Candida Infection (Thrush)

Moms may experience:

  • Nipple pain that begins after a period of pain free breastfeeding.
  • Burning nipple pain throughout the breastfeeding that sometimes continues after the feeding.
  • Shooting or stabbing breast pain that gets worse toward the end of the feeding and is worse after the feeding; may be worse at night and may not involve nipple pain. The pain may extend to the back or shoulder.

While symptoms in baby may include:

  • Diaper rash that doesn’t respond to typical rash ointments.
  • White patches that cannot be wiped off on the inside of the mouth, along the inside of the gums, inside of the cheeks, roof of mouth, throat, or tongue.
  • A change in breastfeeding behaviors such as refusing the breast or pulling off the breast (thrush causes breastfeeding pain for baby, too).
  • Excessive gassiness due to the yeast’s invasion of the gut.
  • It’s important to know that some babies don’t have visible symptoms, but should be treated while mom is being treated.

Treatment:

  • Mom and baby should be treated at the same time to avoid passing the yeast back and forth. Although there are over-the-counter options for treatment, I recommend contacting mom’s OB and baby’s Pediatrician for diagnosis and any needed prescriptions.
  • Any pumping pieces and artificial nipples need to be sterilized, and bras, clothing, and sheets should to be washed in hot water. Also, any stored milk is safe to use while mom and baby are receiving treatment.
  • Relief may begin in about 48 hours, but it should be expected that it may be 10-14 days before the infection is resolved.

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