives if you actually get thrush. I thought the recommended cleaning regimens for preventing lead poisoning in a contaminated house were overwhelming, but the measures listed in this article really take the cake. Spraying your armpits with vinegar water four times a day? Boiling your sheets, towels and clothes? For two weeks AFTER your thrush symptoms disappear? Pass the acidophilus.

But am I the only one who sees some irony in taking a probiotic when I have a biotic growing in my body that I want to get rid of? For which I will be taking an antibiotic? I asked the doula if the probiotic would encourage my strep bacteria to grow more, and she said no. Why not? I'm gonna check with the midwife on this before I buy any.


True Mama said...

Probiotics contain good bacteria...they don't increase both bad and good. We normally have both kinds in our "guts" but in a healthy system the good far outnumber the bad. It's when the bad overwhelm the system that we have problems.

It's also a good idea to eat lots of kefir and yogurt -- homemade is best, though storebought is better than nothing.

It might also be a good idea to give your newborn probiotics because antiobiotic exposure in utero or in infancy can delay normal intestional colonization of the good bacteria.

Kori said...

Well, you know that we had thrush, and it was quite terrible. Of course, I didn't have a baby who was latching correctly at the breast, so the pain I experienced was both the thrush and the latch---well after the thrush was cleared up, I still had terrible pain at every feeding.

All that said, we did clear it up, with Nystatin. I swapped this in EJ's mouth before she was put to the breast, and after I fed her, I put some cream on myself. It wasn't a difficult regimen, and it required none of the stuff listed in that article. So, if you do get it (and I don't think you will---remember, good birth juju), don't go rushing out to buy vinegar.

You can also use the more wholesome Gentian Violet in the same way as Nystatin, but it stains everything it touches purple. It's a favorite of the alternative/holistic crowd, though, and is supposed to do a decent job.

Seriously, though, I can't even imagine you having problems with breastfeeding. I know this is naive, because as I discovered, every child and every birth is different, but still, I just don't see it.

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