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Q&A: Dealing with thrush?

"My son and I have had thrush for about four weeks and have had the nystatin. Just when it seems to get better, it gets worse and it doesn't want to go away!  What can I do to finally get rid of the 'Yeastie Beastie' and keep it from coming back? Also why don't they warn new breastfeeding mothers about this?!" --MrsMMHill

Re: "My son and I have had thrush for about four weeks and have had the nystatin. Just when it seems to get better, it gets worse and it doesn't want to go away!  What can I do to finally get rid of the 'Yeastie Beastie' and keep it from coming back? Also why don't they warn new breastfeeding mothers about this?!" --MrsMMHill

The Bump Expert

Why don't new moms warn each other about anything?! Sometimes I think there's a mommy conspiracy of silence.  Maybe people don't like to admit that they are having a hard time.

Yeast infections, or thrush on the breast, can be just one of those problems. It's painful and can take a while to resolve. You want to make sure your son is getting treated too; otherwise you will keep passing it back and forth to each other. You might ask your doctor about an oral medication, or even a natural remedy called gentian violet.

From the editors: Nystatin is a cream medication commonly prescribed for thrush. If this doesn't do the trick or you have deep breast thrush, your doc may also recommend Diflucan. Until you talk with the doc, make sure to wash your hands and nipples with soap and water every day. Rinse your nipples after every feeding, and always wear a clean bra. Nursing pads should be changed every time you feed.

Andi Silvermanm, author of Mama Knows Breast: A Beginner’s Guide to Breastfeeding

Q&A: Dealing with thrush?

My daughter and I passed oral/breast thrush back and forth for about the 4-6 weeks. It was painful for me, and a big pain in the rear. WE had the topical cream for me and the oral medicine for her that I had to rub around her mouth. NOT FUN! I also did not produce enough milk due to tubular breast tissue and my daughter's inability to latch on due to a shortened frendulum (sp? the tissue that connects your tongue to the floor of your mouth). There was even one occasion where I was seeing stars while breast feeding due to thepain and Ilooked down and a piece of my nipple skin has come off in my daughter's mouth! (sorry, TMI, mental picture, I know...) I was soooo stressed about breastfeeding issues, the pain of the thrush, the doctor's visits, and my less-than-ideal relationship with her father that I even ended up on high-blood pressure medicine for 6-8weeks post partum. (never had blood pressure issues during the pregnancy.) I just have to put it out there that breastfeeding is not perfect and happy for everyone and that it absolutely does NOT make you a bad mom if you choose to stop and use formula instead. If I was living in a third world country my daughter could have died of malnutrition if I did not have access to formula (or a wet nurse, I suppose). Please don't feel guilty! It is not a healthy emotion for you or the baby!

notthebride123 |

Q&A: Dealing with thrush?

Like the above post, I too have dealt with thrush. I stopped breastfeeding at 6weeks and my son is now 9 weeks and we are still dealing with the thrush. It has been such a stressful experience. I had to go back to work when my son was 5 weeks old and at 6 weeks we noticed he had thrush. The topical solution that we had to rub in his mouth with a q-tip did not work. It kept coming back during treatment. So the doctor now has him on diflucan. This is something the baby ingests. I am still rubbing the nipple cream on my nipples. When this first became an issue, everyone was telling me I could continue breast feeding. I do not see how that is a possibility. You are in pain the child is in pain ... after a couple of days of trying to just pump and feed him, I gave up the breast feeding. How could he get better if the milk is touching infected areas ... I aired on the safe side and stopped. My son did not mind the bottle at all!!!! Its a nightmare, and I would never wish this on anyone. My son is now screaming (as if in pain) irregularly during feedings. I think it is in his esphogous ... I am still stressed and worried. Breast feeding moms should be warnned of this ....

Leveros |

Q&A: Dealing with thrush?

im also dealing with thrush with my 6 week old but im not sure what cream am i supposed to be using for my nipples??

innasidorenko |

Q&A: Dealing with thrush?

The ointment is available by prescription so you'll need to talk to your doctor. I think its called Newman's Nipple Cream.

mlizmoran@columbus.rr.com |

Q&A: Dealing with thrush?

