I am breastfeeding my 11 month old daughter, incubating my 12 week fetus, and hosting parasites in my intestines. I feel so used!
After two weeks of diarrhea-denial (I just keep thinking it would get better?), I started to feel weak, dizzy, and I started to become concerned about the absorption of nutrition for me and my two babies feeding from me. I finally went to the doctor here in Ladybrand, South Africa, and it looks like it’s parasites- probably girardia that I picked up in Jordan when I was there working a few weeks ago.
Lesson #1: Avoid drinking tea from communal tea cups in Bedouin settlements in the middle of the desert in Jordan in case it is contaminated with someone’s feces. Yes, it’s hard to decline when you’re working with locals, but there are lots of excuses.
Lesson #2: Don’t wait two weeks to go to the doctor with diarrhea, especially when pregnant and breastfeeding. Parasites won’t hurt the baby, but dehydration can- keeping the body hydrated is important for a functioning placenta!
There are meds to get rid of the girardia, but many of them are dangerous for the fetus, so instead I’m treating the symptoms with oral rehydration, pro-biotics, and anti-diarrhea stuff (all safe for pregnancy and lactation). My energy has bounced back, and hopefully the parasites will leave soon!
The tea so wasn’t worth it.