Yeast Infection of the Breast
Archived Q&A and Reviews
I'm loosing my mind with the never ending yeast infection. I've been always very prone to have them, then with each pregnancy (2) had them the whole 9 months very bad, and I nurse both my kids, for over a year, with the first one I got the infection on my nipples around 8m and was able to clear it (almost). With my second one I got it at the second week postpartum and even I was most of that nursing year (YES I was very determined) on some sort of medication I had to wean my kid, because the yeast infection wasn't healing. Now 6 months after that I've been improving, but the thing is still living on my nipples and some times extending to my breast. Some times it gets better but then again the infection comes back.
All these under the care of my gynecologist. This time around she said, she doesn't know what else to do, but give me the max dose of tolerance for my liver? WHAT? of Diflucan to SEE if that will fix the problem.
So here I am not sure if to go on Diflucan for the 6th time of this past year, I got scared of that stament. I asked if diet will help, and she just said not that much sugar and lots of yogurt, with i do and and do not eat much sugar, Please if you found a NATURAL remedy, I tried gentian Violet, Diflucan in very different doses , nistatin liquid and Cream, and nothing is getting me out of this night mare, I make my self eat yogurt I even make my own with the actual bacteria, I'm so sick of it, and do very little sugar on my diet, but I eat lots of bread and cheese. Other than that i have a very healthy diet. PLEASE HELP, I want to try something else before going on drugs again. anon of couse
I feel so bad for you. i had the most acid-burning pain with my never ending Ductal Yeast Infection. I'm not sure if any of this will help you, but i want to lend you support. Dr. Jack Newman helped me alot. I found him online and called him. He is a pediatrician in Canada ! He has a nursing book now. My local doc didn't even have any experience with this. Either did La Leche League. I took TONS of Diflucan (my liver is fine), i tried zero sugar diets (no fruit, bread, etc) i took shots of vinegar. When my breasts were long time done with nursing, it finally faded. Please email me if you want to chat further. - andrea
I can empathize with how frustrated you must be, and worried about the dosages of Diflucan being recommended. I too suffered from chronic systemic yeast infection for about a year. I made a radical shift in my diet for 6 months and have never had trouble since.
What I did was a completely gluten/sugar and dairy-free diet for this 6-month period to starve out the yeast. To get my probiotics I used the supplements instead of yogurt. Basically, I ate a lot of brown rice and vegetables, nuts, and gluten free products. I also avoided most fruit for the first couple months because the yeast love the sugar in the fruit.
If bread and cheese are staples for you, it will be a challenge, but it is soooo worth it to be free of this imbalance. Then, slowly you can add foods back into your diet in moderation and see how you feel. There are many good resources for gluten and dairy free diets. I referred to a book called ''Healing with Whole Foods'', but I am sure that if you google or go to your local health food store or book store, you will find plenty of resources. My journey of healing from this led me to become a holistic health practitioner, specializing in yoga, massage, and essential oil medicine. I would be happy to answer any questions you might have. There are many essential oils that are highly effective against yeast overgrowth. Good luck! Nicole
It sounds like you have systemic candida. The best way to deal with this is through diet, and it's going to be a tough one. No sugar, no alcohol, no fruit, limited/no dairy (milk products), no grains (except occasional brown rice). For full information check out books that describe the candida diet. For really tough cases I don't think the allopathic (traditional medical) responses are adequate. My husband had this and ended up on a macrobiotic diet for about six months to take care of it. You have to totally cleanse your body or it will never go away and drive you crazy forever. My sympathies are with you as I am currently battling thrush with my baby - I have cut out all processed sugar for now but may need to go to more extreme measures if I can't make this work. Only good news is that if you are still trying to lose baby weight this diet will take care of that in no time! Seriously, good luck and feel free to email me with questions. I can connect you with the macrobiotic counselor who helped my husband if you're interested. Nina
