Purpose of this blog

Hello Everyone,
I have such a response to my post on my other blog. I have heard from so many women who have had similar experiences-to a greater or lesser extent. With every women I come in contact with I am amazed at how many of us are out there.
Starting this blog was suggested to me and after thinking about it, I think it is needed. A single place where we can all share our stories. Share our problems. Let each other know what is working for us, and then one day help the medical community find the answer to why and hopefully help.
As I receive stories, updates, and info that I find or are given I will post them here. If you have anything to share you can email me at judeebeeforme@yahoo.com
Please become a follow if you have had, are having, or know someone who has had this problem.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Done with Round Two of Hives and Nursing

I am about 4 months hive free. My girls are 16 months today. I nursed them for 1 year. Yeah us!!! I didn't think it was going to be possible to nurse twins for a year. 
As for my hives, they are gone. Near the end there they weren't bad. In fact I could miss taking a Zyrtec and wouldn't have any bumps appear, but my skin would itch like crazy until I took the next dose. As sure as it happened the first time with nursing my son. As soon as my milk dried up, my hive went away completely.
I don't know if it is that my body was adjusting to everything this time around, but my hives were never as severe as they were the first round. I would get hives while nursing my twins, but never full body break-outs like I had while nursing my son.
We are expecting right now. And I will let you know when round three happens. But right now I'm just enjoying a Zyrtec and hive free life. Not to mention wearing a normal bra. I know TMI but so true.

Thank-you to all of you who have commented and shared your stories. I pray each of you can find peace from your hives.

Things to remember about hives:
1- the reason the medical community knows SO LITTLE about hives is hives are caused so MANY different things. Many of which we don't hardly understand at all. 
2- Hives are actually really really new to research and most doctors weren't trained in medical school to understand hives only to treat hives. Be proactive and patient with doctors. 
3- Since there are no ways to know what are causing your hives besides for you to proactively take EVERY LITTLE thing out of your live and reintroduce it, doctors can only try to treat and relieve your hives. This is never going to make them go away.
4- Hives are an immunological response to something you are encountering. You body could be responding to multiple things at once or just one thing. 
5- Why you're responding with hives over an anaphylactic reaction is a mystery. I find gratitude in knowing that it totally be a life threatening reaction but its not its just hives and I can live with hives. Think about that the next time you have a reaction.
6- Each person is DIFFERENT!!!!!! My hives have a strong correlation to breastfeeding. It may have very little to do with actual milk production. But your hives may be caused by something very different. Even within a breastfeeding there are hundreds of things related that could be the cause of hives while nursing and each of us could have a different one of those things.
7- Don't get discouraged. Take hope. This will be but a small moment in our lives and at least for me every hive is worth the blessing of being able to breastfeed my children.
8- Although we are not alone, we are an extreme minority. There are 5 different types of allergic reactions. Hives (urticaria) is just one of those five. It is also the least common of those five. As I said in number five, your allergic reaction could be anyone one of those 5 reactions but for unknown reasons to Immunologists your immune system has chosen to respond with hives.  Our bodies went through a traumatic life event (giving birth to a baby). Any time your body goes through a traumatic life event your immune system is put into shock and can change. This is documented. Giving birth is a traumatic life event and your body is never going to be the same. Our condition is only ignored by the medical community because it has been so rare that not enough cases have been documented in order to bring it to the attention of the one researcher who might know what to do with the information. It is so rare that my Allergist, a well respected Immunologist, is baffled by my situation. He plans on writing a paper on my case at some point. Talk with your doctors and be patient with them.

21 comments:

  1. Hello, I hope I am not off topic as I didn't experience hives during my postpartum, but I think that my eczema is also linked to a hormonal imbalance caused by breastfeeding my now 1 year old daughter. I started to develop this eczema on my fingers about 2 monthes after giving birth to my daughter. And I was breastfeeding. I am still breastfeeding her and I hate even thinking about stopping it but eczema flare ups are horrible. I get itchy especially at night, I did a lot of research on the Internet and tried a sugar free diet but it didn't work. After a lot of diet, I began to think it is all related to not having my period for 11 months after the delivery. But a few days ago my period arrived and with it a new flare up of my eczema.It;s even worse. So I began now to think my eczema is not linked to "no period yet", but to breastfeeding. And then I found your blog and this theory is stronger in my head. I mean I don't have hives but maybe my eczema is linked to a hormonal imbalance caused by breastfeeding. I don't know, I just wanted to write about this condition, I think that somehow you can understand me. Thamks!

