Thrush: Symptoms, Treatment and Prevention

If your baby has thrush, he can give it to you. Working with a herbal specialist to adjust the dosages may be helpful. Apply the antifungal cream as directed. If you can't feed your baby right away, use warm compresses and try to pump or manually express your milk. Call your baby's provider if the infection doesn't seem to be clearing up. What causes breastfeeding thrush? Gently wipe out the infant's mouth with a moistened gauze pad after each feeding and before applying the medication.

  • 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.
  • It’s important to sterilize pacifiers, teething rings, and bottle nipples to avoid this.

However, preventing reinfection – or infection in the first place – is something you can do right at home. Yeast infection won’t go away: it could be something else, one good choice is cotton underwear. And if you’ve had thrush, tell us about your experience! Unless your doctor states otherwise, creams (usually water-soluble) or ointments (usually oily) need to be applied after feeds several times a day for the recommended period of time and until you’ve been free of symptoms for at least two days. The use of dummies may also contribute to yeast infections and should be avoided where possible.

Yeast typically resides harmoniously in body tissues in low concentrations. In the meantime, following the measures listed in “Treatment Measures for Sore, Cracked, or Bleeding Nipples” may bring some degree of relief. When breast pain is severe, your doctor may also prescribe painkillers such as paracetamol or ibuprofen. Note that vitamin E oil (mentioned at the end of the article) is not recommended for use on nipples because too much vitamin E can be toxic to baby. You should start to notice an improvement within a few of days but it may take longer for the infection to be completely gone. Treating any other candida infections in the family may help.

Breast pain alone is less likely to indicate a thrush infection. Ask baby's MD to check for both oral thrush & candida diaper rash. It’s thought that feeding your baby milk you pumped when you were infected could lead to your baby (and then you, if you nurse or comfort nurse) getting reinfected. If you are using teats or dummies make sure you wash and then boil clean them after each use.

  • If the baby is younger than 4-6 weeks of age, expressed milk should be offered by way of an alternative feeding device to lessen the risk of nipple confusion.
  • To encourage and replenish good bacteria, a probiotic supplement like Lactobacillus acidophilus can be consumed, as well as yogurt with active cultures.

Breastfeeding Tips

After your baby is born, or during labor and delivery, antibiotics – taken by you or your baby – can trigger a case of thrush. Also known as “thrush” when referring to baby and “yeast infection” when referring to moms. People taking antibiotics are also more likely to get thrush, since antibiotics can kill both good and bad bacteria, creating this imbalance. Probiotics, the good news? Thrush thrives in sweet sugary environments so change breast pads often and you could try reducing your sugar intake during an active episode of Thrush. It can cure a yeast infection, but seems to work about as often as it doesn’t ( Source ). However, in rare cases, it can cause some irritation in baby’s mouth.

Also toss out any milk you expressed and stored while you were infected. The color is often a deep pink. Candida albicans is a type of fungus that can cause infections in various warm and humid places, such as the nipples, breasts, skin, vagina, mouth, and baby’s bum → these infections are commonly called “thrush” or “yeast infections”. Thrush could be the problem, but poor latch is also a common reason for cracked nipples. The drug is also available on prescription as a daily regimen for 10 days.

It’s safe for baby and won’t interfere with your skin’s good bacteria. Sometimes sharp, shooting pain radiates from the nipple into the breast or into the back or arm. Boil all pacifiers, bottles, nipples, and pump parts for 20 minutes each day. There should be no change in the shape or colour of the nipple after a feed. It can impact both mum and bub and, although not dangerous, it is something worth knowing about. Sometimes it takes a little effort to find the right medication for your thrush. They have similar symptoms, and both can get better within a day or two.

Where Does Thrush Occur?

Wearing damp breast pads or bras also offers an introductory breeding ground. ● Nipple eczema. Candidiasis and Breastfeeding (Unit 18); Amir L, Hoover KL, Mulford CA: Continuing to breastfeed can help maintain your milk supply. Consider adding bleach or distilled white vinegar to the wash. If it becomes too painful to nurse, you may want to pump your milk temporarily and feed it to your baby by cup or bottle until the pain lessens. These treatments can be done together, and can continue for 2-4 weeks or more, depending on instructions from your health professional. Gentian violet is a liquid that you swab on your nipples and in your baby's mouth.