My doctor suggested douching with vinegar and water every other day. Some times of the month (for the first 5-7 days after my period ends) I douche every day! It's made an incredible difference in the quality of my life. No gross discharge, no itching, comfortable sex. anon
have you tried going on an atkins like diet? yeast feeds on sugars and carbs so if you reduce those in your diet you can break the cycle of yeast infections. You said you already cut back on sugar but try eliminating refined carbs as well. I think once you break the cycle you could reintroduce those foods and see how you do. anon
I have had problems with yeast infections that have lasted for years...and tried everything...including the medication that is so toxic to the liver that I had my blood tested every few months. Yuck. I was starting up with them two years ago and someone suggested that I see Barbara Custer in Mill Valley, who is an acupuncturist and Chinese herbalist. She has totally cured me. We did a no wheat/dairy/alcohol/sugar things for a month or two while I also took some herbs. Cleared right up permanently. The food restriction only lasted for a couple of months. She is also a big believer in testing, so you get a couple of rounds of tests where they can tell exactly how much yeast you have in your system so you can tell that it is gone. She has changed my life! She is also great for other mysterious, systemic things that Western medicine seems to have few answers for, like restless sleep patterns. She is warm and lovely, to boot. 415-383-3040 Good luck! anon
I have been on long-term antibiotics, so I have become all too familiar with the problems of yeast. But I have it under control now. Here's what has worked for me: 1. Probiotics -- you need to be taking acidophilus every day. Buy them in the fridge section at Whole Foods or a health food store. 2. Diet -- higher proten (fish, meat, eggs, soy) and lower carbs; more veggies and less fruit. Maybe even no fruit (it has sugar), and definitely no bread or cheese. Most anti-yeast diets don't allow any bread/cheese/fruit. No sugar whatsoever! I don't eat any dairy except for plain, unsweeetened yogurt. Sounds hard, I know, but it gets easier after the first week or so. No alcohol, either. 3. Fresh raw garlic -- eat as much as you can each day 4. Yeast cleanse tablets -- buy at a health food store or Whole Foods. I only use these sporadically, when I feel like things are going downhill. Generally, they contain capryllic acid, which will help knock the yeast out of your system. I think the diet is really the most important. And it sounds like you need to be on a strict anti-yeast diet for a while. I am always fine as long as I don't deviate from the diet. Hope this helps. anon.
I would see a dietition and possably an herbalist pronto! u sound like u have an allergy to something in your diet. Regular doctors seem to only know how to treat the problem(with strong medicines) and not the underlying cause. i would bet u wheat is the culprit-maybe dairy. try to cut out one and see what happens.(ive heard yogurt eaten and applyed helps w/the yeasty- beasty's) u r what u eat
Oh, do I know the horrors of yeast infections. Sounds like you have it really bad. I lived with a chronic vaginal yeast infection for 10 years before it was treated and 100% handled by my holistic doctor. Our daughter at age 5 developed a vaginal yeast infection and we tried everything - truly everything to get rid of it. The doctor prescribed different creams, but all of it was topical and nothing truly handled it. I took her to see our holistic doctor again and he put her on a program and complete got rid of it. She hasn't had it since! The catch is that he is in Orange County. Now, he will treat people from a distance. He's truly phenomenal and will absolutely handle this for you. I have no doubt about that. Please feel free to contact me directly at jokej [at] pacbell.net if you're interested in him and I'll get you his contact information. jj
Have you tried sunlight and air? http://www.breastfeedingonline.com/yeast.shtml anon
I would see a dermatologist. Obviously your OB/GYN is out of ideas. You shouldn't have to suffer this long. Perhaps it's not yeast, could be dermatitis, eczema, etc. If the medication isn't working, there has to be another answer. I'd get my hiney (or nipples as the case may be) to a different doctor asap. Best of luck, I hope you find relief. anon
I'm sorry to tell you that bread and cheese are not the best foods if you suffer from systemic yeast (neither are mushrooms or rootbeer). I too had hopeless allopathy used on me, not fixing my problems. You're going to need to see either a homeopath or a naturopath, and prepare for it to take several months to fix.
