Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Thrush and breastfeeding

I'll start by saying I have personal experience with this and it was AWFUL. Don't make the same mistakes I did!!

When my twins were 3 weeks old, I broke my foot. I spent the next 3 weeks sitting on the floor of the living room with the babies and everything I needed in front of me. I was pumping at the time to increase my milk supply. Unfortunately I didn't know that you have to clean the pump parts each time you use them and since it was hard to get to the sink I only cleaned them once per day.

Within 2 weeks I had a bad case of thrush and so did the babies.

Symptoms of thrush in a breastfed baby are the same as in a bottlefed baby but the breastfed baby with have a mom with thrush too! The worst symptom in mom is pain and redness of the nipple area. You don't see the same white coating on the breast as you see in baby's mouth. You will see BRIGHT RED nipples (not really onto the breast, this can be mastitis which is something different), sometimes cracking and bleeding of the nipples. It is very painful.

If you as unlucky as I was this is what you should do:

Nystatin oral solution for baby and nystatin or mycelog (antifungal+ steroid which helps with the inflammation) for mom.
If the problem is the breast pump pieces then it might be a good idea to get new ones if you can. If you can't boil them and then boil them some more.

I used the Medela steam sterilizer bags after this little adventure. They were quick and easy and I never had another problem.

If you pumped milk while you had the infection it's probably ok to give to the baby. Keep nursing throughout this. If you stop then your pain will get even worse because your breasts will be engorged.

One of my twitter friends posted some great comments on a post from last week and I wanted to share them here. I have tried the All Purpose Nipple Ointment and it worked for me.

It's Camilla aka @multiplereason on twitter. I encounter thrush, candida more times in a week than I care to count. As a RN & International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) I see lots of mom/baby pairs in the area in which I live (Ontario, Canada)who have thrush/candidaof the breast/nipple.
First if a breastfeeding baby has thrush, BOTH mom & baby must be treated. It does no good to only treat baby.
Nystantin is the antifungal that docs here regularly prescribe, but most yeasts are becoming resistant to it and the thrush usually ends up coming back within in a period of weeks.
Also, I look at WHY did the thrush occur, often it may be due to poor latching & mom has had some damage to the nipples allowing the yeast to enter more easily. So correcting the original problem is part of the solution to getting rid of yeast.
I recommend Dr. Jack Newman's All Purpose Nipple Ointment (APNO) to be used after every feed (at breast). Sometimes along with Gentian Violet applied once/daily at night only.
The Newman Candida Protocol works, but needs to be followed strictly. The APNO & Gentian Violet are part of this protocol.
Plus reservoirs for candida need to be sanitized regularly by boiling pump parts (if pumping), pacifiers, bottle nipples, etc. If not sometimes the yeast will just come back because it's a cycle of reinfection.
You can find out more about The APNO & the Newman Candida Protocol by going to this link:http://www.nbci.ca/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=12:candida-protocol&catid=5:information&Itemid=17

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