Pumping while being treated for thrush?

February 18th, 2014 by Emily
treat thrush
by Vietnam Plants & The USA. plants

Question: Pumping while being treated for thrush?
Over the last few days I thought the pump I use was causing my nipples to crack and peel around the base of the nipple, turns out it’s thrush! My daughter and I are both being treated for the yeast. It is really painful when I nurse, so I am wondering if I can still pump a few times a day or should I move until the pain has gone and my nipples are back to normal?
I am trying to build a good milk supply cos I wish to return to work soon. Early yesterday morning after I pumped, I noticed a crack and a little bit of blood. I havent pumped since then. It REALLY hurts to feed, so I would really like to alternate between the two. I have a nipple shield, but I don’t want to cause any confusion for my daughter. Anyone else been through this and know of some good home remedies for the pain?

Best answer:

Answer by Me
Even freezing does not kill yeast, so unfortunately any milk you pump during this (painful) time will be infected with the thrush. So even after the infection has cleared, you can pass it back to your baby (and then on to yourself) when you thaw and feed her the infected milk.

It is best to stop storing your milk until you are both free of the infection for several days. You can pump if you need to relieve engorgement, but dump it out. Then boil and sterilize all pump parts, bras, nursing bras, re-usable nursing pads, and any shirts/pajamas you have worn without a bra. What a pain, I know, but that thrush can be stubborn. Good luck!


Please don’t listen to the mortal below as you will be passing the thrush back to yourselves over and over! Trust me. Here is just ONE source backing up my advice to dump it out. Do a swift search and you’ll find MANY more:


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One Comment on “Pumping while being treated for thrush?”

  1. Liesel says:

    Well, you have to keep nursing and/or pumping. Don’t stop or you’ll mess up your supply. The first thing is to make sure you have a high quality pump. I used a Medela when I had to pump. It was expensive, but sooo worth it. If you can’t afford one, go to the lactation consultant at your local hospital and borrow a hospital grade pump (or contact LLL). As far as nursing, try Ibuprofen 800 mg a half hour before nursing. I took it around the clock when I had mastitis. Try and remain relaxed even when it hurts. I know it’s hard.

    I used gentian violet at the first hint of yeast. I don’t even know if it was yeast. Lol. When the cracking started, I covered my nipple in gentian violet. It’s a mess and stains like crazy, but I’ll take it over thrush (the stains did eventually fade out of the receiving blankets).

    Good luck. Good for you for hanging in there : )

    **Me: She does not have to discard her milk. Ask your pediatrician if you don’t believe me.

    ** I am sorry, but I double checked and La Leche suggests frequent, short feeding while washing your nipples before and after. http://www.llli.org/FAQ/thrush.html
    The article specifically says the milk you pump can be fed to the baby.

    **What To Expect The First Year specifically states, “Breastfeeding need not be interrupted if one or both of you have been diagnosed with thrush. You’ll just both be treated at the same time for one to two weeks until the symptoms have cleared.”

    Also supporting continuing to nurse:

    If you treat yourself and the baby as prescribed, you can nurse normally, albeit painfully.

    **Me: I am not saying she can save it for a long time. I am saying that in order to pump for work, to be used that day or the following, she can do that. Even your website suggested she keep nursing. It was childish to go to all my answers and give me thumbs down…

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