Hello, I am mom to a 5 week old boy and am pretty sure I have a yeast infection in my breasts...it feels similar to what I had once with my first child (burning nipples, deep shooting pains in my breasts during letdown). There are no signs of thrush in my child's mouth although he does have a persistent diaper rash. After unsuccessfuly trying topical antifungals with my first child (also no signs of thrush in her mouth), I used gentian violet and it worked like a charm. Such relief! However, now I read online that a study in Australia has linked the use of gentian violet with cancer in lab rats and it's only recommended as a last line of treatment when all others have failed. Does anybody know anything about this? I am going to see a new ob for my 6 week check up and I'm trying to figure out whether or not I want to try the topical route again. Also, I never tried the oral antifungals...are they a good alternative to gentian violet? I just don't want to have ongoing pain through months of fruitless treatment, which it seems isn't uncommon when it comes to this particular ailment. Thanks in advance for any advice! Ouch
Don't worry, those labs rats are given excessive amounts of Gentian Violet. Just do a search online or talk to the people at Whole FOods or Elephant Pharmacy and they can tell you how to apply it. Make sure you get the right percentage (I think it's 1% but i don't remember exactly) and only do it for 7 days at the most for the first round. It's messy, and will get your bras and shirts all stained, but it does really work. We tried nystatin and other things for months and Gentian Violet was what did it. There is lots of info online about it if you Google Gentian Violet and Thrush. I think we actually found the right strength of GV at Walgreens across from Berkeley Bowl. GOod luck anon
Better than gential violet is this simply technique: pour 1 tsp white vinegar into 1 cup water and simply dip a cloth into the vinegar and swab your nipple AND your child's tounge, cheeks, gums (he won't like it but will calm down once nursing.) then after nursing repeat the process again (yes you'll have to wake him up.) you can use the same vinegar solution just use a new cloth or paper towls each time. if the rash appears on the baby's diaper area purchase ''Eye Wash'' from any pharmacy - this is simply boric acid solution and is a wonderful and totally benign antifungal. squirt it on with every diaper change and if the rash is yeast, it will go away - i promise! if you want more advice about the whole thing call me at 510-524-4498 - i know a lot about the subject! Been through it! there are dietary things that are very simple but very effective. i am too busy to continue writing now but can talk on the phone easily Sarah
Instead of the gentian violet, try a vitamin B complex and/or acidophilus (capsule/fortified milk/yogurt). An old Natural Healing book from the 1970s has these as remedies for thrush and they have worked for me and friends of mine. anon
First, let me say that I know your pain and it's horrible! I had thrush for about four or five weeks, starting when my son was three weeks old. Ouch! It was so awful. I tried topical anti-fungals and gentian violet (don't know about the cancer risks) but they didn't help. After visiting a couple of lactation consultants and a couple of O.B.s, I took the oral anti-fungals and they FINALLY got rid of my thrush. I was on the oral meds for two weeks. This is what I learned through the experience. Lactation consultants use oral anti-fungals (fluconazole) often, esp when other treatments don't work. They usually use them at the same time as topical anti-fungal creams and oral medicine for the baby. They are safe for you and baby, but many pediatricians and O.B.s don't know this so they won't prescribe them, while lactation consultants use them all the time. I have Kaiser and the lactation consultant at their Walnut Creek location was WONDERFUL and guided me through the treatment that finally worked. Here's more information about oral anti-fungals http://www.kellymom.com/newman/20fluconazole.html If nothing else works, see a lactation consultant who will prescribe fluconazole and don't worry, it's safe for you and your baby for taking it a short time to rid yourself of thrush (for 2-5 weeks). Be warned that your O.B. probably won't presribe this medication as he/she won't know much about it. Also, two different O.B.s said I didn't have thrush when I actually did! So, see a lactation consultant. Good luck! Anon
I don't know anything about gentian violet, but I have successfully used tea tree oil (topically, ONLY!) to treat yeast infections. I coated an olive oil-coated tampon with a few drops of tea tree oil, changing it according to manufacturer's instructions. I wonder if it would be appropriate for breast treatment (it may be irritating if used full strength, but I read somewhere that a 5% solution is effective against vaginal yeast infections -- don't know if this is true, and 5% is really dilute!). My Ph.D. friend who worked in a lab that studied candida albicans (a form of yeast) said that tea tree oil has been found effective against candida and is used in some countries to treat yeast infections. I don't have any references for you, but PubMed might have something. donna2
I am suffering from what I think is a yeast infection on my nipples. My 3 wk old doesn't have signs of thrush but my nipples are very red, sore and sting. It has become quite painful to breastfeed. Has anything worked for others out there? I am applying over the counter yeast anti fungal to them but it doesn't seem to be working. Any suggestions? Needing relief!