URL link Brent N, Rudy SJ, Redd B, et al. 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. A yeast infection on your baby's bottom looks like a red, bumpy rash. Thrush is an irritating yeast infection caused by the fungus Candida albicans. If you avoid sugary foods and drinks while you're being treated for thrush, it may help you get rid of infection more quickly. The bright purple solution has antifungal properties, but must be used with caution. When there are less healthy bacteria, it leaves an opening for the yeast to grow.

Connect With Us

Change nipple pads and shields often. Thrush is a fungal infection that forms on the nipples or in the breast. To prevent reinfection, mothers should boil the baby’s pacifier for 20 minutes each day and boil all breast pump parts that come in contact with milk. All family members should be checked and treated for any candidal infections. But another important preventative is washing hands carefully after diaper changes, since babies can get yeasty diaper rashes.

However, when there's a change in the healthy balance of bacteria and yeast, Candida can grow and cause problems. Small quantities should be rubbed into the gums, cheeks and tongue until the recommended dose has been applied. If you are expressing, you can feed bub the freshly expressed milk but don’t freeze it as the milk may contain thrush bacteria. For you, your nipples and your breasts may hurt very badly.

In addition to medical treatment, proper hygiene and diet could reduce the likelihood of spreading or reintroducing the infection. I noticed my baby’s tongue was white. The most common issue is a weakened immune system, due to either illness – particularly diabetes – or stress. ● Impeccable hygiene is important as candida albicans can thrive in shared towels, laundry, clothes, breast pump parts, hands, toys etc. Place medication in a small cup, coat all over the inside of baby's mouth with a Q-tip or clean finger.

In This Article

Don’t put the dropper directly in his mouth and then back in the bottle, to avoid contaminating the medication. Dry heat (such as hair dryer or hot water bottle wrapped in a towel) is usually better than wet heat (such as a hot facecloth). I figured the discomfort was temporary and my nipples needed to callous and harden. Nipple infection, as a possible cause of nipple pain, must be considered especially when: Nystatin pills are sometimes recommended if symptoms still persist after a full course of treatment lasting two weeks or if a secondary yeast infection of the milk ducts causing shooting pains in the breast during or after a feeding is present. Recent use of certain medications like:

Call both your OB and your Pediatrician for assessment and treatment. Studies show that consuming large amounts of refined carbohydrate can exacerbate symptoms of thrush. New babies are still developing their immune systems (especially in the first 8 weeks), so both can be prone to infection. If they are persistent and do not wipe off, your baby might have thrush. Francis-Morrell J, Heinig MJ et al, Diagnostic value of signs and symptoms of mammary candidosis among lactating women. There are other medical conditions that cause nipple pain. According to HealthyChildren.

Can I use gentian violet to treat my nipples?

New research offers an alternative theory for some of the symptoms of deep breast thrush involving infection by certain strains of bacteria. The pain is often described as "burning" and does not improve with better latch or positioning techniques. 2020, Candidiasis and Breastfeeding, LLLI Schaumberg. Some mothers use crushed ice to reduce pain before starting to nurse. The baby may even refuse to nurse altogether because his mouth is sore. The usual dose is 1/4 to ½ tsp.

It should not be used longer than one week. If thrush is suspected, your healthcare provider will select the appropriate treatment for you and your tot. Unfortunately, these are common signs of thrush. Breastfeeding moms are usually instructed to use a topical cream, such as miconazole or clotrimazole.

None of these symptoms are specific for thrush. How severe is the pain? Change them frequently. Thrush cannot thrive in acidic conditions. Your doctor may also prescribe an antifungal cream like Nizoral (containing ketoconazole). How can thrush be prevented while breastfeeding?

Subscribe to WebMD Newsletters

Paper towels that are discarded after each use should be used for drying rather than cloth towels. Yeast infections, for a downloadable resource on this topic, please visit Planned Parenthood Toronto Factsheet Database. It's likely that your baby's provider will prescribe an antifungal medicine, such as nystatin, so you and your baby won't reinfect each other. Too much can break down the tissue, and then you have a whole new problem.

Though these findings haven’t yet been reproduced in humans, ACV will likely not cause you any harm to try. It’s good practice to wash and sterilize bottle nipples and pacifiers daily but extra important when dealing with thrush. The most common symptoms are a white patches in the baby’s month. To prevent cross-contamination and reinfection with thrush, Tran recommends: Maybe you and your family have been dealing with suspected thrush for weeks or months. When a breastfeeding woman or breastfed infant presents with symptoms suggestive of thrush, both mother and baby will need to be examined.

