Oral Thrush and Breastfeeding: What You Need to Know

You "paint" the medicine on the white patches inside your baby's cheeks with the enclosed applicator (or your finger) several times a day for up to two weeks. In particular, if you have vaginal thrush, your partner may need treatment too. This should be done even if the baby is asymptomatic and the mother is showing symptoms to prevent cross contamination. Common among infants, oral thrush can make feeding difficult. Your baby can breastfeed during an outbreak of thrush, but if he has sore patches in his mouth, he may avoid latching on or be reluctant to feed at all (if your baby is on a "nursing strike," check to see if thrush could be the cause).

  • Breast pain caused by a bacterial infection is a deep, dull aching pain that is associated with fever, body ache, breast inflammation and other generalised symptoms.
  • Mastitis is a breast infection.
  • Yellowish discharge from the nipple that looks like colostrum.
  • In a weakened immune system, or if you’re run down, stressed or not eating well, thrush and other diseases start to run rampant.

Oral thrush in the infant can also often be asymptomatic. If feeding your baby is painful due to thrush, you will want to find a fast and effective thrush treatment while breastfeeding. Pink or red (unusually so) nipples that may or may nor be cracked or rashy. Use of artificial infant formula. Let’s start with the basics.

After nursing, rinse your nipples in a solution of 1 cup water mixed with 1 tbsp of white vinegar or baking soda. You can discuss this with your GP and health care team. Gentian violet is effective, but messy.

When there is a yeast overgrowth the immune system is somewhat compromised. Ensure you wash your hands very well after every nappy change. You can also help your nipples to heal by doing the following things: Try adjusting your nursing position and your baby’s latch-on before assuming pain is due to thrush.

Crying when nursing or sucking on a pacifier or bottle.

Ages & Stages

It's possible for both you and your baby to have thrush even if one of you is symptom-free. Before making any changes to your diet – always check with your doctor. Suckling, hearing a baby cry, or even thinking about the baby can trigger the let-down reflex. Unlike with vaginal thrush, itching is not typical. If you feel better before the course of medication is complete and stop using it, the yeast infection can come back. Although there are various reasons for pain while nursing, thrush or oral thrush are sometimes overlooked. I prefer the type probiotics that live in the fridge, since there’s a better chance that all of it will still be alive by the time you drink it. We would strongly discourage use of medication until positioning and attachment have been thoroughly explored by someone skilled in breastfeeding attachment difficulties.

APNO is safe for breastfeeding mother and babies, but if you feel any burning, irritation or pain while using it, stop right away and contact your health professional.


Plus, yeast may be lurking in areas of your body other than your breasts and your baby's mouth. Expose the nipples to the sun for a few minutes twice a day. What causes a swollen vagina and should you worry about it?, however, it is most common in young girls before puberty, particularly girls with poor genital hygiene. Alternately you can look up a bone broth recipe.


Having two or more of these symptoms makes it more likely that thrush is involved, especially if these include shiny or flaking skin: Your doctor may also want to assess your latching technique during breastfeeding before initiating treatment. Pain caused by thrush generally is constant throughout a nursing session. As mentioned before, you and your baby can give each other thrush. While fluconazole is available over the counter in Australia, lactating women should only take the drug if advised to do so by their doctor. Damaged skin, generally from a poor latch, is usually the underlying cause of thrush and must be solved, alongside any medical treatments, to eradicate thrush.

The information contained in this patient handout is a suggestion only, and is not a substitute for consultation with a health professional or lactation specialist. Otherwise, you may just pass the infection back and forth. When an imbalance between the body and concentration of fungus occurs, it may colonise a range of body sites, causing infection and tissue damage. For a detailed protocol for suggested treatment of thrush in babies and children from 0 months to 12 years, refer to Treatment of Oral Candida in Children (NICE, 2020).

These creams can also be applied to the baby’s bottom when a yeast diaper rash is present.


But by week four, I had had enough. URL link How common medications can affect your breast milk [online]. Bottles, nipples, and pacifiers. • While nursing on a candida-infected nipple can be exquisitely painful, it is necessary to keep the affected breast empty to prevent mastitis, or even a candida infection deeper into the breast tissue. In severe cases the pain could last for an hour after feeds. Clean baby's toys with vinegar and water to prevent another infection. Things that may help prevent reinfection or support treatment during active infection:

Any object which is put in baby’s mouth can come into contact with candida: If your baby has a thrush infection, you may notice white patches in your baby’s mouth. But how do you know the difference between normal pain and something like thrush, a yeast infection of the nipples? Cold temperatures do not kill the yeast cells you carry in your milk during a thrush infection, so it’s possible to reinfect your baby – and yourself – with stored milk pumped during infection. However, keep in mind that it’s possible to have thrush on your nipples even when baby is showing no signs of infection whatsoever. Dermatoses of the breast in lactation. But we have some relief – and a few possible ways to prevent thrush altogether.

The pain may be severe enough to lead to early weaning if the condition is not treated. This means that taking medication to improve the circulation won't work. ● Change breast pads/bras frequently and wash as hot as possible to kill off yeast. It’s important to get a breastfeeding assessment from your local support group or local breastfeeding counsellor. Medscape log in, bacterial infections (bacterial vaginosis). They should also wash all clothing (bras, bra pads, nightgowns) that come in contact with their nipples in hot water with bleach, and dry them in a hot dryer or the sun.

