Thrush and Breastfeeding: Symptoms, Treatment, Prevention

In the past, nipple pain was often attributed to thrush, however current research suggests that it is not as prevalent as once believed. If you find that applying cold to your nipples or air drying increases the pain, investigate whether the discomfort you are experiencing is related to nipple vasospasm. An overgrowth of yeast can cause an infection. Candida albicans was the most commonly isolated Candida spp in culture with Candida glabrata only isolated in one nipple specimen and one milk sample (table 2). Candida spp are commensal organisms, and therefore the presence of Candida spp does not always imply infection. CAN BREASTFEEDING CAUSE THRUSH IN YOUR BABY? For mom, adding in probiotics to your diet may help build good bacteria that manages the growth of yeast. J Hum Lact 2020; 18(2):

  • ● Nipple eczema.
  • If you do use a breast pump, start on the lowest setting and increase it slowly.
  • • You are taking, or have just finished taking, a course of antibiotics.
  • Thrush is a fungal infection caused by the organism Candida albicans, which can occur in the nipples or breast tissue (as well as other places in the body).

Don't Store Your Expressed Breast Milk Even though it's OK to breastfeed your baby when you have thrush, you should not collect your breast milk to store. Breastfeeding and human lactation (3rd edition). Yes, thrush is contagious. Key messages Candida spp is associated with burning nipple pain and breast pain. IMPORTANT – To make sure that you get rid of thrush infection, both you and your baby need treatment. Diabetic moms have a higher incidence of yeast infections. It should be confirmed by a swab of your nipples. A baby may also have yeast rashes in the diaper area.

The findings in the mother may vary considerably, and affected breasts may even appear normal. The treatment of choice for topical thrush is Miconazole (Daktarin) cream (2%) applied sparingly to the mother’s nipples after every feed. This is not helped by the fact that thrush can be associated with bacterial infection. If you baby has oral thrush it might be passed onto you while you are breastfeeding.

Causes Of Thrush

What are the symptoms of thrush from breastfeeding? If you’re suffering from thrush in any other area of your body (it’s usually vaginal), then there is also a higher chance of getting breastfeeding thrush. Upset or fussy baby eating. Baby’s saliva with a white shine or a pearly sheen on the inside of baby’s lips. What causes a thrush infection? He may pull away from your breast while feeding because his mouth is soreThrush can pass through your baby’s digestive system to his bottom and cause nappy rash. This is due to high blood sugar levels (Source). Whether you are an experienced mom who has breastfed before, or a new mother nursing for the first time, you may run into a number of common problems.

  • This is referred to as oral thrush.
  •  When should I give my baby their medicine?
  • They can arrange for swabs to be taken from your nipples and your baby's mouth to see if thrush is present.
  • After you breastfeed, rinse your nipples with water or a solution of vinegar (one part), and water (four parts) then let them air dry.
  • An LLL Leader will be able to share information on other possible causes of nipple and breast pain.
  • Everyone in the household and who cares for the baby should be extra careful to wash their hands regularly.
  • Breaking up with breastfeeding suddenly can be difficult for both you and your baby to cope with.

What Causes Thrush?

If that's the case for you, pumping may be more comfortable until your nipples start to heal. Boil all pacifiers, bottle nipples, and pump parts for 10 minutes each day, or use a Medela Quick Clean Microwave Steam Bags. Normal levels of Candida yeasts support overall health. After nursing, let your nipples air dry completely, then reapply the medication. This article has not been prepared by a physician, is not intended as medical advice, and is not a substitute for regular medical care. How is thrush treated? It requires a higher loading dose than a vaginal yeast infection does, and you have to take it for a more extended period of time. Other causes of nipple pain:


What are the signs of thrush? When there are less healthy bacteria, it leaves an opening for the yeast to grow. Read my candida story, read food labels:. Milk wipes away, thrush is there to stay, at least for now. Oral thrush is a common condition, affecting about 1 in 20 babies. Results of a survey on diagnosis and treatment, Clin Paed.

Avoid breast pads made with plastic liners that don’t allow air around your breasts, as they hold in moisture. Candida is normally found on and in your body. This handout is the property of the author(s) and the Goldfarb Breastfeeding Clinic. Mothers’ report of nipple damage was a predictor of these symptoms, with an RR of 2. High levels of chronic stress might adversely affect your immune system.

