Breastfeeding and breast yeast infection?

September 10th, 2012 by Emily

Question: Breastfeeding and breast yeast infection?
Assuming you have no thrush issues to start with, and assuming that your baby develops thrush particularly in it’s mouth – is this how women generally contract a thrush infection of the breasts and consequently why it’s so common among nursing women? (yes i know it’s also caused by antibiotics given to women after birth eg after c-section etc, so let’s not solely blame the drugs).

Ie, can a yeast infection of the breasts usually be avoided by exclusively feeding baby with pumped breast milk instead of direct breastfeeding? (and i know about natural remedies and dietary changes that might reduce your risk of getting thrush, but this isn’t foolproof, especially not if baby is going to infect you everyday).

Some people really struggle to get rid of yeast infections and it could plague them for years or decades if they’re unlucky, and so I want to do all that is doable to try and stay away from contracting this in the first place.

So, from what i’ve read, what i mentioned above seems to be true. What state you?
Tnx for your view Mama Mia. I am in fact pregnant which is why I’m wondering about this.
Oh, and hypothetical issues are important because it could happen – I do a lot of research and reading before I do something that can affect my or baby’s health or well-being. So rather than going into something completely blind, I make myself aware of the possibilities.

Best answer:

Answer by Mama Mia
Why are you so worried about these hypothetical issues when it appears that you are not pregnant? Yeast infections of the breast are not particularly common if you are nursing, keeping your breast dry with disposable pads when not feeding and exposing them to air as much as possible. Babies can get thrush, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you will pick it up if your breasts are rinsed after a feeding and the babies infection is treated quickly. I have breast fed 6 children for at least 6 months apiece and only one ever had a bout with thrush. I never got thrush myself until I had extended antibiotic therapy for an abdominal surgery. I have also never known any woman who has stated this was a problem for her, either. It becomes very apparent when a baby gets thrush because they are uncomfortable, feed poorly and have white bleeding patches on their tongue or cheeks. If you were going to pump all the time, breast feeding wouldn’t be really worth the trouble because you would be taking the time to pump and then making bottles as well. I am a nurse and have never seen any women for whom yeast infections of the breast were a huge issue. Vaginal yeast infections yes, but breast infections from a nursing baby, NO.

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