I had a similar problem and let it go on way too long. My son didn't have any signs of thrush in his mouth either, but since the treatment made a huge difference, I assume that I had thrush. I rinsed my nipples with water and vinegar after each nursing, used Monistat on my nipples, got a one time treatment of Diflucan from my doctor, and treated my son as well, since the infection spreads back and forth. I have a great info sheet from a lactation consultant about what to do. Email me if you'd like me to send it to you. Good luck! Rachel
I had a very bad yeast infection in my breasts right after I gave birth. My baby showed no signs of yeast but Carolyn Hand, Nurse Practioner, at East Bay Obstetrics & Gynecology was kind enough to listen to the advice that a Nurse, Anne Hause (pronounced House), gave me at a breastfeeding support group at Alta Bates Hospital in Berkeley. I am not sure what the dosage was but the treatment is a very high dose of Gynelotrimin given only by prescription. In half a day I felt such relief I just cried! No over the counter ointment will help. I would try calling Alta Bates and seeing if you can reach Anne Hause, and asking her about it. I hope this helps many people out there since most doctors don't want anything to do with breastfeeding advice or help. Anne at Alta Bates literally saved my breastfeeding experience. Kim
I totally feel for you!! I could have written your posting word for word a few months ago. I was in extreme pain while breastfeeding my new (second) baby and was convinced it was a yeast infection, even though he had no signs. It just seemed that pain that bad must have been more than poor latch and irritated nipples. I tried all kind of treatments (topical antifungal, oral antifungal, gentian violet) and nothing helped. When I tried the gential violet the pain worsened and because the solution contained alcohol I suspected that my nipples were simply extremely irritated, dry, and sore. I used nipple shields for one day, and treated myself with topical hydrocortisone and lasinoh for 3 days. Then after 3 months of continuously painful nipples, I was pain free and have been since. It is very hard to diagnose a yeast infection, so you might try the hydrocortisone and lasinoh for a few days to see if it helps (but check with your pediatrician or OB first). Liz O.
Paint your nipples and the baby's mouth with Gentian violet. It's messy (stains everything purple) but it usually works. You do have to treat both mother and baby regardless of who does and does not have symptoms, because otherwise it's nearly inevitable that you will pass it back and forth between you. anon
Oh believe me, I feel for you. I have dealt with this since my son was born and he is now 13 months old. The first time, I was told that even though we couldn't see the the thrush, it could be there. Sure enough, it showed up where I could see the white pockets. We did countless Nystatin, which would work for a short time and then bam! the yeast would be back with a vengance. It was horribly painful for me and didn't seem to bother my little one at all.
Then someone told me to do a round of Gentian Violet, which I guess is the old school remedy for thrush. I looked everywhere and finally found it at Elephant Pharmacy in Berkeley. The first time, I didn't do it the full dose so the yeast came back (only applied once). The second time, I did it exactly like the directions said and it worked (apply 1-2 times per day). The Violet is a staining agent however, so you will have it every where. Wear old clothes/bra and put stained clothes on your baby. One of my favorite photos is my son with a round purple stain around his mouth from nursing. Hilarious!
I'll add that the yeast does come back every 3 months or so. It got so bad that I had to have my nipple lanced on Christmas Eve (oh joy) because it was so painful. I saved the clothes that I wore and I use older clothes for my son for when I do the Violet. It seems to be occuring less but I just noticed that little white mark on Monday so am watching it carefully. We are still nursing about 50% so that is probably why it is decreasing.
BTW, we have Kaiser and I see Ann Johnson who is a RN at Oakland. She is supposed to be an ''expert'' in the field. She was on vacation when I went in once and the Doctor looked at me like he had no idea what to do. I did not want to do any Diflucam because I was nervous about what it would do to my son. And I wasn't ready to pump/dump. She assured me that it was fine and that really cleared it up. Only did that once, however, because I'm still nervous.
Good luck and take deep breaths. I feel your pain. DiAnn
You should get this checked out by your health care provider. He or she will suggest a treatment. Anon.
Does anyone have experience with curing a ductal yeast infection of the breast without diflucan? i broke out in a rash and might be allergic, but the ob didn't prescribe anything else. she said just wait but the pain is unbearable at times and i am getting very discouraged. i am cutting down on sugar, cheese, and carbs, and taking acidophilis, yogurt, garlic tabs/ echinacea, vit.c, b-complex and lecithin. will try gentian violet soon even though most of my pain/irritation is internal, and baby does not show symptoms. he is a big spitter though, like his older sister (with whom i had no yeast problems) and seems more gassy and irritated by feeding and digesting. (he is 4 weeks old.) i had plugged ducts and then mastitis in the same breast, and everything started with very sore nipples and engorgement. if you have any experience to share with me, please contact me.