  • This study is the first longitudinal study of the role of both staphylococcal and candidial colonisation in breast infections and will help to resolve the current controversy about which is the primary organism in the condition known as breast thrush.
  • The baby may have white plaques in his mouth, be less keen to feed if his mouth is sore or have a sore bottom.
  • However, a new solution should be mixed every day, using a clean cotton ball for each application.
  • She'll prescribe an antifungal cream or gel, usually Miconazole, for your nipples and your baby's mouthYou need to spread a thin layer of cream over your nipples after every breastfeed.
  • Thrush is an infection, and it needs treatment.
  • I also found washing anything that came into contact with milk or vomit at at least 60 degrees helped.
  • Breast and nipple thrush in breastfeeding mothers is commonly associated with oral thrush in their newborn infants, since about one in four infants (24%) will develop oral thrush before reaching 18 months of age.


Both you and your baby should be treated with medication if either one of you shows symptoms of thrush. Home remedies for yeast infections and utis, many generic medicines are now available to treat vaginal yeast infections. Thrush is a fungal infection caused by an organism called Candida Albicans. WHERE DOES THRUSH OCCUR? Research indicates that freezing does not kill yeast, but no one is sure if expressed milk can cause a recurrence. The cream is safe if your baby comes into contact with it but it’s better to be cautious and wipe off the excess – your baby probably won’t like the taste of it anyway. Candida albicans, also known as thrush, is a yeast (fungal) infection. It's very important to use the medication the way your doctors prescribe it and to take it for as long as you're supposed to.

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There are more than 150 species of Candida yeasts, but researchers believe that only about 20 of these species can cause infections. Unless thrush is treated, it can pass back and forth between you and your baby. • Thoroughly wash pump parts that come in contact with your breasts in a bleach solution and boil them in water for five minutes daily. More often, especially in the early days, nursing brings feelings of helplessness, tears, and maybe even pain.

You may also be prescribed an antifungal medication to take in pill form. The worst case of thrush in a baby’s mouth that I ever saw looked like a little white rug on the baby’s tongue. A pediatrician may also examine your baby’s diaper area to determine if thrush has spread to other areas of the body. Some mums also find that reducing the level of sugar and yeast in their diet can be helpful. Yeast is persistent so it’s very important to get a follow-up with your doctor even when you think the infection is gone.

Yeast Infection

Presence of the following symptoms in the infant should alert the mother and her practitioner to the possibility of breast and nipple thrush: Garlic is known for its antibiotic and antifungal properties, so it’s a tremendous potent fighter against yeast. Diflucan® (fluconazole) tablets patient information, how this works. When it comes to yeast and fungal infections, antifungal medications are often prescribed.

What Does Nipple Thrush Feel Like?

Attend a La Leche League Group meeting in your area for additional information and support. It doesn’t usually cause any problems, but if it multiplies uncontrollably, thrush can occur.  If you need to give your breasts a break while you're undergoing treatment, you can pump to keep up your breast milk supply until you feel well enough to breastfeed again. Clinical guidelines. Candidiasis fungal infection must be treated early, several studies demonstrated a relationship between the voriconazole plasma concentration and adverse effects, such as elevated liver enzymes and neurotoxicity including visual disturbances [38,39,40]. Wash your bra, nursing clothes, pajamas, and bed sheets in hot water or bleach to kill the yeast. Recently there has been a tendency to over-diagnose thrush in the UK. Your baby will be given an oral gel that you can apply to the inside of their mouth. Expose your nipples to sunlight for several minutes several times a day.

The information provided is taken from various reference sources. J Hum Lact 2020; 20(3): Fluconazole 150–300 mg as a single dose followed by 50–100 mg twice a day for 10 days. Yeast infections — denver holistic medicine, crusts may form on the scalp, possibly causing hair loss. Occasionally, babies who are treated with miconazole are sick after the gel is applied. You can take them in the form of Bio-K in yoghurt or pill form, acidophilus pills, or yoghurt pills. Cut back on sugar.

What causes breastfeeding thrush? While there has never been a documented case of yeast causing an infection this way, freezing does not kill yeast. If you are experiencing pain while breastfeeding, or your baby is fussy at the breast, take heart—this doesn’t mean you need to stop nursing. People who have a yeast infection will rarely transmit the infection to another person. If you have concerns of a fungal infection, call both your doctor and your baby's doctor. Buy pathfinder adventure path: strange aeons part 2. The candida fungus, which causes thrush, can live on your breasts, in your nipples or in your breast milk, making it easy for it to pass to your baby through feedings. I will be using these two terms interchangeably.