I used the nystatin for my son for a month and it didn't really work. I finally did the gentian violet. It is very messy, but really worked! I put vaseline all around his mouth before putting it on and used bibs to keep the purple drool from getting everywhere. I am very happy that it is all gone!

bradsfavoritegal |

Q&A: Dealing with thrush?

I am sorry you are going through this. I am positive no one tells you about all of the breastfeeding hurdles so they don't scare expectant moms away. I went through a month of thrush, weeks of blistered, cracked and bleeding nipples, a posterior tongue tie and a current dairy and soy allergy and we are still going strong. It was and still is at times the hardest thing I have had to do with my LO. It is completely worth it now that he is 4 months old and a chubby little sweetheart, but no one told me how hard it would be to get to this point. I saw numerous lactation consultants and the best advice I followed was Dr Jack Newman. http://www.nbci.ca/index.php Here is the link for thrush treatment also called Candida Protocol http://www.nbci.ca/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=12:candida-protocol&catid=5:information&Itemid=17 The thing that really kicked it was the gentian violet...messy but did the trick. Use Vaseline on LO around mouth and wear old clothes or no clothes if possible. Wash hands with non antibacterial soap so you don't kill the good bacteria. Also used a solution of 1 cup water 2 tbsp vinegar applied after feeding to kill yeast in conjunction with the APNO (Dr Jack's nipple ointment made by a compounding pharmacy) Washed clothes with 1 cup vinegar too! I had to be very diligent in treating it but after 2 weeks to 1 month it was gone. Good luck and stay strong you can beat this!

melissambertram |

Q&A: Dealing with thrush?

Agree with above posts that it doesn't make you a bad mother if you can or chose not to breastfeed. It is very difficult on top of adding thrush (candida), lack of sleep, etc. but if you want to kick the thrush following Dr Jack Newman's advice worked best for us. It also lists the ingredients for the nipple cream (APNO) which had my doctor write a specific prescription for. http://www.nbci.ca/index.php

melissambertram |

Q&A: Dealing with thrush?

I am doing the newman's crm for me and the nystatin for my baby. And my doc has me on Diflucan. This is our second time trying treat this. I wonder if I should use the gentian violet too? When I give him the nystatin it seems like most of it he spits back out. And I try to rub this tongue w/a Q-tip where he has the white coating on his tongue. I know I want this gone! I really don't want to quit breatfeeding.

alisonnicole |

Q&A: Dealing with thrush?

My son is 11 weeks old and I have basically been dealing with thrush since he was born.. I have used nystatin cream for my breasts and my baby has been taking oral nystatin as well. The cream did not work for me so I went on Diflucan and used the all purpose nipple cream prescribed by Dr. Jack Newman. The pain went away for the week I was on the Diflucan but came back when I was finished. I used Diflucan and the nipple cream AGAIN as well as grapefruit seed extract that Dr. Newman recommends painting on the infected breasts. I have had a lot of trouble trying to find the gentian violet. I am in so much pain again and am ready to give up. No one ever warned me that breastfeeding could be something that I would come to dread. I really want to breastfeed but I don't think I can do this any longer. I am miserable.

soontobemrskronmiller |

Q&A: Dealing with thrush?

My son and I had a severe case of thrush that we battled for 3 months before it resolved. We figured it developed because I was on antibiotics to treat mastitis. I worked closely with a lactation consultant. She had me follow Dr. Jack Neuman's candida protocol...We did 3 rounds of the gentian violet, I was on Diflucan for a month...we also did a round of Nystatin for my son but it didn't help. As per Dr. Neuman...I used grapefruit seed extract and probiotics and I gave my son probiotics as well. Because we were having such a tough time getting rid of it we did a bunch of extra steps...the LC said to completely eliminate carbs (including bread, pasta, fruit, dairy, any sugar) from my diet because the sugars I ate would get in my milk then the yeasts in my son's digestive system would feed on the sugars making it worse - it was an aweful diet, something I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy but it did help (plus I lost all my baby weight plus some!). In addition, I would clean my nipples with a vinegar solution and use a clean breast pad after every feeding. I stopped using soaps/shampoos with sulfates and switched to all natural soaps and used a fresh towel/washcloth each day for both my son and I. We heard wipes promoted yeast growth so we also began using damp washcloths dipped in a vinegar solution. Doing all these day in and day out was such a pain and I knew my son was uncomfortable because all the gas the yeast created. So many times I wanted to stop feeding and switch to formula in hopes it would help but I stuck with breastfeeding and I'm so glad I did! The gentian violet is the best bet to get rid of it, despite the mess. Good luck to all.

lcjones17 |

Q&A: Dealing with thrush?

