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Crohn's Disease Forum » Pregnancy, Trying to Conceive & Breast Feeding with IBD » Delaying new meds to continue breastfeeding?


06-25-2014, 02:09 AM   #1
sassym
 
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Delaying new meds to continue breastfeeding?

Hi everyone!
I'm feeling sort if stuck and need a little advice and support. There really isn't anyone in my area that I know, or has come forward, as having Crohn's and so sometimes it can be difficult to find knowledgable advice. My specialist is four hours away, and our docs here are admittedly not very knowledgable about CD.
Anyway, here's my issue: I was blessed with a second son almost four months ago and thankfully this time breastfeeding is going very well! However, since we came home from the hospital we've fought with the disease coming out of remission. I have been on prednisone all this time, with no more than a brief two weeks repreave. Now they are calling me a refractory Crohn's patient and are changing my meds again. I'm happy to have he chance to finally get control again and feel better, but I'm really upset with the thought of having to stop breastfeeding. I have fought so hard to make it work! I'll be starting on Imuran in a week and I know it isn't safe to continue nursing while on it. I'm wondering though if it might be alright to wait close to two months to start taking it? If I must stop then I would like to wean gradually if possible.
My son does swimmingly with a bottle, and doesn't mind formula either. It's me that is struggling with the idea. I feel REALLY guilty, and almost selfish that I would give something up that is so good for him just to make myself feel better. I will be discussing this with my doctor at the end of the week as well, but I wanted some insight from people that have lived it. I can think of know better people to ask than those that live a similar life every day.
Any advice or support would be greatly appreciated!!
Thanks guys!!
06-25-2014, 03:23 AM   #2
Catherine
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My situation was total different yours as I don't have Crohn's.

But 18 year ago had to make a breastfeeding decision. I was breastfeeding my 7 month old and pregnant with my second and rapid losing weight.

A wise health centre nurse told me the best thing you can do for your baby it a give healthy mother. It it's not selfish to give your baby his best chance of having a healthy mother.
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Last edited by Catherine; 06-25-2014 at 04:29 AM.
06-25-2014, 04:01 AM   #3
gotumtum
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Hi Sassym

I am sending big hugs your way. Stopping will be one of the most heart wrenching decisions of your life, but the pain will pass and your little one will keep you busy and life will carry on. When your little one starts rolling over and crawling and giggling and talking, you will grin and it will not matter as much. The pain will fade.

I had to give up Breastfeeding for other reasons - long story. I was heart broken, and also felt that I was neglecting my child. Thankfully I had wonderful support at this really difficult time, and do not regret my decision at all. As I am writing this I know without a doubt that I made the correct decision for my baby, my family, my health and me. I do feel a little sad about it still, but the sadness is about the circumstances that brought about the stopping, not the stopping itself.

Although there are some breastfeeding activists that promote breastfeeding to the detriment of the Mothers health - I believe that this situation fits the analogy of being in the aeroplane - when the oxygen masks come down from the ceiling, they instruct you to put yours on, before you help anyone else.

If you are not well enough to look after yourself, how can you look after and make the best decisions for your little one and your family. If you are miserable with being sick, how can you be emotionally capable of creating a happy atmosphere for your baby to learn emotional queues from? If you are worried about your health, how can you enjoy all the milestones of your little one, and enjoy the journey of being a Mother?
This two or three months that you would be breastfeeding and not taking the medication, could negatively affect you for the rest of your life.
Two more months breastfeeding is less important than stopping the damage that could be caused to your body in this time, and the affect that it would have on you for the rest of your life, and the wonderful experiences that you will have with your kids.

One of the reasons that people advocate breastfeeding is because of the immunity and antibodies that you pass on to your baby - your little one has had 4 months of this, and his immune system is well on the way to developing, so you have given him a great start to life.

You have done really well to get this far - if you look online at some statistics I think that you will find that the proportion of mothers still breastfeeding at 4 months is probably lower that you are expecting as well.

If the specialists are recommending that you start ASAP, then if you feel you can, I would start sooner rather than waiting.

I know that it will be really hard, and I know the effort than can be involved in making breastfeeding work. Do not feel defeat, do not feel guilty, do not feel selfish. (I know from experience that you will anyway, no matter what we say, but I these feelings will fade) - I know that I like to get difficult things over and done with! - I am a rip the band aid off type of person though.

It is great that your little one is sorted with bottle and formula already, -He will be happy with this new normal for him.

Is there a breastfeeding support group or person that can help you with the weaning? - I found that my GP was a bit useless with this - Thankfully I was also still under the care of a midwife when I had to wean and she was amazing. She helped me through the "grieving process" - and in reality - this is what it is.

Another factor that you need to be aware of is the breastfeeding hormones - they will be making this decision harder for you without you knowing, and you will note the lack of them afterward too. Watch yourself for postnatal depression.

Maybe you could do a few videos and photos of you breastfeeding for a keepsake.

Until you do stop - treasure every feed, and then remember that there will be many other treasured moments if your life with this little one.

I do want to note that I am undiagnosed, but in a similar situation. I started having symptoms when my little one was 6 weeks old, and believe it caused my PROM and labour difficulties. I have been struggling with symptoms since then, but now have a very happy busy little 13 month old girl, whom is walking and trying to talk.

