Candidiasis, the medical term for a yeast infection, can be passed between a mother and her baby during breastfeeding. This bacteria loves warm, moist areas such as a mother’s nipple or a baby’s mouth. The baby will show signs of a yeast infection if you can see white, patches of the mouth, the tongue, gums and or cheeks and or a yeasty diaper rash. The nipple of the mother may have puffy, itchy, burning, cracked, scaly, flaky and tiny blisters on them and sometimes are a deep pink in color.
It can happen to one side or both sides of the breasts. If breastfeeding becomes too painful for the mother while she has a yeast infection on her nipple, she can pump and give the baby milk this way for a while or alternate, one session breastfeeding, and one pumping for a few days until the medicine that the doctor prescribes starts to take effect. Both the baby and mom need medication at the same time.
While the mother and baby are experiencing yeast infections, precautions need to be taken. Disposable nursing pads should be thrown away as soon as they are wet. Cloth bras and pads should be washed as soon as they are wet. Being able to sit in the sun helps kill the yeast infection. Adding bleach to the wash is also good to kill the yeast. Nipples should be rinsed for 10-15 minutes and then apply an antifungal cream prescribed by the mother’s doctor. For the baby, usually, Nystatin is prescribed by the pediatrician and squirted in the baby’s cheeks as an oral treatment for the baby.
It is one of the safest medications to use, however, use as directed by the doctor. Mycostatin, GyneLotrimin, and Diflucan (Fluconazole) are also safe to use but should only be used if the doctor prescribes them. Hygiene during yeast infections is very important. Use good hand washing methods. Expressed milk should be frozen because yeast is deactivated during freezing of the breast milk. All pump parts and pacifiers need to be sterilized by boiling them for twenty minutes. In conclusion, breastfeeding can be very painful during a yeast infection so make sure you pump if you cannot breastfeed so your supply will stay good for the baby.
Make sure the infections go away by using the medications your doctor recommends completing the full course of the medicine or medicines.