Health Solutions

● Both breasts are affected. It does not need to be washed off before nursing. Again, your baby should take the entire course of the medication. Keep your nipples dry between feedings. Don’t wear a bra or tank top for any longer than one day. Please be aware: Flu-like symptoms like fever, chills, body aches, nausea, vomiting, or fatigue. If you try this home remedy, be sure to rinse off the yoghurt before feeding your baby, if he's less than six months old.

Profile Menu

Do not put the medicine dropper in the baby’s mouth where it could pick up the infection. Treatment for thrush: A medical professional can help you to find out exactly what you are dealing with. All rights reserved. Breastfeeding: Research indicates that freezing does not kill yeast, but no one is sure if expressed milk can cause a recurrence. Yeast can easily spread to other family members, too.

Even a white tongue for your baby may have other causes for example a white coating on the back portion of the tongue has been associated with poor tongue function. 3 or 4 times a day. Is the pain in both breasts? You may find it helpful to contact one of our trained breastfeeding counsellors on the Breastfeeding Helpline 1800 686 268 (1800 mum 2 mum) and/or refer to our article on attachment.

Gentian Violet Treatment For Thrush

Thrush can appear in different parts of the body, but oral thrush is common, particularly in babies under 6 months. And, in instances of breastfeeding thrush, it can appear in your nipples and your baby’s mouth. So although pain may be the only symptom of a thrush infection, it’s important to exclude other causes. Thrush spreads easily, so both you and your baby need simultaneous treatment to avoid reinfecting one another – even if one of you is symptom free. The ingredients are as follows:

  • Wipe away any visible cream just before feeding your baby.
  • You can continue to breastfeed while being treated for thrush but many mums prefer to express as it can be painful to feed with thrush.
  • Saliva may increase and look whitish.
  • If symptoms persist for 2–3 weeks following these treatments, then bacterial infection is possible.
  • Many moms just wait to apply the medication until after they have finished breastfeeding.
  • Wash your bra, nursing clothes, pajamas, and bed sheets in hot water or bleach to kill the yeast.


It's caused by the overgrowth of a type of fungus called Candida albicans (also referred to as Monilia, candidiasis, or candidosis). A hot iron can also kill yeasts. A topical medication, like nystatin, is usually prescribed in a liquid form for the baby’s mouth, and the cream version for the mother. Yeast infections may also lead to plugged ducts and mastitis. Treatment of breastfeeding thrush in the mother usually comes in the form of an anti-fungal cream that you apply to your nipples after feeding.

The solution can be applied to the baby’s bottom with a squirt bottle before closing up the diaper. Treatment must be continued for at least 14 days even if symptoms disappear earlier. You’ll have to ask for it. Clinical guidelines. It is important to note that while yeast on baby’s bottoms or in their mouths may be tender and irritated, it does not seem to cause extreme pain like it does on the mother’s nipples or in her milk ducts. If your baby has white patches in his mouth, or breastfeeding is suddenly more painful for him than usual, you and/or your baby just might have a yeast infection — but not the vaginal kind you may have gotten in your pre-mommy days.

Hand expressing may be more comfortable than using a pump. An IBCLC lactation consultant can help rule out positioning as a cause of thrush-like symptoms and your health professional will advise which of a bacterial or fungal infection (or both) is most likely. The diaper area will have a red, raised rash.

I never want this to happen to me again. How can thrush be prevented while breastfeeding?

Continue with the treatment for as long as your doctor advises, even if the thrush seems to have cleared upIf your nipples are very red and sore your doctor may prescribe a mild steroid cream to help with healingTo ease deep breast pain, you can take a mild painkiller, such as paracetamol, until the worst is over and your treatment starts to workThrush pain and other symptoms should ease after two or three days. Diagnosis is best made after taking a thorough history of both mother and baby. ● There is pain:

Of antifungal medications, Diflucan is well tolerated. Having a little yeast in your body is harmless, and it's normally found on the skin and in the genital area, mouth, throat, and digestive tract. I was getting through the days with lots of sugary snacks, which definitely made things worse. This is your uterus shrinking back to a smaller size. Sometimes a bacterial infection can be present either alone or with yeast. What are the symptoms of thrush in breastfeeding moms? Avoid disposable breast pads, which can abrade and occlude the nipple.

