What can I do about yeast/thrush infections?

Yeast/Thrust Vaginal yeast infections are something every woman wants to avoid. Mothers may get yeast infections on their nipples as well if the conditions are right for yeast to overgrow. Antibiotics are the culprit in many situations. If you find yourself on an antibiotic for any reason or if your baby has thrush, it is important to protect yourself from a yeast infection by limiting wheat, refined sugar, honey and of course alcohol in your diet. Acidophilus is a supplement that can be helpful in maintaining normal intestinal flora. If you do get a yeast infection on your nipples, symptoms may include a red "sunburned" area around the nipple covering part of the areola, white bumps on this nipple or areola, OR you may have neither of these visible signs, but you have sharp shooting burning pains even in-between feedings, not just when the baby latches on.

Healing always necessitates that you and the baby are treated simultaneously. If the pediatrician has prescribed oral Nystatin for oral thrush or Nystatin cream for a yeast diaper rash, these products can be used on your nipple as well. Diflucan may be prescribed by your OBGYN or family doctor, but if you have topical symptoms, treat them as well with cream or Gentian Violet. If you are using over-the counter-medications, Monistat cream can be used on your nipples after the baby nurses and on the baby's bottom. The baby's mouth would need to be treated with Gentian Violet which is a purple substance obtained at a pharmacy. It usually comes in 1% solution, but need to be diluted to .5% by using half Gentian Violet and half water. If using Gentian Violet, it is not necessary to use another product on the same area. Paint the baby's mouth or your nipples with the diluted solution. Wait for the purple to disappear before re-applying. Do not apply more than three times! If you are using a cream instead, you may want to rinse the nipples in a glass bowl filled with warm water and a tablespoon of vinegar.

To prevent yeast from re-occurring:

  • Do not freeze breastmilk for later use. Spores with become active again when defrosted.
  • Use breathable disposable bra pads like the Lansinoh's Comfort Plus or Ultra Soft pads. Most other brands are not 100% paper and will greenhouse the yeast. Change them with every feeding.
  • Boil plastic items like bottle nipples, bottles, and breast pump parts with each use. Use as few of these items at this time as possible because they will need to be replaced near the end of your treatment.
  • Treat both mom and baby until both no longer exhibit symptoms. Then treat for three days after that point to prevent recurrance. During this time, discard and replace bottle nipples, breast pump parts that touch the milk, plastic bottles, pacifiers, etc.
  • Never loan out your breastpump or use someone else's used personal breast pump. It is just like sharing underwear, a toothbrush or a swimsuit!
  • Take Acidophilus, eat plain vanilla yogurt, limit refined sugar, wheat, honey and alcohol in your diet for two weeks after yeast infection.

    If you have any questions, give us a call at (801) 281-1881.