Aug 6, 2014

Breast feeding mystery pain: Thrush, get rid of it for good!

My third child, you would think I would be a breastfeeding pro, right? My midwives and lactation consultants kept telling me it was just my latch that was the problem. What else could it be?  So I reeducated myself on a proper latch and persevered but the pain was getting worse each day. I researched for hours a day and cried with each feeding. Sure the first couple weeks are always rough but I had 2 successful breastfed babies before this.  What was I doing wrong this time? I came across vasospasm.  Yes! This was it! This had to be the problem. No, the symptoms fit with one exception, vasospasms cause an intense pain to cold.  Cold actually helped my pain.

Like I said the first couple weeks can be rough to breast feed, no matter how experienced you are. It takes time for the nipples to toughen up.  But on week 4 and 5, I knew something was seriously wrong.  I had to take my percocet pain killers to make it through a feeding.  

Here were my symptoms.  My entire breast burned through most of a feeding, tapering off towards the end. Then stabbing burning pain inside the breast began and continued for hours, usually tapering off just in time to feed again.  That was it. I looked over the common list of breast feeding problems. I thought for sure it was not thrush (Candida) because baby had no symptoms of it and thrush was not supposed to hurt when you were nursing. That is a FREAKING lie. I finally found an article on Kelly Mom that was helpful. There's a protocol by a Doctor. Google it, if you want specifics. I did follow the protocol but was only temporarily relieved.  

This is what I tried:  Grapefruit seed extract. Its sounds like a natural solution but it's really not. Tried this for one week. No noticeable change at all. Still in searing, "punch your face in" pain.

Gentian violet. I had to run all over creation to find it and ended up paying $21 for the bottle. It made no difference and made my babies mouth purple for a week. It is also not really natural solution either.
I also tried prescription Nystatin, coconut oil and even probiotics.  
Then I made all purpose nipple ointment (or have your doctor prescribe it through a compounding pharmacy. Hear it costs over $80 for one.)  Make your own with Lotramin, Hydrocortizone and Polysporin, equal parts of each. Finally some relief! Within 12 hours the pain was majorly reduced and I could nurse without crying. I thought YAY! I can get through this! Well, in 2 weeks the pain was back, not as bad as before but enough that I wanted to hit the wall with my fist a few times an hour. 
Well, I went through a cycle of reinfection for about 2 months. NO, for real 2 months. I would be cured for 2 days and reinfected for 3 over and over again. It was bearable but come on. Some days it was too much and I wanted to cry  cried all day.  I had been sterilizing binkis and even bought 6 new bras so I could wear a clean one everyday. Still the cycle continued. Finally I prayed! "Please, there has to be a way to cure this for good!" I was immediately told what to do.  I had done so much research I guess I just needed the guidance to put it in the proper order and proper protocol.  I was prompted to go ahead and use the essential oils that I was avoiding because they can have unintended consequences on things like milk production and are very strong, and intimidating to use on or near a new baby.  But at this point my last option was either essential oils or get an prescription for Diflucan oral which has lots of nasty side effects. I went ahead and used Tea Tree, which is a great anti fungal. I was also prompted to use the All Purpose Nipple ointment for pain and to heal the scab that would form every three days.  Also to microwave all pacifiers in water for 5 minutes and to launder anything that came in contact with baby's mouth or my breast, to be washed in hot water and one cup of vinegar. I'm not kidding it was that specific.  A flood of clear and precise thoughts and I knew just what to do after all of these months of suffering, and in 3 days I was thrush free and it has not come back! 
Here is a more precise breakdown or what I did. 
  • Use Tea tree oil, straight, one drop for both sides after every feeding and shower.  Do not wash it off before feeding. (may make baby a little colicky but its worth it to kill thrush) 
  • Use one cup of plain white vinegar with every load of wash.  Wash anything that touches baby's mouth or your bare breast. Including clothes that get spit up on, burp cloths, sheets, blankets, shirts bras, pajamas etc. 
  • Microwave (boiling for 15 minutes would work too) in a glass bowl of water, anything that comes in contact with babies mouth. Including pacifiers, binki's, bottle parts or toys. If baby is a finger sucker, put socks on babies hands at all times and wash them with the vinegar load of laundry. 
  • If you are still sore and have actual scabbing and open wounds from the thrush, use the all purpose nipple ointment after the tea tree oil.  The hydrocortizone does help with the pain and the polysporin helps heal the wounds faster.  It can take 3 days for the symptoms to subside so do not give up if it doesn't work the first day.  Continue the treatment for 2 weeks no matter what! No matter how good you feel keep it up to prevent it from coming back.
You have to do all of it at the same time because it is so easy to reinfect yourself.  Your baby can also carry it without symptoms and reinfect you, so it is so important to sanitize everything and it is so simple by just adding vinegar to your laundry. I had been doing this the whole time but with grapefruit seed extract and it clearly wasn't working. I hope all my pain and suffering can bless the lives of others who are struggling with this same problem. If you are not sure you have thrush, they can do a culture for it to know for sure.  Just ask your doctor or midwife. You don't have to suffer and breastfeeding doesn't have to be so hard and you don't have to quit to get rid of the pain!  
   