I want to make clear that I think that my decision to stop breastfeeding at 3 months was one of the best that I have ever made, although without a doubt, the most difficult. Looking back on it, I realise the hormones and limited sleep did not help, but do not regret the decision.

I completely understand your heartache, and hope that you do not mind me answering as I am not diagnosed.

My thoughts are with you - I am hoping your GP has some wonderful breastfeeding support available for you, to support you with weaning.

Hugs and support.
06-25-2014, 04:21 AM   #4
sassym
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
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Gotumtum,
THANK YOU! That was exactly what I needed to hear. I never imagined that I would be able to breastfeeding this baby since I couldn't produce even a drop with my first son; so the thought of eventually stopping has never come to mind. While I was pregnant I planned to formula feed because I didn't want to put he family through another awful experience. But this time it worked! It wasn't easy but I can now, after four months, pump 30oz in a twelve hour shift at work I'm quite proud of that!
You make such a good point with reference to the hormones making nursing possible. I hadn't even thought about that side of it. It's good to be reminded that even though it is an emotional thing, I still need to think critically about it so that I don't get swept away. I always knew that I wouldn't be able to do this forever, but just having a little understanding support has made me feel so much better about it. Maybe I just needed to here that it was okay to stop, and will definitely be talking to my midwife as you suggested to get some help with this transition.
I'm sorry to hear that you too had problems. There is no job in ther world as difficult or more rewarding than being a mother! I hope you will soon be able to find some answers; being undiagnosed can be so nerve wracking!
Thank you again for all of you encouraging words!!
06-25-2014, 04:40 AM   #5
gotumtum
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no problems- I saw your post and had to reply as I know just how you feel.

There is so much information about labour and delivery given to us when we are pregnant - and so little about breastfeeding - we are told that it should work and how, but not much else.

I find this really weird as labour is like...24 hours if you are unlucky - breastfeeding is... well I have heard that most mum/baby combos take 6 weeks to get it right - if it is possible in the first place!

They also never seem to talk about transitioning at the end either, which is a big thing for every woman - no matter when it happens. And it does have to happen sometime!

I know that I definitely needed to hear that it was OK to stop - that weighing everything up it was recommended, - from someone that I respected- and needed telling numerous times too.

Please remember that there are many more stages of motherhood, and although they probably don't seem 'the same' at the moment, when the hormonal fog clears, it will all be OK

Oh, also I read somewhere that they now believe that there are four trimesters of 'pregnancy' - the fourth 3-6 months is where the mothers hormones are reverting to normal - not just the breastfeeding ones but the others too - I know I took a while to feel 'normal' again - though that may just have been the lack of sleep!

Best wishes - and feel free to PM me or post any other questions you have - I don't mind questions, but did not want to freak you out with my whole story!

Best wishes and big brave hugs!
06-25-2014, 04:42 AM   #6
gotumtum
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Oh and well done with the 30oz ! I know how significant this is even if no-one else is!
06-25-2014, 05:30 AM   #7
mama21princess
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Great job nursing your little one this long! So many moms don't even try, and you have given your baby the best that you possibly can for four months, and that is awesome! And, I agree with gotumtum, 30 oz is awesome! Pumping was always such a trial for me. I will say that no matter how long you are able to nurse, stopping is always difficult. I nursed my daughter for 2 1/2 years, and I still felt horrible when I weaned her. She got sick (just a cold) soon after I weaned, and I felt so guilty, thinking that if I had kept nursing, she wouldn't have gotten sick. Silly me. So, your feelings are totally normal. You will probably feel sad, and guilty, and miss those special times with your LO. All totally normal. Just hang in there, and you will both be okay. Big hugs to you, sounds like you are a great mama!
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06-25-2014, 05:45 AM   #8
sassym
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
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You guys, I should have started posting here a long time ago. The feedback is great and I am so relieved to hear from people who have walked this path before me. I was diagnosed in 2011 so I'm still pretty knew to all of this! Thanks again to everyone for all of your advice, but mostly the support. I didn't realize until now how much I really did need it. I was feeling more alone in this than I realized. You guys rock!
06-27-2014, 11:33 PM   #9
sassym
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
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So just thought I would post a quick update; I'm currently on vacation with family (that could prompt a whole other post by itself!) and having a resurgeonce of symptoms which, combined with your encouragement and some words from my doc, have convinced me that stopping breastfeeding sooner rather than later really is best. I haven't been able to leave my cabin all night, and my pain has been terrible today. It's even taking away from the time I can spend with the baby! Enough is enough. If I can't even see the baby I'm delaying for then I'll start the meds now. Well, Monday really imuran here I come! Wish me luck
06-28-2014, 12:20 AM   #10
gotumtum
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Big hugs

Hoping that you will feel better soon!!

My thoughts are with you

I wish there were more I could do from here...but can't!

Maybe sending you some virtual toilet paper and tissues!

We are here to listen and to try and answer questions.

More hugs
06-28-2014, 10:18 AM   #11
mama21princess
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I'm sorry you are feeling worse. I hope the meds will have you feeling better soon. Give that baby lots of snuggles!!
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Crohn's Disease Forum » Pregnancy, Trying to Conceive & Breast Feeding with IBD » Delaying new meds to continue breastfeeding?
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