I absolutely adore breastfeeding Harley. It may sound silly or weird, but it has been an incredibly fulfilling journey so far. It’s so gratifying to see her gaining weight so nicely – those chubby cheeks and thighs all come from the food I’m able to give her. It has been wonderful for bonding, and even though it’s hard not to be able to leave her alone much, it’s all worth it for the moments she looks up and smiles at me while nursing, or falls asleep in my arms. For the most part, I’ve been extremely lucky – I haven’t had cracked nipples, I haven’t struggled with milk supply, and I’ve only had a couple blocked ducts. But I have been facing a totally unexpected difficulty, my skin.
You may or may not know that I suffer from psoriasis. It’s not horribly severe, and I can usually manage it without any prescriptions. I even gave advice about doing so for a fashion/lifestyle blog. However, despite doing all the things that I know help, my psoriasis has flared, and seems to just be getting worse. I’ve done all the things that I know can help, except for light treatment, and nothing is working. The only thing that I can think of is that the breast feeding is making my skin dry out.
I know that hydration is important. It’s vital in general to keep the psoriasis at bay, and also vital for breastfeeding. So, beyond all the coconut oil that I’ve been slathering on my skin, I’m always sure to drink as much as I can to help when making milk for the little one and to help my skin. But it never seem to be enough. I’m almost always thirsty, almost always feeling dehydrated. I pretty much always have water with me, and yet no matter how much I drink, it feels like Harley is depleting my fluids faster than I can get them back in.
Being the ultimate investigator, I’ve tried to look into any link between the two, but there doesn’t seem to be much information out there. Some people talk about bad flare ups postpartum, but I’m five months down the line and still struggling. Also, thanks to the nursing itself, I’m hesitant to try anything other than totally natural remedies – the last thing I want to do is expose Harley to any steroids. I could try to get out in the sun more, but it’s getting harder as we head into winter and it won’t necessarily clear up all the flare ups I’m experiencing.
I really don’t want this to rush my desire to wean Harley. I want to add foods the way I think is best, with baby led weaning and food being just for fun until she’s a year old. Nursing is still really important for both of us, but if it’s slowly (or not so slowly) drying me out, I may need to find some more solutions.