Gentian Violet worked well for us. The thrush came and went for 4 weeks. Since I cut out dairy from my diet, it hasn't come back. I drink soy milk instead of cow's milk.

wifems10 |

Q&A: Dealing with thrush?

We used gentian violet as well - it's messy, but it really does work!

MrsFontenot |

Q&A: Dealing with thrush?

My daughter and I have been dealing with thrush for over 3 months (but am still breastfeeding). I've seen a lactation nurse and I highly recommend seeing one. Thrush is passed back and forth so both mom and baby need to be treated at the same time. We tried Nystatin and Diflucan but neither worked. I also ended up with a bacteria infection (because of improper latch) so now I have to treat that along with the thrush. But this is what I was prescribed that seems to be working. Gentian Violet once a day (at night) for 4 days ( rub nipple cream or Aquafor beforehand to keep from absorbing too much into skin--and baby wipes really help get it off!). Bacitracian Zinc, thin layer on nipple, 3x a day for 7 days (be sure to wipe of any residue before feeding), and Lotrimin AF cream (to fight bacteria), 2x a day for 14 days (wipe away any residue before feeding). I also wash all of her toys that she puts in her mouth every day with vinegar, soapy water, and then boil. Things that can't be washed I've just put away until the thrush is gone. I've also gone to many breastfeeding support groups and that really helps...just knowing that other moms have gone through it and tackled it is encouraging!

LadyPIlot1021 |

Q&A: Dealing with thrush?

My son had thrush and we were prescribed Nystatin...ended up getting worse...not better! So back to the ped we went! We then were told to try gentian violet and worked liked a charm!!! We were told to do it once for three days! GONE!!!

itsy7836 |

Q&A: Dealing with thrush?

we both had thrush and it seemed like it would never go away! i had the nystantin for us both, and it didnt do anything, so ilooked up natural cures online and talked to a le leche league rep. the only thing that seemed to help was virgin coconut oil (from walmart) and within a couple of days i noticed a difference! hope this helps

camilleb299 |

Q&A: Dealing with thrush?

My daughter and I both have had thrush for a couple of weeks. I am solely formula feeding because of a low milk supply. We are both seeing a breastfeeding specialist every week due to her lack of proper suckling, and of course my low supply. She was severly dehydrated at 4 days old and was admitted into the hospital. I am not sure if we contracted the thrush from the hospital or what, but it happened as soon as we got home. We are both on Diflucan to eradicate the thrush. She has it throughout her digestive system and in her mouth and I have it not only on my nipples but in my milk ducts; also known as candidasis. The only way to make sure that you and your baby stop the vicious cycle of passing it back and forth is not only to take the medication as directed, but to sterilize absolutley everything that goes into babies mouth and on your breast. Which means bottles, pacifiers, nipples, medicine syringes, etc.. The reccomended sterilazation time for thrush is 20 min. Vinegar also kills bacteria and fungus, we have been soaking the bottles and accessories in a 1:1 vinager and water dilution prior to washing and sterilizing. Seseame seed oil is a natural way to kill yeast, houwever I don't recommend it for severe cases. We used 1/4 teaspoon in each 2 oz bottle at first to see if it would clear up, but it didn't, we had a more severe case than we had thought. I am also changing nipple pads often as the yeast will get on the bra or t-shirt and keep infecting you. Pads also give you the relief of not doing a ton of laundry. So far, all of the precautions have worked great for us, even though they're a pain. My daughters mouth is almost completely clear of thrush and my nipples are getting better.

anikakimbrey |

Q&A: Dealing with thrush?

my baby and i had thrush for almost 4 weeks, and the nystantin didnt work at all! i used virgin coconut oil on myself and in his mouth (using cotton swabs) and in a matter of days it cleared up! you can get the oil at walmart, it comes in a jar and you have to melt it. hope you both feel better soon!

camilleb299 |

Q&A: Dealing with thrush?