Feb 24, 2014

Sorry About the Spam

I just wanted to apologize for the spam recently removed. My blog has not been compromised, it was the remote access of a previous blog author that was compromised. I think I fixed it and it shouldn't happen again!
-Val

Apr 29, 2013

The Juicy Truth

I'm going to tell you something that is a big secret, that no one seems to know...
Juice is just SUGAR water.
It's true.  All this time you thought you were doing your body good by drinking a glass of apple juice, or giving your kids loads of "fruit punch".  I am in fact even referring to 100% fruit juice, it is still just flavored sugar water.  Here are some facts.
Fresh squeezed juice is much healthier than juice from concentrate because it does retain the minerals and vitamins from the fruit.  Before you drink down the juice from 5 oranges, please think about it... could you eat 5 oranges all at once?

Juice from concentrate has been cooked down so much there is really not much left but the flavor and sugar.  Plus it is usually highly filtered removing any chance of any fiber being left and sometimes has preservatives in it.

According to livestrong.com, one cup of Apple juice has 31 grams (7.38 teaspoons) of sugar and virtually no protein or fiber.One  cup or orange juice has 17.8 grams (4.2 teaspoons) of sugar, and grape juice has 28 grams (6.66 teaspoons)  of sugar.  In comparison, a Fuji apple has 17 grams of sugar, but it also has 5 grams of fiber.  When the sugar is bound inside the apple to the fiber it digests more slowly, thus reducing the impact of the carbohydrate on your blood sugar, and digesting it more slowly so your body gets a nice even supply of sugar rather than a huge spike.  When your blood sugar is high, your body converts the excess to fat and then stores it because it can't use it all immediately for energy.  So, basically your morning apple juice is going straight to your butt.  Even though the calories in a cup of juice is relatively low, around 140 calories, most people cannot use 7.38 teaspoons worth of sugar energy right away and so you will gain weight.  

This same principle goes towards eating refined flours (white flour) and things like soda.  It doesn't even matter what you call it, corn syrup, table sugar, agave, honey, if it is more sugar than your body can use right away it will store it, and if it keeps getting more and more high carbohydrate foods it keeps storing more and doesn't need to use the stored fat as energy so you just keep getting fatter and fatter.

So, for all intents and purposes I say: Juice. Is. Sugar. Water.  I am trying to get you people off of the massive amounts of sugar you consume, and fruit juice is definitely one way to get too much nutrition-less sugar.  Drink it for a treat, and in a small glass.  Stop pretending like it is healthy. It's not. 