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It’s usually a liquid or gel and you can use your finger or the dropper provided to put the prescribed amount on the affected area. Candida in nipple/breast milk/baby predicted incidence of the case definition (RR 1. )Babies may have white patches of fungal growth inside their cheeks, or on their gums or tongue which don’t rub off. If possible keep nipples dry, change breast pads often, wear cotton underwear, and use hot washes for washing underwear and towels to kill fungal spores 32. You can also get it from changing your baby’s diapers if the fungus is in their stool. Thrush in your baby’s mouth will likely make it painful for him to breastfeed, so any previously pumped milk being fed via a bottle may be an option. • You may find it helpful to use the cream after your baby nurses to sleep, especially if he is likely to sleep for a while. How can I stop thrush coming back?

Here are a few signs to keep an eye out for:

Hoppe JE, et al. Soreness that continues throughout the breastfeed, or lasts for more than one week of breastfeeding, isn't normal. If you can withstand the pain and soldier on, you’ll be glad you did. Do home remedies actually work for yeast infections? – health essentials from cleveland clinic. Thrush is also associated with: Studies on the use in premature babies weighing under 1000g have demonstrated successful outcomes (Kaufman). One way they can pass it to you is through cracked nipples. Visiting your GP for a diagnosis is important as other skin diseases, including eczema, dermatitis, psoriasis, impetigo, herpes and bacterial infection can have similar symptoms to thrush. Pinter & Martin, 2020.

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Before every feeding, use olive oil or coconut oil (instead of soap and water, which can be irritating) to remove any medication on your nipples. Thrush is an infection caused by the fungus candidiasis albicans, and it often affects the elderly, babies, and those taking certain medications like antibiotics, as well as people with immune system deficiencies or underlying medical conditions, such as AIDS/HIV, diabetes or cancer. To use it, you will need a prescription from your doctor and a compounding pharmacy to mix it for you. A breastfeeding mother with a thrush infection of the nipple, areola and/or breast can experience pain in these areas both during and between feeds. To prevent cross-contamination and reinfection with thrush, Tran recommends: You are more likely to have thrush if:

Other Influences On Nipple Thrush Infections

The difference: That way, you both can be correctly diagnosed and treated at the same time. Some people also sweat more during pregnancy. The article Causes of Sore Nipples may also be helpful.

  • There is a section on treatment for other causes of sore nipples in this post.
  • Cotton is more breathable than other fabrics, and more airflow helps get rid of the yeast.
  • When nursing becomes painful, new mothers should contact their doctor.

Can Your Baby Still Breastfeed If He Gets Thrush?

For others, pain may also be felt throughout a breastfeed and according to The National Infant Feeding Network’s Thrush handout, pain may worsen as a breastfeed progresses. ● Ongoing support with attachment and positioning. These conditions include treatment of the mother and/or infant with antibiotics, cracked nipples, use of oral contraceptives and diabetes. In most cases, a person will only develop a yeast infection if an overgrowth of yeast occurs on or inside their body. Specimens were collected by research assistants. Consider paper towels for drying hands. Antibiotics may reduce the number of helpful bacteria in the body and allow the candida fungus that causes thrush to flourish. Got a yeast infection? try these easy home remedies, they say that three out of four women will develop yeast infections throughout their lives. To work effectively, they need to be applied to all the nooks and crannies in a baby’s mouth as directed by your doctor or pharmacist.

Chetwynd EM, Ives TJ, Payne PM et al. Vigorous washing can cause further soreness. The solution, says Sterner, is to insert your finger into the corner of your baby's mouth to break the latch as soon as you feel pain -- and then try latching on again. It normally lives on our skin and other areas, and 90% of babies are colonized by it within a few hours of birth. Frequent use of lanolin as a nipple cream may be associated with fungal infections see Treatments for Sore Nipples for more information about using lanolin. Francis-Morrill et al found nipple appearance (‘shiny’ or ‘flaky’ nipple or with pink colour) to be predictive of Candida. “For women who are breastfeeding, if their baby develops thrush, it will cause a sharp, shooting pain in the mother’s breast (before, during, and after breastfeeding).