Breastfeeding with ITP (Bleeding Nipples)

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Feature image from ITP&Me

Breastfeeding introduction – How it is hard and you need to feel confident and all that.  Strange new feeling like not everyone likes.

My story – I’ve been breastfeeding now (or not breastfeeding) for the last four months – what have I found.  How has the story gone…  What have I learnt and what problems have I faced?

When it gets hard…

Cracked and Bleeding Nipples?
What should I do with a low count?

Need to ask someone about this?

Lactation consultant.

What about women with bleeding disorders.

Taking care of your Nipples –

What could I do to prepare my nipples, take care of them while feeding?

Recipe from another blog about what to rub into your nipples – or perhaps just coconut oil…

So what Causes Blood in Breast Milk?

All of the breastfeeding problems listed below usually end quickly and are not considered serious…
– Cracked broken nipples and nipple blisters can cause blood in breast milk.
Read more on how to identify the cause of your cracked nipples.
– Vascular engorgement: Also called rusty pipe syndrome, due to the rusty color of the milk. This usually occurs immediately after giving birth, a first-time mommy may notice that her expressed milk is orange or pink in color. This is due to the increased blood flow to her breasts, which is needed during the development of the milk producing cells. The blood will usually disappear within a week or so after birth.

Look.  Here’s the thing.  I have breastfed a baby.  It’s a grueling if not some-what beautiful task.  I think there is a lot of romance surrounding breastfeeding to help encourage woman to continue to do it – but let me tell you it’s hard on your body, cuts into sleep time, can keep you awake for 23 hours at a stretch, saps your life and energy from your body, drains you of vitamins and minerals.

Breastfeeding is the important and special – but let’s be honest, it’s not 100% fun – not every single minute.

So when some crazy arsehole online is telling you to set aside time to soak your nipples in a saline solution – Then you’re probably going to tell them to go fuck them self.

Perhaps you might just end up doing nothing, and waiting for your nipples to heal on their own.

Please note: Although bleeding looks scary and blood may sometimes show up in your baby’s bowel motions or vomit, it is not harmful to your baby. It is quite safe for her to keep breastfeeding.

BREASTFEEDING ASSOCIATION AUSTRALIA

Four Years of ITP & Me

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Feature image from STUDENTSWIFE

It’s time to celebrate 4 years of ITP & Me.

A year ago today, I wrote a blog post about THREE YEARS of ITP & Me.  At the time, my hopes for the future were that I would be able to have kids with my ITP and write about the whole process.

That dream has now come true, as I am sure all heard. Our son was born just a few weeks ago with a wonderful platelet count and not a sign of my antibodies staying in his system.

Now my hopes for the future are to change the perception of ITP around pregnancy and birth.  During my pregnancy, it became clear that there is a strong culture if fear around ITP and pregnancy.

I’m now working on a new book this year which should be out in September 2017.

I’m so grateful to all the EMAILS and messages received through itp.and.me.g@gmail.com and via the comments on the website.  Now more than 10 000 people come to ITP & Me a month looking for information, help, advice and tips for living with ITP.

Thank you to everyone who has SHARED THEIR STORY with us here.

Cheers, Meg

Patient Guide to ITP, Health Monitor

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Featured image from GUIDE2ITP

Did you know the people who created ITP PLATELET TRACKER for your smartphone also produce an ITP MAGAZINE?  Well, they do, and the latest edition is available now.  You can download the magazine for free or ask for a printed edition to be sent to your home.

It contains lots of information about treatment options, managing platelet counts and questions to ask your haematologist. There are also a few stories from ITP patients and helpful lifestyle tips.

Guide 2 ITP is produced by the company AMGEN who make the ITP treatment NPLATE (Romiplostim). This is why the magazine contains ads for Nplate as an ITP treatment.

Here is the INTERVIEW I did with Health Monitor in WINTER 2015.

 

Change, It’s Benefits & How to do it

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Feature image from ITP&ME

Change has been on my mind.  It’s that time of year.  January is the month of NEW YEARS RESOLUTIONS and making plans for the future.  I can’t help thinking about how much I changed last year and wondering at the changes that will come in 2016.

I was once someone very different, then I changed.  I was once someone without an autoimmune disorder and then something changed and I became someone with ITP.  Which makes me think I am capable of changing back.

We all change all the time.  It is natural.  It is what keeps life exciting.  We grow, age, learn, develop, interact and are changed by the world and people around us.  So with all this change going on, how can we be sure we are making the right changes.  If we don’t stop and take notice, we might end up changed for the worse.

We are going to change whether we like it or not – So why not make sure we like it?  And why not be happy about the Benefits of that change? Continue reading

The Questions I get Asked the Most.

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Feature image from FWISCOVERS

1. I am so confused!  Can you Help me?

I hope so, but not always.  Almost every email I receive begins with this sentence or something very similar to it.  I am not a doctor and I have not ‘cured’ my own ITP by drinking kombucha tea.  Chances are I probably can’t ‘help’ you in any physical sense.

But I would love to make you feel better and help to ease your mind about ITP.  My aim is to promote a more positive frame of mind, remove a lot of the fear and misunderstanding from ITP, help you to take practical steps to regain control of your life and hopefully make you laugh.