Get out your juicer machine and make it fresh with some vegetables mixed in and then we'll debate the health of juice.  

-Val

Jan 17, 2013

DIY, Natural Deodorant Recipe


There are several health concerns with store bought deodorant. The main concern is that the antiperspirant kind contain aluminum which may cause, mostly likely, cancer and dementia   Deodorant is relatively expensive as well, considering what you are buying, which is about .5 ounce of mineral salts, fillers, oils and artificial scents.  I used to buy a popular brand of antiperspirant because it would help prevent razor rash, but this simple recipe has been more effective at doing so.  It works simply by the arrow root absorbing excess moisture and wicking it away from the body and the baking soda kills the bacteria that create the odors.  The essential oils are mostly for scent but depending on which you choose, may offer additional benefit such as additional bacterial control.  I have been very impressed with the results from this easy recipe and I think you will be too.     
1308067739-deodorant-main_full.jpg
It's so easy to make healthful, natural and effective deodorant. There are simply 2-3 ingredients and it will take you only minutes.

Ingredients:
1/2 cup arrow root powder or cornstarch
1/2 cup baking soda
10-20 drops of your favorite essential oil, optional

Simply mix the above ingredients together with a whisk or fork, breaking up any clumps as you go.
To apply the deodorant you can use a powder puff, a large makeup brush like a kabuki or a refillable body brush. 

Nov 28, 2012

Have you tried this healthy, delicious, sugar free drink?

Have you tried this? Crystal Light Pure.  It's not your average Crystal Light which is usually made with Aspartame.  These are made with Stevia, which is an all natural herb not a man made and known cancer causer.    


They taste great and are in a box of individual servings so you can just throw one in a water bottle or glass of water and are good to go where ever you are. Imagine being at a restaurant and pulling one of these out of your purse and mixing it into your water.  Now you don't have to drink plain water, gross diet soda or sugary, regular soda or juice.
My favorite flavor is the Tropical blend.  I have never seen the mixed berry at the store before, so I don't know what that tastes like.  My least favorite is the kiwi strawberry.  It's just kinda bland and unexciting to me.  

You can also get this brand, True Lemon, which is cheaper but is only in citrus flavors and harder to find. In my local stores I find them mixed in with the regular Crystal Light and other juice mixers.  


Either way, they are both a great way to get in enough water in your diet as well as a little sweet treat. Minus the diabetes or cancer...
-Val


Nov 16, 2012

Essential Oil Tools

Via www.miamourboutique.com
Our newest addition to the shop is natural, healthy, unscented lotion base and easy, melt and pour soap base. They are great for adding your own concoctions of essential oils to. You can easily make a special lotion with lavender and lemon for dry skin, or chamomile and lavender to soothe red, irritated skin. You can add tea tree and orange for a great smelling, skin healing body soap, or tea tree and lavender for an acne fighting face soap. It's so natural and gentle it can be used anywhere on the body. If you have very sensitive skin, they can both be used unscented and as is.


 Lotion Base



Soap Base  
Just add a few drops of a pure, therapeutic grade essential oil to 2 ounces of lotion base, and up to 20 drops of Essential oil to 1/2 lb of soap base. You simply melt the soap base in a microwave safe container, stirring every 30 seconds until it is full melted, then pour it into a mold. Even a cupcake pan or paper cup can used as a makeshift mold. to release items from the mold, place it in the freezer for about half an hour or until it is chilled enough to easily release. If you have any wonderful essential oil blend recipes you would like to share or are an essential oil distributor please share in the comments!

Sep 12, 2012

Pinterest is bad for your health

It's not Pinterest's fault that your friends are pinning junk foods constantly.