Cracked, Irritated Skin

Nipples are tender to touch. Thrush can cause severe nipple pain. It's normal to be worried and a little scared about spreading an infection to your baby. Thrush is an infection, and it needs to be killed, so you will have to use some form of medication. If your baby uses a pacifier or bottles, sterilize them by boiling for 5-10 minutes or use a microwave steam sterilizer. New research offers an alternative theory for some of the symptoms of deep breast thrush involving infection by certain strains of bacteria. Best probiotic implant enema dublin dublin for good gut health, strain the coffee beans from the mixture so you have one uniform liquid free from particles. The mother may experience a sudden onset of acute nipple pain during feedings, which may continue even after the feeding is finished. Many mothers need to be prepared for the site of the baby’s mouth.

You should speak to your doctor or midwife if you think that you have thrush, it is not something you should try to treat on your own. Any other family member has a candida infection, for example athlete’s foot, nappy rash or jock itch. Another option, recommended by breastfeeding expert Jack Newman, is what he calls APNO (all-purpose nipple ointment). Though these findings haven’t yet been reproduced in humans, ACV will likely not cause you any harm to try. How is breast and nipple thrush diagnosed?

Thrush may take hold more easily if your nipples are sore or crackedbecause your baby isn’t latching on well. Some women may only describe the symptoms above, while others will have signs and symptoms. To prevent the spread of thrush, wash your hands thoroughly after nappy changes and before and after applying any creams/lotions. Freezing deactivates yeast, but does not kill it, so label all milk pumped and frozen during a thrush outbreak. Yeast infection home remedies, perhaps you need help in avoiding them altogether or curing the one you have right now. Almost one in four pregnant mothers will experience vaginal thrush near delivery. Your doctor may prescribe you with oral treatment with nyastatin (Nilstat) capsules or tablets (500,000 units per tablet), but will consider the duration and severity of symptoms when selecting the most appropriate treatment. If you have any signs of mastitis, or if you do not feel better within 24 hours of trying the tips for relief, contact your doctor. If you feel burning, itching, pins-and-needles, or a sharp, stabbing breast pain, or a pain deep in your breast, you might have thrush.


Treatment in both mother and baby should continue for at least 1-2 weeks after all symptoms are gone. Breastfeeding and thrush. Diflucan is available by prescription only. Often at the end of a feed, or anytime during or in between feeds. • If vaginal yeast is present cotton panties should be worn and the area rinsed with a vinegar/water solution after each trip to the bathroom (see above).

● Ongoing support with attachment and positioning. Can your baby still breastfeed if he gets thrush? Wash them along with the bras and any other clothing in hot water before reusing. Wash your hands with soap and water very frequently during the treatment period – especially after nursing, diaper changes, and handling your breasts. They are safe for breastfeeding mothers and babies.

Sore nipples that last more than a few days, even after your baby has a good latch. Signs of thrush in mothers include: Grapefruit seed extract (GSE):

Clean Your Breasts

Your baby might have a red sore looking bottom, like a nappy rash. Another immune system booster is Echinacea. Apply the solution to the nipples with a cotton swab after rinsing the nipples after a feeding and before applying any creams. On a last note, I need to warn you that sometimes what looks like thrush isn’t really thrush. What's the treatment for thrush in babies?

As well as using virgin coconut oil in your foods (or in a capsule form) you can apply it topically for a range of conditions due to its brilliant properties. If you leak a lot when you sleep put a towel on top of your bed sheet. Change your breast pads often throughout the day to eliminate possible yeast growth. Old clothing should be worn when treating with Gentian Violet as it temporarily stains everything it comes in contact with purple.

About Ask Dr. Sears

What caused thrush to develop on my nipples? According to the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine (ABM), nystatin should be the first choice for treating thrush[i]. The fungal infection (called candidiasis) is caused by an overgrowth of the Candida fungus and affects about 75 percent of people. These spots will look sort of like cottage cheese, and won't come off easily if you wipe his mouth with your finger or a soft cloth. 2020 Jun; 4(2): A baby can get thrush inside his mouth (seen as white patches that don’t wipe away) or in his nappy area (an inflamed nappy rash) and under certain circumstances it is thought that a breastfeeding mother can get thrush on her nipples causing pain and soreness. Therapies from registered homeopaths or naturopaths.

Echinacea is an immune system boosting herb. Candida (also called yeast, monilla or thrush) is a fungus that thrives in warm, dark, moist environments, such as the mucus membranes of the mouth and vagina, the diaper area, skin folds, bra pads, and on persistently wet nipples. Divide each dose before applying and keep away from your baby’s throat to avoid choking.

Nursing should be an enjoyable experience for both mother and baby. Even if that just means saying ‘no’ more. Stone suggests seeing a lactation consultant. ● Impeccable hygiene is important as candida albicans can thrive in shared towels, laundry, clothes, breast pump parts, hands, toys etc. Wear a clean cotton bra every day and wash all clothes in hot water, at least 50ºC if possible. Making lifestyle and diet changes can help repair the root cause, and may prevent another round of nipple thrush (or other forms of thrush). Then I would feed the baby, and repeat the same procedure afterwards.

You may be at higher risk for developing thrush if you or your baby has had a recent course of antibiotics, your nipples are cracked or damaged, or you are taking oral contraceptives or steroids (such as for asthma).