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Yeast Infection Treatment While Breastfeeding

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How Can I Prevent A Nipple Yeast Infection

Treating Pregnancy Symptoms : How to Treat Yeast Infections During Pregnancy

You can prevent nipple yeast infections by keeping your breasts and nipples clean and dry. Be sure to wash your breasts and nipples with warm water after breastfeeding, and then pat them dry. Rinse your nipples with a vinegar-water solution after each feeding. Use a vinegar-water solution of 1 tablespoon vinegar to 1 cup water. Other steps you can take to prevent nipple yeast infections include:

  • Breast pads: Use disposable breast pads without waterproof liners. Change your breast pads often. If you use reusable breast pads, wash them in hot, soapy water. Boil them in a vinegar-water solution for five minutes after washing.
  • Bras: Wear a clean, comfortable cotton bra. Change your bra daily. Wash your bras in hot, soapy water. Dont sleep in your bra.
  • Hand washing:Wash your hands frequently. Wash your hands before and after nursing. Also, wash your hands before and after applying antifungal cream to your nipples.
  • Cleaning: Clean baby items such as bottles, pacifiers, teethers, toys and breast pump parts in hot, soapy water often. Boil everything for five minutes immediately after each use.
  • Diet: Avoid sugary and starchy foods, and limit alcohol. Consider adding a probiotic to your diet.

How Long Does A Nipple Yeast Infection Last

It may take some time to get rid of your nipple yeast infection. Your nipple yeast infection may go away within a week or two of starting an antifungal treatment. But they can be difficult to treat. If your symptoms persist, see your healthcare provider.

A note from Cleveland Clinic

Nipple yeast infections are common, especially during breastfeeding. You can typically treat them with antifungal medications. But nipple yeast infections can take time and patience to get rid of. If you have symptoms of a nipple yeast infection, see your healthcare provider. They can give you proper treatment options so youll be feeling better as soon as possible.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 05/09/2022.


Breast Yeast Infection Treatment

A mild yeast infection can clear up on its own in a few days. However, a more severe infection can take up to two weeks to resolve if not treated and could lead to further complications such as pain, inflammation, and skin infection. If you have a breast yeast infection, you can first try treating it with over-the-counter medications like the antifungal clotrimazole and hydrocortisone cream to reduce redness and swelling.

If an over-the-counter medication doesnt seem to be helping or symptoms worsen, you should consult your doctor, who can prescribe a more potent antifungal.

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Preventing Yeast Infection In Pregnancy

Its hard to control your hormones during pregnancy. You can take extra care of your vaginal area, keeping it dry and allowing air to circulate down there. Try the following:

  • Practice proper hygiene always wipe from front to back.
  • Make sure your vaginal area is dry before wearing your underwear.
  • Wear cotton, breathable undergarments.
  • Sleep in your undies to allow the area to breathe.
  • Dry and change clothes as soon as possible after swimming.
  • Avoid too much sugar or refined carbs yeast loves sugar.
  • Drink lots of water and pee regularly to help flush out infection-causing bacteria.
  • Include yogurt and other products containing live lactobacillus species in your diet.
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Treating Thrush When You’re Breastfeeding


You can carry on breastfeeding while you and your baby are treated for thrush.

Oral thrush in babies is usually treated with an anti-fungal gel or liquid. This is safe for your baby to have. It’s important to wash your hands carefully after treating your baby.

See more about treating oral thrush in babies.

Thrush in breastfeeding women is usually treated with a cream that you sparingly spread on and around your nipples after feeds. You’ll need to wash your hands thoroughly after treating yourself. Some women may need to take anti-fungal tablets to clear the infection.

Once you and your baby start treatment, your symptoms should improve within 2 to 3 days. It will take a little longer for the infection to clear completely.

If you don’t see any improvement within 7 days, speak to your health visitor or GP.

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Some Signs Of Thrush For Babies

  • Babys mouth has white patches surrounded by diffuse redness.
  • Baby is fussy, gassy and cranky.
  • Baby repeatedly pulls off the breast or refuses breast. Your sexual partner may also have a yeast infection.

If both you and your baby have symptoms of yeast, both of you should be seen by a healthcare provider and treated. Some healthcare providers will treat both mother and infant at the same time, even if one does not have symptoms.

Should I Call My Doctor Or Nurse If I Think I Have A Yeast Infection

Yes. Seeing your doctor or nurse is the only way to know for sure if you have a yeast infection and not a more serious type of infection.

The signs and symptoms of a yeast infection are a lot like symptoms of other more serious infections, such as STIs and bacterial vaginosis . If left untreated, STIs and BV raise your risk of getting other STIs, including HIV, and can lead to problems getting pregnant. BV can also lead to problems during pregnancy, such as premature delivery.

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Fluconazole Use While Breastfeeding

Your doctor may prescribe a triazole antifungal agent called Fluconazole. As a breastfeeding mom, its only natural that you may feel concerned about taking any medication, in the event that it could pass through your milk to your little one. Youll be relieved to know that the American Academy of Pediatrics considers Fluconazole safe for use while breastfeeding. While it does pass through your milk, the amount your baby may receive is far smaller than the amount youre taking.

