Treating Thrush Infections

June 19, 2012

Thrush is a common yeast infection that occurs in many breastfed babies and their mothers. Yeast occurs naturally in everyone’s bodies, but if it grows too rapidly, an infection can develop making breastfeeding more challenging. By following a simple treatment, as recommended by a doctor or healthcare provider, mom and baby can return to normal breastfeeding very quickly.

What causes thrush?
Thrush is caused by an imbalance of yeast in a baby’s mouth. A strong immune system and a healthy amount of “good” bacteria is typically enough to maintain a normal level of yeast, but, if your baby is ill or on antibiotics, a thrush infection may develop. Also, if you had a yeast infection during pregnancy or childbirth, or if you received antibiotics after your delivery, your baby may be more prone to a thrush infection while breastfeeding.

What are the symptoms of thrush?
If your baby has a thrush infection, you may notice white patches in your baby’s mouth. Some babies experience little or no discomfort, while others’ mouths become inflamed and painful. You may notice your baby is less interested or fussy during breastfeeding because of the irritation. It’s also possible for your baby to pass thrush on to your nipples, and vice versa. If you notice irritation, redness or shooting pain in your nipples, you may have a thrush infection too.

How can I treat it?
If you suspect thrush, reach out to your doctor or healthcare provider for treatment options. He or she may prescribe a topical anti-fungal treatment or an oral medication for both you and your baby, as it is easy for mothers and babies to pass thrush to one another. When you’re not breastfeeding, try to keep your nipples clean and dry. If you’re pumping, thoroughly clean and dry all pump parts that come in contact with breast milk. If you or your baby aren’t feeling better after 10 days, your doctor or healthcare provider may recommend an additional treatment plan.

Moms, do you have any tips for treating a thrush infection? Share your experiences in the comments below.

12 thoughts on “Treating Thrush Infections

  1. Pingback: Candida Infections Natural Remedies

  2. Angela Graham says:

    so does that mean cesarean babies are more likely to get thrush. I ended up having a cesarean and my boy his head rush for 3 months and we’re having trouble getting rid of it.

  3. my baby Is a little over a month old. We have been trying to get rid of thrush and the medicine doesn’t seem to be working.

    • Hi Brittany,

      I’m sorry that you and your little one have been having trouble with thrush. We suggest that you follow up with your healthcare provider, as they would be best suited to assist you.


  4. How do I properly sterilize my pump parts during a yeast infection? My discharge paperwork suggest bleach, but I am NOT OK with that. I have the bags for sterilizing, could I just use that for all my parts, including my tubing? If so, would I sterilize after each pump session, or would at the end of the day be sufficient?

    Thank you

    • Hi Sarah – To clean your pump, separate all parts that come in contact with your breast or breast milk. Rinse and wash in warm, soapy water or place them on the top rack of the dishwasher. Air-dry all of your parts prior to storing them. Also, when you’re on the go, consider Medela Quick Clean Wipes or Micro-Steam Bags: We hope this helps!

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