As your nipples adjust to latching, they may feel sore or sensitive for the first few weeks of breastfeeding.
After your baby has been well-latched, if you're still experiencing intense discomfort or experiencing severe pain in your nipples, you may suffer from nipple thrush, a common breastfeeding problem.
Nipple thrush occurs when the Candida albicans fungus grows and spreads in moist, dark surroundings.
Candida usually lives on your skin, in your mouth, in your vagina, and in your gut. Still, other bacteria in your body typically fight against it, preventing it from causing any damage. It is possible, however, for the fungus to grow excessively under some conditions, causing infection.
In this article, I'll discuss nipple thrush's symptoms and causes. As well as explaining the infection, I'll also explain how it can be treated.
When you or your baby take antibiotics, it is possible to experience nipple thrush.
Bacteria are treated with antibiotics but can occasionally target "good" bacteria. Beneficial bacteria usually help to control the growth of "bad" bacteria and fungi like Candida.
Reducing "good" bacteria in your system can lead to yeast overgrowth and infection. A recent vaginal yeast infection, nipple thrush can also cause.
Cracked or damaged nipples are another cause of nipple thrush; Candida is easier to enter and infect in these cases. HIV and diabetes are also risk factors for nipple thrush.
A diagnosis of oral thrush in your baby may indicate nipple thrush, as skin-to-skin contact can spread the infection. To prevent spreading the infection, you and your baby should be treated simultaneously if you have thrush.
While you're being treated for nipple thrush, you can continue breastfeeding, although it may be painful.
It is also safe to feed your pumped milk to the baby when fresh, refrigerated, or frozen when you experience severe pain while breastfeeding.
The following symptoms can be associated with nipple thrush:
You should also check for the following signs of thrush in your baby since it is easily spread:
Topical antifungal creams are commonly used to treat nipple thrush.
Consult your doctor before using over-the-counter treatments. Oral pain medications such as Tylenol can help alleviate pain and reduce swelling caused by nipple thrush.
Antifungals that can be used to treat nipple thrush include:
Oral medications can also be used to treat nipple thrush:
It is necessary to treat nipple thrush with medication. You can also take steps to manage the infection at home, including hygiene and diet:
Infection-contact items should be thoroughly cleaned: Wash pacifiers, toys, teethers, breast pumps, and sippy cups regularly using hot water and soap. Boiling certain items for 20 minutes will sterilise them. Wash your clothing and bedding separately from another laundry, and use bleach when necessary. Surfaces the baby comes into contact with, such as diaper changing stations, should be cleaned regularly.
Wash your hands: Wash your hands thoroughly after touching your breasts or caring for your baby. All household members who care for the baby should also wash their hands.
Wash your breasts: You may also benefit from rinsing your nipples with vinegar and water after breastfeeding. Alternatively, as La Leche League International recommended, you can use one tablespoon of baking soda instead of vinegar in 1 cup of water.
Keep your breasts dry: To manage the infection, keep your breasts and nipples dry since the fungal infection thrives in moist environments. You can use a hair dryer on low heat after rinsing your nipples.
Reduce intake of sugar and yeast: Sugar is a food source for fungus, so it can worsen the infection. Yeast-containing foods and drinks like cheese, bread, and alcohol should also be reduced alongside sugar.
Increase intake of probiotics: Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that prevent yeast overgrowth. Probiotic supplements can be taken, or certain yoghurts can be eaten to increase probiotic intake.
You should contact your baby's and your baby's doctor if you notice any nipple thrush or thrush in your baby. This way, if needed, both of you can be treated simultaneously.
Don't hesitate to contact your physician if you experience symptoms after two to three weeks of treatment.
What is the best way to detect nipple thrush?
There are several signs of nipple thrush, including intense nipple or breast pain that persists after your baby has been well-latched cracked nipples and pink, red, shiny, or flaky nipples. The thrush infection is highly contagious. You probably have nipple thrush if your baby has oral thrush, which causes thick white patches in their mouth or a yeast diaper rash.
What is the treatment for nipple thrush?
Over-the-counter topical antifungal creams are commonly used to treat nipple thrush. Medications can also be taken orally. Nipple thrush can also be treated at home, including regularly washing your hands and any items you or your baby touch.
How does nipple thrush develop?
Candida albicans overgrowth causes nipple thrush. Taking antibiotics recently, suffering from a vaginal yeast infection, or having damaged nipples can contribute to this infection. Nipple thrush may result if your baby has oral thrush, which can be transmitted to you.
Do nipple thrushes go away on their own?
A prescription antifungal medication is usually necessary to treat nipple thrush. Choosing the right medication for you should always be discussed with your doctor.
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