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  2. Irina- Have you spoken to a dermatologist? There are nursing safe options for treating eczema. Also your symptoms sound a lot like hives. A professional will be able to tell the difference. Good luck I hope you find relief and are able to still nurse.

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  3. Hi there! I am a fellow sufferer of postpartum hives. I did not develop hives after my first birth, but I did develop them after my second and third birth. The are not as bad this time around, but still pretty miserable. I was lucky that my allergist told me right away that this is caused my stress and pregnancy/birth hormones. I take Claritin to control the symptoms. As a side note, my first pregnancy and birth was the only "normal" pregnancy and birth I had, if that makes a difference. My second was born my emergency c-section as he was laying transverse (sideways) and my daughter was born 11 weeks early. It took a full two years after my second birth for the hives to go away completely. I stair stepped off the Claritin like you. I am 11 months postpartum after my third, and still have hives. I breastfed after my third birth but not after the second and still had hives both times. We did get pregnant earlier this year and although we eventually lost the pregnancy, I did have hives the whole time. I was told not to take Claritin during the first trimester and it was pretty miserable, but the best thing was trying to get my mind off of it. I did notice while I was off the Claritin that the hives seemed much worse when I was stressed, irritable, etc, but I didn't notice much difference with anything I ate or came into contact with. I have always had skin issues, like eczema and dermographism, so maybe I am more prone because of this. Thank you for starting this site. I looked for info when I first developed hives in 2009, but could find nothing. I feel a little more "normal" now :)

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  4. Hello, Thank you for your blog. I develepod chronic hives, while pregnant with my daughter. I had a subchorionic hematoma and eventually placenta abruption. The hives started at about 12 weeks, and I lost her at nearly 22. It has been four months since her birth, and I have hives and eczema. I haven't had eczema since childhood, except right after I had my son...and only for a week. He is now 2 and 4 months. He weaned early in my second pregnancy. I believe hormones are the main factor, and it is very frustrating that the medical community has no answers. My doctor just cites stress as a cause with no further explanations. My blood work is normal.

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  5. Hello all. I too suffered with chronic hives while breastfeeding my second and third babies. I saw an experienced and prestigious skin specialist in Harley Street, London, who carried out extensive testing - all results were clear. It was a pharmacist who eventually suggested this was an allergy to prolactin which proved highly probable as both times the hives cleared within a couple of weeks of weaning at around 6 months. I suffered severe daily outbreaks from head to toe and was prescribed antihistamines as over the counter remedies were ineffective. The hives were exacerbated by certain foods and contact with plastics and pressure but this is indicates a lowered immune system which is exactly what you have when suffering with chronic hives.
    Apparently we experience allergic reactions the second time we are exposed to the allergen and this would explain not having hives when breastfeeding my first baby.
    Had I not had to deal with such a debilitating condition, I would have been much keener to consider bahy no. 4!
    Hopefully more research and funding is put into finding a cure for this awful side effect of one of our most natural, beneficial and enjoyable biological functions.

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  6. I had a c section two and a half weeks ago, and now have hives. I'm also breastfeeding! Only three things are new unless I've developed a new allergy. I started taking a D3 vitamin yesterday, we opened a new kind of baby wipes yesterday, or body heat. If it's not any of these things, then it's something to do with breastfeeding!

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  7. Hi I also suffer from postpartum hives, I had them with my first child for 3 months while breastfeeding and now I have had then for 3 months with my second. I had an emergency c- section with my first child and a planned c- section with the second. The hives did not appear until my first daughter was 9 months old and my second daughter they started before she was 4 months. However this being my second time experiencing postpartum hives I feel much more relaxed and confident about the situation. I'm glad I'm not alone.

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  8. Arizona Girl, do you have any hives with your third child?

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    1. I am not taking the Zyrtec this time around. I occasionally have a patch of hives, I often feel super itchy like there are hives on my skin but no bumps. I feel that I can't justify the meds if I don't have actual hives. I hope it never gets any worse than this. I had a few hives during the pregnancy, I wasn't too back. When I get some hives I will take a benadryl or a zyrtec. I feel very blessed to not have it so bad this time around (by the way it is actually baby four, third pregnancy, and it was a boy this time.)

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  9. I have postpartum hives for more than 10 months now, I had tried Dandelion Root and Milk Thistle for 2 months, didn't make my hives disappear.