Grrr...Why don't more people warn you about thrush and tell you about the first signs of it before you get it!! Things I have learned recently: 1. "Yeast smell" coming from breasts probably = thrush (Had I known this, I could have at least prevented my daughter from getting it too!) 2. Wearing a bra constantly can increase your chance of get thrush and mast....I have been wearing mine to bed because I didn't want to leak everywhere...big mistake I guess :( 3. Sterilize, sterilize, sterilize! 4. With thrush comes diaper rash, so you might as well start putting on the butt paste as soon as the thrush hits. Cure: My doc told me to get Gentian Violet and 1x/day for 3 days after a night feeding to wipe out her mouth and put the G.V. on it (be careful, it stains clothes) And then for me, I rub a thin layer of Lotrimin on my breasts after each feeding. So far, hers seems to be getting better...mine...I'm not sure yet...They said if the thrush doesn't leave her completely I could try again in 7 days after ending the first treatment. I'm afraid that hers might not go away completely w/only the 1st treatment since I still have it on my breasts, but we'll see.

MicahBeth02 |

Q&A: Dealing with thrush?

Why dont they tell you at the hospital or something! I had thrush up until now. my baby is five month. i have been treating her and my thrust. the thing that's interesting to me is how doctors just prescribe these things that mostly don't work and aim for just killing the yeast, not solving the bacteria imbalance problem. you've got to fix your immune system. take tons of vitamins c and good bacteria. I've been taking natures way primadophilus with nucleus. This helps balance the good and bad bacteria in your body so yeast doesnt recure

marcellamitchell |

Q&A: Dealing with thrush?

Giving a finger lick of that to help baby immune system also. along with lightly wiping vinegar water on nipples and lathering with lanolin has healed me and my daughter up and its only been a week. i qtip baking soda water in her mouth too. worked like a charm :0)

marcellamitchell |

Q&A: Dealing with thrush?

Dang auto correct it's primadophilus with bifidus not nucleus haha

marcellamitchell |

Q&A: Dealing with thrush?

I had this problem and tried most of the treatments suggested by the other moms. When I didn't think it will ever end a friend recommended me Three Lac. It worked.After that I tried to increase my immune system.

AudreySimpson |

Q&A: Dealing with thrush?

This Isn't JUST a breast feeding issue. I didn't BF my son very long, and he got it. Twice. We are EBF with my daughter, and she now has it as well. Its a terrible thing. The Nystatin liquid works wonders, (as the cream does too). The liquid you can dab onto your breasts so that baby gets it that way, too and it helps prevent you from it. You can also get a probiotic (look for the powder), You use 1/4 TBS (i believe- tells you correct amount on the bottle), and you can put into expressed milk, AS WELL as sprinkle a little in baby's diapers so that it helps kill the yeast infection. It is a great tool to add along with the medication!

m853088 |

Q&A: Dealing with thrush?

Both mother and baby must be treated together in order to clear up the infection. Try to eat lots of yogurt (the kind with live active cultures) and acidophilus. This encourages good bacteria to live in your gut and discourages the growth of yeast. Effective inexpensive treatment is gentian violet. It can be used on the nipples and in the baby’s mouth or diaper area. An oral antifungal medication fluconazole (Diflucan) can be prescribed by your doctor for very stubborn thrush.

DoubleMom |

Q&A: Dealing with thrush?

My ND had me give the baby Gentian Violet. http://www.nbci.ca/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=73:using-gentian-violet&catid=5:information&Itemid=17 I did it two times and the condition cleared significantly. Probably a few more and she'd be at 100%. I was told if doesn't bother her and I am not showing any symptoms, it's okay to not treat and see how the condition goes.

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Q&A: Dealing with thrush?

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