2. Can I still exercise and go to the gym?

The best way to answer this is to again speak from my own experience.  I exercise a lot.  I don’t go to the gym because I prefer to walk and dance.  If I was a gym person I would defiantly still go.  I prefer to walk, ride my bike around town and go to dance classes.  I do about 6 hours of ballet a week (I know what you’re thinking, she’s probably pretty good! But sadly no, I am still terrible).

But let me be clear.  This exercise is hard.  It hurts and I can feel it the next day.  I am sore and my muscles always ache.  It is not easy for me, but I try not to be discouraged or scared by how differently my body responds to exercise.  If I have a very bad run of low platelets and terrible side effects, I return to dancing via a few weeks of yoga first.

3. How long will it last?

There is no way to know how long your ITP will hang around for.  Generally vaccine induced ITP is acute and will be in remission after six months.  Other than that, there is no way to really know.

4. Will I give ITP to my kids?

In short, no.  While there is no scientific evidence that parents with ITP will have children with ITP, it has HAPPENED BEFORE.  There is a fine line between nature and nurture.  Babies born to ITP mothers may have a low platelet count shortly after their birth.  This is because they are still processing and recovering from antibodies in their mothers’ blood.

5. Have you ever had Rituxumab?

No. I personally have not had Rituximab.  I do have a number of friends that have taken it and have seen my mother go through two courses of the drug.  If you are looking for more information on Rituximab, I recommend you read THIS article.

6. Which treatments have you had?

I consider myself very lucky with the treatments I have had for ITP.  I have a prednisone responsive immune system and am able to mostly treat my ITP through steroids (though they have their own problems, I know).

7. Which Diet / Nutritional Philosophy do you follow?

I eat a very relaxed combination of the PALEO diet and the EAT RIGHT FOR YOUR TYPE diet.  My blood type is O.  Type O people are recommended to have a protein heavy diet, which is what I naturally crave.  So when I tell people that paleo really works for me, I need to be clear that it also fits well with my blood type.

When I say I am relaxed about what I eat, I mean that I don’t let my diet interfere with social occasions or refuse loving home made food.  I eat whole foods made from scratch.  My indulgence is cold press pear cidar and shoe string fries.

How to Heal A Bruise, An ITP Book

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For Patients and Parents living with ITP,

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There is so much information available about the medical problems of immune thrombocytopenia.  Written by doctors and professionals, it’s difficult to read and even harder to decipher. Medical journals and scientific papers never address the questions you actually want answers to – What is it like to live with ITP?  How can I still live my life?  What will it feel like now that I have ITP?

HOW TO HEAL A BRUISE was inspired by Meghan Brewster’s most popular ITP articles.

 HOW TO HEAL A BRUISE includes stories from Meghan’s ITP Journey, some of the latest ITP research and advice for living a life with ITP.  This book is comprehensive yet easy read; from a person who actually has ITP.

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About the Author, Meghan Brewster

meghan brewster, author, how to heal a bruise, itp blood disorderMeg was diagnosed with immune thrombocytopenia when she was 22 years old.  She struggled to read dense medical journals and scholarly articles to learn more about her ITP.  What was missing from the ITP conversation was information from other patients, about what immune thrombocytopenia was really like.  

In 2012, Meg set up ITPANDME.  Three years later, it’s one of the largest ITP blogs in the world.  Meg has been writing about ITP for more than 6 years, has heard hundreds of patient stories and answered many questions about ITP life from patients and parents.

HOW TO HEAL A BRUISE is an honest account of her journey with ITP, as well as practical advice for living with ITP and information from some of her most popular articles.

This book takes you through the stages of ITP from coming to terms with your diagnosis to finally accepting and thriving with ITP, what to expect while living with ITP and how to make sure it doesn’t take over your life.  An honest and informative account of living with an autoimmune disease.

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Praise for How to Heal a Bruise

The book includes lots of ITP information such as, the science, history, tips and guides, alongside strong emotional support. It is now my own ITP Bible! I could not recommend it more highly! FULL REVIEW HERE from Katie Meloy

Beyond being a book documenting scientific and medical information, is the personal experience of Megan Brewster after seven years of living with this blood disorder and is enriched in fourteen chapters…I didn’t know what to expect on How To Heal A Bruise, then simply I couldn’t stop reading.  FULL REVIEW HERE from Laura

‘My partner and I absolutely love your blog and find many of your post’s to be just what we are looking for.’ Andy USA

‘Thank you for your thoughts…they’ve helped me with finding perspective in our reality.’ Jenny Australia

‘Love the way you write.  Meg, you made me chuckle.’ Bron Australia

‘Thank you for writing this, it will surely help the newbies.’ Padma, India

Features

  • The History of Immune Thrombocytopenia.
  • Practical Diet and Lifestyle advice.
  • Pregnancy and Babies with ITP
  • Advice on Natural Therapies and alternative medicine.
  • Possible Isolation and Depression from an ITP diagnosis.
  • Covering up Bruises, tips for healing and hiding bruises.
  • First aid tips and tricks for around the home.
  • ITP fears and how to overcome them.
  • A Huge list of References – Meg’s favourite blogs, books and ITP Resources.