What is thrush?

A fungal infection, also called a yeast infection or thrush, can form on your nipples or in your breast. This type of infection thrives on milk and forms from an overgrowth of the Candida organism. Candida lives in our bodies and is kept healthy by the natural bacteria in our bodies. When the natural balance of bacteria is upset, Candida can overgrow, causing an infection.

What are the symptoms of Thrush?
  • Nipple soreness
  • Pink, flaky, shiny, itchy, or cracked nipples
  • Deep pink and blistered nipples
  • Achy breasts
  • Shooting pains deep in the breast during or after feedings

What is the treatment for Thrush?

Fungal infections may take several weeks to clear up, so it is important to follow these tips to avoid spreading the infection:

  • Change disposable nursing pads often.
  • Wash any towels or clothing that come in contact with the yeast in very hot water (above 122°F).
  • Wear a clean bra every day.
  • Wash your hands often.
  • Wash your baby’s hands often, especially if he sucks on his fingers.
  • Boil all pacifiers, bottle nipples, or toys your baby puts in her mouth every day. After one week of treatment, throw away all pacifiers and nipples and buy new ones.
  • Boil all breast pump parts that touch your milk every day.
  • Make sure other family members are free of thrush or other fungal infections. If they have symptoms, make sure they get treated.

If you or your baby has symptoms of a fungal infection, call both your doctor and your baby’s doctor so
you can be correctly diagnosed and treated at the same time. This will help prevent passing the infection to each other.

Who can help diagnose/treat Thrush?
  • Lactation Consultant (LC)
  • OB/Gyn
  • Primary Care Physician (PCP)