Products For Treating Thrush


Throughout this post, weve mentioned a few ways to help you prevent and treat thrush.

There are many items out on the market to help you through this time. You can find them online or through your local baby store.

  • Nursing Pads for Thrush: The right breast pads can prevent your breasts from becoming a breeding ground for Candida yeast.
  • Breast Therapy for Thrush: Gel packs and heat therapy pads may bring you some relief if your nipples and breasts are in pain due to thrush.
  • Creams for Thrush:Nipple creams and lotions can provide relief for moms with cracked, sore nipples due to thrush.
  • Baby Probiotics: Probiotics can help restore healthy bacteria levels. While its easy for mama to get her fix with some yogurt, a baby may have a harder time with their sensitive stomach.

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How Do I Keep The Yeast Infection From Recurring

While treating a yeast infection, you will want to do everything you can to discourage yeast growth. Yeast loves warm, moist places, so:

  • Air dry your nipples after feeding.
  • Make sure you wash your hands frequently.
  • Change your nursing pads often.
  • Wash any clothing that comes in contact with the yeast in hot water.
  • You can also line dry the clothing items in the sun to further discourage yeast growth.

Keep your skin clean and make sure you are getting probiotics. Yogurt that contains live cultures will encourage the growth of good bacteria and discourage yeast. Probiotic capsules that contain Lactobacillus acidophilus will also help. My favorite way to get good probiotics is by drinking kefir.

The biggest thing you can do is cut back on sugar! Yeast loves sugar, so you should try to limit it as much as possible in your diet.

Keep Your Breasts Dry And Cool

Yeast likes to grow in dark, warm places, and Candida is no exception.

Prevent thrush by making sure your breasts remain cool and dry:

  • Avoid tight clothing made of synthetic fabrics.
  • Choose nursing pads made of natural fabrics. Plastic liners and rubbery fabrics can trap heat and irritate the skin.
  • Change your breast pads often. If you wear moist breast pads too long, bacteria and fungi can grow in the warm, damp environment.
  • Moisturize your breasts sparingly. If you do, make sure the moisturizer absorbs well, and dont put your bra or clothes on before your skin is dry.

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  • Most pediatricians treat thrush with oral Nystatin suspension which must be applied to all affected areas. Do not put the medicine dropper in the baby’s mouth instead place the dose in a small, washable dish and use a Q-tip to apply.
  • Gently wipe out the infant’s mouth with a moistened gauze pad after each feeding and before applying the medication.
  • Boil all pacifiers, bottle nipples, and pump parts for 10 minutes each day, or use Medela Quick Clean Microwave Steam Bags.
  • Wash the baby’s hands often, particularly if the hands are in the mouth.
  • For a diaper rash yeast infection, wash baby’s bottom with warm, mild soapy water, and then rinse with a vinegar and water solution . Pat dry or use a hair dryer on a low setting to dry the area. Apply an antifungal cream such as Mycolog, Lotrimin, or Motherlove Diaper Balm before diapering. Your pediatrician can prescribe a treatment.
  • Expose baby’s bottom to the air several times a day.
  • An alternative remedy to the antifungal medication is to prepare a paste of baking soda and water . Apply this solution to the affected areas in the baby’s mouth with a Q-tip. This remedy may also be used on the mother’s nipples or the baby’s bottom.
  • Mother:

  • Whichever medication you use, apply medication after each feeding and remove before feeding again. Use a cotton ball soaked in olive oil to remove the medication.
  • Wash your hands frequently. Use paper towels for drying
  • Change bra daily.
  • There are safe probiotics available for babies too.
  • Vaginal Thrush And Breastfeeding

    Breastfeeding? Struggle with Thrush? this simple and effective way can ...

    This information can also be viewed as a PDF by clicking here.

    The information provided is taken from various reference sources. It is provided as a guideline. No responsibility can be taken by the author or the Breastfeeding Network for the way in which the information is used. Clinical decisions remain the responsibility of medical and breastfeeding practitioners. The data presented here is intended to provide some immediate information but cannot replace input from professionals.

    Creams and pessaries containing Clotrimazole and oral single dose treatments of fluconazole can be used during breastfeeding as small amounts pass into breastmilk.

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    Do I Need To Stop Breastfeeding

    If either you or your baby has thrush, its important for you to both be treated, even if one of you does not have symptoms. It is not necessary to stop breastfeeding during treatment.

    You may wonder if pumping your breast milk may help during this period. This is not recommended since you could contaminate your pump parts and bottles with the Candida or transfer it to your baby through the pumped milk.

    You can feed your baby fresh or frozen breast milk while you are both being actively treated, but you should not store milk you have pumped during a bout of thrush . Freezing will deactivate yeast but not kill it .

    Editor’s Note:

    Monistat During Breastfeeding: Is It Safe

    Monistat or Miconazole is an anti-fungal drug used for the treatment of infections. It is placed intravaginally in the case of vaginal yeast infections. Topical use is seen in localized fungal infections. Vaginal creams are usually applied once every alternative day. During pregnancy, more use of Monistat is beneficial in eliminating the chances of development of future infections.