Signs You May Have Thrush

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 12. In addition, the baby may have a fiery red diaper rash that does not respond to OTC diaper rash remedies. A fungal diaper rash is one of the symptoms of thrush. She’ll be reluctant to feed due to pain caused by the infection in her mouth. Apply the Gentian Violet once a day and no more. Or 5 ml (1 tsp) of sodium bicarbonate in 240 ml (1 cup) of water once or twice a day Herbal products and essential oils should not be applied to your nipples, as it is not clear how safe they are for your baby.

  • Cut back on sugar.
  • Thrush in the mouth looks like a thick white coating on the tongue.
  • Your baby can also encounter Candida on his pacifier, bottle nipple, or even on your hands.
  • They can lead to a mistaken diagnosis of a yeast infection.
  • The article Causes of Sore Nipples may also be helpful.
  • Usually you will be advised to spread the cream thinly around your nipples after feeds.

If You Have Thrush, You May Notice The Following:

Thrush in the first few weeks of feeding should be rare unless the mother had vaginal thrush at delivery or had deep breast thrush at the end of a previous lactation. If you suspect you and your baby may have thrush, you’ll want to see a doctor as soon as possible to get relief. If you are concerned about your health, or that of your child, consult with your health care provider regarding the advisability of any opinions or recommendations with respect to your individual situation. GSE can be added to the laundry, in a dose of 15-20 drops in the rinse cycle. (Lactobacillus acidophilus (probiotic) helps promote the growth of ‘friendly bacteria’).

See your baby ’s pediatrician and strictly follow her recommended course of treatment. Heinig JM, Pappagianis D, Dewey KG. APNO is available by prescription only, and is made of 3 ingredients, an anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, and anti-inflammatory. Adverse effects (such as vomiting, diarrhea, stomach cramps, and rashes) have only been reported in 5-30% of patients, and only 1-2% of patients had side effects severe enough to require them to discontinue the medication. Though the symptoms of thrush are painful, it is a harmless condition that can be taken care of with the right treatment. Rinse your nipples with clean water and let them air dry after each feeding. It is important to do this even if one of you does not have symptoms.

During the first few days to weeks after delivery, you may feel strong, menstrual-like cramps in your uterus when your milk lets down. This handout may be copied and distributed without further permission on the condition that it is not used in any context in which the International Code for the Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes is violated. If the area is extremely inflamed, ask your doctor about an ointment containing cortisone (such as Mycolog or Lotrisone). It's important to remember that while thrush is a nuisance to deal with, it's not harmful to your baby or you. Yeast infection: symptoms, causes, diagnosis, and treatment, avoid foods that can irritate your urinary system, including coffee, alcohol, and soda containing caffeine or citrus juice. Nipple thrush is often treated with Nystatin cream though your healthcare provider might prescribe an oral antifungal medication like Diflucan (fluconazole), depending on the severity of the infection. Use for at least 14 days.

For Mother:

You can also use OTC medication to make APNO yourself. The nipples may also look completely normal, but be terribly painful (just as the baby’s mouth may be infected, but not have white patches). • Always taste a topical medication yourself as your baby will be tasting it.

Treatments That May Be Suggested By Your Health Professional:

Also consider a possible alternative diagnosis: Taking a probiotic as a supplement after antibiotics can help to offset that risk a bit. High blood sugar levels can also lead to yeast overgrowth. They recommend apple cider vinegar for your yeast infection. If you express any breast milk while you have thrush, you'll need to give the milk to your baby while you're still having treatment. This is because the nipples are not used to breastfeeding. What is breastfeeding thrush? This way, both your nipple and the baby's mouth are treated, and it doesn't matter if you both are stained purple for a while.

Pain may be felt deep in the breast, sometimes as a stabbing pain and sometimes in the back and shoulders6. Altering the relative acidity (pH) of your nipple skin may reduce itching. Any skin that touches other skin is especially vulnerable for the breastfeeding dyad: What is thrush: Some people also sweat more during pregnancy. When these areas are left untreated, the yeast can show up again even after you think you've successfully treated the infection.

Acidophilus supplements of up to 24 tablets a day are not harmful, and may be helpful in severe or chronic cases. Add live culture to your diet once or twice a day. Yes, thrush is contagious. Many mothers are being treated for Candida albicans when they don’t have it. With thrush, there will usually be white patches in places other than his tongue. Esophageal candidiasis, irritation to the skin such as that caused by rubbing from tight clothing. It’s possible to reduce your chances of getting thrush again.