Can I Breastfeed if yeast infection?

If you are breastfeeding and experiencing shooting, stabbing pains deep in your nipples, you may have thrush. This infection is caused by the same yeast that causes vaginal yeast infections.

It’s more common in newborns, those born prematurely, and women who have recently taken antibiotics. Antibiotics deplete the good bacteria that normally keep yeast under control.

yeast infection

Symptoms of yeast infection

Most yeast infections are caused by a specific type of Candida called Candida albicans. However it is possible to get an infection with other types of yeast, and these tend to be harder to treat. Signs of a yeast infection are often itching or burning in the vaginal area. Other symptoms may include a thick, white discharge that looks like cottage cheese. The infection can also cause pain with sex and when urinating or defecating. If you have recurrent yeast infections, talk to your provider about ways to prevent them.

Yeast infections can be treated with over-the-counter antifungal creams, ointments, and suppositories. These usually contain clotrimazole or miconazole and can take up to 7 days to work. You can find these products at your local drugstore. If these home treatments don’t help, you can also ask your provider to prescribe an oral antifungal medication such as fluconazole (Diflucan) or ibrexafungerp (Brexafemme). These medications kill the fungus in the whole body and can take weeks or months to work.

Avoid sugar and processed foods, which can promote yeast growth. Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Try eating yogurt or acidophilus milk to get more of the good bacteria lactobacillus that can help keep the fungus in check. If you have a condition that changes the balance of bacteria in your body, such as diabetes, or a weakened immune system, such as HIV or AIDS, you are more likely to develop a yeast infection.

Treatment of yeast infection

Yeast infections are very common and can be treated with creams, ointments or suppositories that can be purchased without a prescription.1 A yeast infection in and around the nipples and breasts can also be treated with antifungal medications (like nystatin cream) or, if necessary, oral medication (fluconazole).1 However, it’s important to remember that using these types of medicines on your nipples and/or in your baby’s mouth while you’re breastfeeding may irritate both of these areas, cause discomfort and contribute to antibiotic resistance.

Often, home remedies like unsweetened yogurt, diluted tea tree oil or apple cider vinegar may be helpful in relieving the symptoms of a yeast infection. However, they should never be used in place of a consultation and treatment from a healthcare provider.

If you have thrush, you should be treated by your healthcare provider for both you and your baby. This will help prevent passing the infection back and forth between you and your baby. Yeast can also live on things like pacifiers and toys so it’s important to keep them clean while both of you are being treated. You should also be sure to use all of the medications that your healthcare provider prescribes and to follow the course of treatment for as long as recommended. Yeast infections can be hard to conquer, but it’s worth it to make sure you and your baby are treated properly.

Prevention

The good news is that there are many preventative measures you can take to help reduce your chances of developing a yeast infection while breastfeeding. Some of these include adding “good” bacteria to your diet through yogurt or probiotic supplements and keeping the nipples clean and dry, especially after nursing. Also avoid wearing tight clothing or underwear and wiping from front to back after using the bathroom.

In addition, you can help control the growth of candida in your nipples by washing all items that come into contact with your breasts and baby’s mouth, such as pacifiers, bottles, nipple covers, teethers, toys, and washable parts of your pump. You can use hot, soapy water to wash these items daily or soak them in a solution of one part vinegar and four parts water for 30 minutes.

If you have nipple pain that doesn’t go away with these simple home remedies, it’s important to talk to your provider. You may have an infection that requires more extensive treatment. Your doctor may prescribe an antifungal medication such as fluconazole, which can be safely used during pregnancy and while breastfeeding. This medication passes through your milk, but the amount that is passed to your infant is very small. Your doctor may also recommend a topical cream such as nystatin oral suspension or a medicated nipple oil.

Questions to Ask Your Provider about yeast infection

Yeast infections are very common and usually treatable with home remedies or over-the-counter medications. But it’s important to talk to your healthcare provider about your symptoms to ensure you’re receiving the best treatment and are doing all you can to prevent future infections.

For example, if you’re experiencing nipple pain that doesn’t go away with a better latch or positioning, it could be signs of thrush. Also, if you’re using expressed or stored milk, be sure to warm it to 63 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes to kill any yeast that might be present before offering it to your baby.

If you think you may have a yeast infection, schedule an appointment with your health care provider or a lactation consultant. These are trained professionals who specialize in breastfeeding problems and can help you solve your problems quickly. If your health care provider thinks you and your baby have a yeast infection, they will probably prescribe an antifungal medication. This typically includes liquid medicine to put in your baby’s mouth and a cream to apply to the breast nipple area.

Conclusion 

Remember that it’s essential to consult with a healthcare provider, such as your obstetrician, pediatrician, or lactation consultant, for personalized advice and treatment recommendations based on your specific situation. With proper care and treatment, you can continue breastfeeding safely and effectively while managing a yeast infection. It’s also a good idea to clean your nipples, bottle nipples, and any detachable parts of your pump after each use. This can keep the fungus from growing on your skin and nipple areas and also prevent it from entering your milk ducts or mouth.

Can I breastfeed if I have a yeast infection in my nipples?

Yes, you can breastfeed if you have a yeast infection in your nipples. It’s generally safe to continue breastfeeding, but you should seek treatment to alleviate your symptoms and prevent the infection from spreading.

Is it safe for my baby if I have a yeast infection in my breasts?

With proper treatment and hygiene, it is safe to breastfeed your baby even if you have a yeast infection in your breasts. Taking precautions to prevent infection transmission to your baby is important.

Should I stop breastfeeding if I have a yeast infection?

It’s not usually necessary to stop breastfeeding due to a yeast infection. In fact, breastfeeding can help provide antibodies and immune support for your baby. Seek treatment and practice good hygiene to continue nursing.

What can I do to prevent my baby from getting a yeast infection during breastfeeding?

To reduce the risk of your baby getting a yeast infection, maintain good breast and nipple hygiene, avoid using harsh soaps or lotions on your nipples, and monitor your baby for signs of thrush (white patches in their mouth). Treat your infection promptly.

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