    During breastfeeding as such, no adverse effect of Monistat is observed. However, only a small amount of Monistat could pass from the mother to the newborn through breastmilk when used topically or intravaginally. It is even safe to be directly used on the newborns for the treatment of fungal infection.

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    Comprehensive Care For Thrush Infection In Breastfeeding Mom And Baby

    Thrush is another name for a yeast infection. Yeast grows rapidly in warm moist areas. A yeast infection may be present on mothers nipples or breast or in your babys mouth or diaper area. Sometimes both mother and baby have a yeast infection, or only one person has a yeast infection. To prevent the spread of yeast, wash your hands frequently when touching your breast, babys mouth or babys diaper area. Below are symptoms you or your baby may experience if a yeast infection is present.

    Thrush While Breastfeeding: Causes Symptoms And Treatment


    19 Apr 2022 | 3 min Read

    19 Apr 2022 | 3 min Read

    One of the many things that pregnant women are not prepared for is breast and nipple pain. This is just one of those things that come with being a new mother and it is normally caused by the hormones acting up, your nipples being sore and having to feed your baby constantly. But if your nipples are dry, cracking up and hurting a lot, then it could mean something else.

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    How To Get Rid Of Breast Thrush And Treat It

    If you suspect that you or your baby have thrush tell your health visitor or GP. They will examine you and may take a swab from your babys mouth or your nipples to confirm it. They will also check that the pain or discomfort isnt being caused by another issue.

    Generally, mothers will want to get breast thrush treated quickly so it doesnt get in the way of their baby feeding. The quickest route is a topical cream, which can be prescribed by a medical professional or bought over the counter at pharmacies. If the thrush is severe, you may be prescribed oral medication such as fluconazole.

    You may have heard that you can scrape thrush off your babys tongue. This is not advised as it may cause bleeding.

    Your baby will also need to be treated.

    Complications For The Baby

    When someone with a yeast infection gives birth, it is possible for them to pass the Candida fungus along to their baby during delivery. This typically happens in the form of oral thrush, consisting of thick, white patches in their mouth. Fortunately, oral thrush can be easily treated with antifungal medication and doesnt cause any permanent harm to the baby.

    At this point, there is preliminary data that suggests a yeast infection during pregnancy may be associated with an increased risk of complications, like:

    • Premature rupture of membranes
    • Congenital cutaneous candidiasis

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    Human Data In Breastfeeding

    Fluconazole has been reported to be excreted in human milk. Schilling et al describe a woman who was taking 200 mg of oral fluconazole per day for 30 days. Milk samples were obtained 8 days post partum . The maximum level of fluconazole detected in the milk was 4.1 mg/L, measured 2 hours after the dose. The estimated RID calculated with this value was 17%. The fluconazole elimination half-life in breast milk was calculated to be 26.9 hours in this report.

    In another report, breast milk concentrations of fluconazole after oral administration of 150 mg were 2.93 µg/mL, 2.66 µg/mL, 1.76 µg/mL, and 0.98 µg/mL at 2 hours, 5 hours, 24 hours, and 48 hours, respectively. The estimated RID was 17% in this case. The terminal half-life in breast milk was calculated to be 30 hours.

    It is important to note that the RIDs calculated in the above studies used the highest level of fluconazole in the breast milk, not the average level therefore, these are overestimates, as the infant would not be exposed to this amount with each feeding.

    Safe Treatments For Thrush While Breastfeeding

    Pin by Christy Baltazor on Breastfeeding

    All of the following remedies are considered safe for breastfeeding moms and do not require that you stop nursing. It is important that the doctor prescribes a treatment that is compatible with breastfeeding:

    • Nystatin Nystatin is an antibiotic that is available as drops, pills and cream. Some thrush infections are resistant to Nystatin, so some physicians are beginning with other treatments first.
    • Monistat Over the counter anti-fungal medications like Monistat might work. Just make sure the excess is cleaned off before nursing. If diaper rash responds quickly to a medication like this, it is a good sign that it is yeast-based.
    • Acidophilus Acidophilus is a good bacteria that normally keeps yeast in control. Even if you are taking antibiotics, adding acidophilus is a good idea to repopulate the good bacteria in the body. If you have a minor yeast infection and are willing for the healing process to take a little longer, adding acidophilus as a supplement can be a good solution. This can be given to the baby as well.
    • Garlic Adding garlic to your diet will knock the yeast out quickly. Take it during the infection and for 1 2 weeks after it is gone on a daily basis.
    • Grapefruit Seed Extract Make a mixture of 10 drops of Grapefruit Seed Extract to one ounce of water. Use this mixture with an cotton swab on moms nipples and babys mouth every hour that baby is awake. Moms also may take capsules to get rid of the systematic yeast as well.

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    How To Get Rid Of Yeast

    Candida grows and spreads quickly, so it can be hard to get rid of it. Yeast can easily spread to other family members, too. If you think you and your baby have thrush, you need to get treated together. Call your doctor and your baby’s doctor so that you can get diagnosed and treated quickly. Here is some additional advice to help speed the healing process.

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