Yeah, I know its fun and all, but some people constantly pin some horribly unhealthy food and then you are just sitting there, not moving, looking at it, re pinning it and wanting to eat it.  I would suggest removing all of your friends that will not stop posting things like "rolo cake bars" and "homemade twix".  What kinds of friends are these anyway?  There is a reason I pick on Pinterest Compulsive Dessert Pinners.  I have one simple diet secret for you.  If you want to lose weight, decrease cravings, depression, low blood sugar, bloating, PMS, increase energy, decrease inflammation and all of those things diet plans and pills claim they will do, you must do this one thing.  I know, I sound like one of those really bad internet adds.  "Decrease Belly FAT: do this one weird, old tip."  I've never clicked on one of those but I am pretty sure they want you to buy some book or PDF that probably tells you this one thing I am about to tell you.

STOP  EATING  SUGAR  AND  FLOUR.

It's actually two things, but we can call it one because your body turns all flour into sugar anyway and that sugar turns in to fat.      

It's the Carbohydrates people!  You need carbs, but you do not need 200-300 grams of them a day!  Especially those that are simple and refined carbohydrates.  If you eat under 100 grams of Carbs a day you will lose weight.  
Junky, Junky food, all over pinterest.

Now, here is where it gets complicated, because this is real life and real life is never as easy as finding just one miracle cure that works.   

You cannot eat a lb of bacon a day instead of carbs.  You cannot eat miracle carb free, calorie free noodles all the time and expect to be satisfied and healthy.   You must eat healthy foods which are:



Lots of unlimited vegetables
Fruits
Protein sources, (i'm not going to tell you to not eat meat or to eat meat, just eat some good protein)
Seeds and nuts 
Healthy modest amounts of fats, NOT including Trans-fats and other fabricated oils like canola or vegetable.  Eat Coconut, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Flax, Oils from seeds.   
Low amounts of grains and Starchy foods like white potatoes
No white flours or sugars.   

This is not the Atkins diet, you are not counting carbs.  This is not a DIET AT ALL.  This is a lifestyle change you can make to feel great and lose some extra weight.  You will feel great, and you will lose weight and you may even be able to get off of some medications.  There is one last little trick.  You have to actually do it, and do it longer than 6 hours.

It may be low fat, but it's high in naughty sugar.
Most people will have a hard time eating their usual 2500 + calories a day that got them into their extra large pants in the first place.  So naturally you will lose weight off of the lower caloric intake as well.  You will also increase the amount of micro nutrients you eat like vitamins and minerals.  

So next time you see a friend pin a meal with lots of sugar or flour in it, and they put LOW CALORIE or LOW FAT, think twice.  It's the sugar that is killing us all softly, not the fat and not always the calories.  

Fat and Sugar are an even more dangerous combination.  The sugar amps up your blood sugar, increasing your insulin, which tells your body to start storing all of those extra calories.  It also tells your fat cells not to release any of their stores.  Hence the lack of energy and the accumulation of fat around your body regions.

A lot of people ask me how to lose weight and then say SCREW YOU when I tell them what they will have to give up.  It is possible to keep the weight down and keep your other body systems in check while still enjoying your breads and sweets.  It goes like this.  Eat 1200 Calories a day.  Be starving all of the time.  Enjoy the shakes, anger and depression when your blood sugar bottoms out after a sweet/ starchy meal.  Exercise for hours a day so you can eat more sweets and starches.  Still end up with high cholesterol.  Stop eating fat.  Now you are limited to non fat desserts like fat free pudding, made from chemicals instead of milk.  Cholesterol is still high, go on medication.  Cholesterol medication causes side effects, take a medication for those as well. Repeat.  

You don't need to be some western medical experiment for the rest of your life.  Just eat wholesome balanced foods that are grown from the earth, not a lab.  Your taste buds will change, you will crave sweets and junk less, you will lose weight and you will be satisfied for once.  

Many people try to get off of sugar by replacing it with chemicals.  WRONG.  Eat food, not science experiments.  If you want to sweeten your tea, try an herbal sweetener, like stevia.   If you are craving sweets, try a banana, or a lara bar.  Eat like a human, not a lab rat.