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  10. I am one week postpartum with twins, my first pregnancy. I have started experiencing the hives when my milk began to come in. It does seem to get more intense when I am breast-feeding and the hormones are surging. I wanted to share a few natural remedies that I have found that help quite a bit. The first is colloidal silver, which you can find any natural food store. It's a natural detox, as well as a healing of the skin. It seems to help almost immediately for me. I have a gel that I spread topically over the hives. Also things that help are lavender oil and witch hazel, both of which I also spread over topically. My homeopathic doctor suggested I try probiotics, because getting the good bacteria back in order may help to balance things out again. I am certainly trying it, and I will let everyone know if I have any success. Thanks for putting together this blog! It does seem like no one has any answers, and certainly not a cure! I am hopeful that rebalancing my body should put things back in order.

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  11. I am wondering if any of you received the pertussis vaccine (whooping cough) during pregnancy or shortly after delivery? I posted here in 2010 after experiencing a year long stint of postpartum rashes, hives, eczema, weeping patches of skin with my 5th child (now pregnant with my 6th). I hadn't experienced that with any other child. I continued to experience hives even after discontinuing breastfeeding at 6 weeks. My thyroid panels and antibodies all came back normal as we thought my thyroid may be causing the hives. The only new factor with that 5th pregnancy was receiving the pertussis vaccine in the hospital.

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  12. I did not have a booster with my first child when my hives were at their worst. I had a booster about a year before even getting pregnant with my second pregnancy. Then another booster about a year before my third pregnancy. Since it had been less than 5 years since my last booster I declined a booster at the hospital. The only connection getting a vaccine booster and hives would have is that whatever is causing your hives your immune system is already overactive. Hives are a symptom of an overactive system. Even the nursing theory that is floating around here, the hives are a symptom that your immune system is overactive. If your immune system overreacts to a vaccine it is a one time (maybe a one time event that lasts a few days), but after that your body isn't reacting to it unless it is constantly being exposed to the disease.

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    1. When I say a "one time" event I mean like if you're allergic to fish. Eating fish or coming in contact with fish would set your immunological reaction system off. But once it is under control or worn off it is over until the next time you come in contact again. A vaccine would work the same way. Just as IF it is breastfeeding each time you nurse it would start the reaction up again.

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  13. I suffered from postpartum hives with my first child. They were actually worsened by breast feeding and were so bad that my doctor actually advised me to switch to formula. I was covered head to toe in hives and absolutely miserable, the doctor didn't want me to resent my child and we both felt switching to formula would be the best solution for me and my baby. Only a few days after I stopped producing milk, my hives completely cleared up. Now here I am with my second child, and I gave breast a second try. I'm 4 days in, and already noticing the hives appearing on my hands and arms. Unfortunately it looks like both of my babies are going to be formula babies, and there's nothing,wrong with that!

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  14. Hi Arizona Girl!

    Just want to know did you get hives again on your second & third pregnancies and/or while breastfeeding your 3rd & 4th baby?

    I have bad hives right now 4 months postpartum with my 3rd child. Didn't get any hives while breastfeeding my first two kids, maybe because we were supplementing with formula. This time with my 3rd baby, he prefers breastmilk only.

    Looking forward to your reply,
    K.Y.

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    1. Each post-pregnancy hives were less than the previous pregnancy. I still had some hives but they were not as bad as with my first child. I never supplemented (until they could start eating solid food and then we did start to feed them solids). It could have to do with your increased milk production- that is possible. Good luck. I hope you find some relief.

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  16. I'm currently suffering from hives and cannot fine any relief! Everybody who mentioned having hives, did you all continue breastfeeding? My little one is about to be 4 months and I don't want to stop. It's been like 3 weeks that I've had hives and they seem to be getting worse.

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    1. Brandy, that is so sad. I hope you can find relief. Bendryl, clariton, and Zyrtec are safe while nursing. To get them under control my doctor also prescribed a nasal block spray. For whatever reason it helped a ton (initially and then I slowly stopped using it). Many of us continued to nurse, but some of decided that they had to stop. In the end you'll need to decide what is best for you and your baby. Some have just suffered through the hives because they felt nursing was more important, some decided there were other ways to bond with their baby. Good luck. I hope that you find what is best for the two of you!

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  17. I'm so glad I came across this blog. I started getting hives 2 weeks after my c-section. This is my first baby but I did have a miscarriage before. The itchiness has been driving me insane and my doctor hasn't been able to help me much. I've been trying Claritin and benedryl. Haven't seemed to help much. I have been applying the medicated gold bond body lotion with menthol and that helps a lot, albeit only for an hour or two. If this is a prolactin allergy, which I can't think of anything else that makes more sense, I don't want to stop breastfeeding but I don't know how to cope with this insane itchiness! I have PCOS and hormonal imbalances in general so I'm wondering if that might also be a common thread in who gets postpartum hives? Have any of you been diagnosed with PCOS?

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