I had terrible problems with breast yeast infections when I was nursing my son. In general, I tried just to keep it manageable; curing it completely seemed just too hard. Anyway, here's what I did to keep it under control: Limit sweets. I couldn't or didn't want to completely eliminate sweets from my diet, but I cut way, way back. Wear cotton nursing bras, which unfortunately usually means the ugly ones. Use only cotton or wool nursing pads and change them at every nursing. Go braless when possible, especially when a little sun exposure is possible. Swab nipples with a water/vinegar solution after nursing (vinegar kills the yeast); baby never minded the taste. Never, never wash bra or pads with any of baby's poopy clothes. Use vinegar in the rinse cycle during bra and pad washing. It's a lot to remember, but not really hard to do once you start. Good luck
While I never had a breast ductal yeast infection, I did have reoccuring yeast infections in my past. What caught my attention in your posting is that you took diflucan and broke out in a rash. I took diflucan in March 2002 and broke out in a rash that I still have (1 year and 11 months later!). I was living in NYC at the time and had extensive tests done. I was planning my wedding and packing to relocate to the Bay Area. I kept asking if the rash was stress related. I was told it was not. I had tests for shingles, parvo, and 98 other common allergies--all tests came back negative. I am convinced the rash is from the one time dose of diflucan a few days before the rash appeared.
Today, the rash ''travels'' around my torse. It shows up (itches like crazy, I scratch like crazy which I know I am not suppose to do) and as it heals, a new patch of rash shows up a few inches away. Does any of this sound familiar?
Regarding your current condition, you sound like you are doing all the dietary things I would do. I did hear that butter milk has a high acidophilus level, but no idea how it tastes. I hope you find relieve and recover soon. Mary
Hi- I have been suffering from a yeast infection in my breasts since my baby was about a week old (she's just 2 months old now). I have taken and am still taking acidophilus, eating yogurt and taking a prescription for diflucan. I have also used nystatin topically. My baby has not had thrush but I am still plagued by itching, burning, painful nipples and breasts. I have been on the verge of abondoning breast feeding but have pumped and am toughing it out. It has gotten better but not totally. I was wondering if anyone out there has been in this situation and has any other natural recommendations. Oh- I have accepted that I simply am not willing to do all the dietary restrictions-with a new baby it is hard enough to make food for myself I won't give up wheat products. H E L P.... Marion
you must treat your baby for thrush even if he/she doesn't appear to have the symptoms -- you have had it for two months and odds are your baby does too, even if low-level, and so long as your baby has it you won't get rid of it. rather than going with a harsh medication, speak to a lactation specialist or physician about trying gentian violet -- IF used properly (not too much), it works wonders although it is quite messy. you can use it on you breasts as well. good luck, I know how painful this can be,
Try gentian violet. It's the only thing that helped 2 of my friends. You get it at the pharmacy and paint it on your nipples. The baby's mouth will be purple for a few days, but it's harmless and it works!
Boy, I can really relate. I have struggled with yeast on and in my breasts since my twins were born as well. All the things you are doing are helping. Have you tried Gentian Violet? It is available at Long's Drugs even though if you ask them for help they will think you are crazy. It is an antifungal that you dilute with water and apply to your breasts. The deal with this is that is is a very strong dye. If you spill it it will remain there forever. Your baby will get a purple mouth and lips but it fades. I can send you some links and directions for more info. You can also try white vinegar and rinse your breasts and add it to your laundry. Hot water in the wash is not enough to kill the yeast. You need more bleach than you want to use or some vinegar in the wash. I also had great success with wearing my bras only once. Then boiling them in the kitchen on the stove before and between each wearing. Anything that touches your breasts (bathroom towels) needs to be basically sterilized so that it isn't breeding yeast that you are just bringing back to your body. I didn't want to do to many dietary restrictions either but found that it was sugar that made it flare up the worse. Understand that carbos are all sugars but the more complex the carb the less it will aggravate the yeast like simple sugars. Also getting overheated will cause the yeast to have a warm environment to breed in. So I tried to stay cooler on top especially. No sweaters, not to hot at night in bed. If you are home try going topless. Air and sunshine can help. I understand how challenging it is but please don't stop breastfeeding because of it. You can conquer it. I think it is also worth treating your baby. They can have the out of whack flora in their gi track and be breeding it and returning it to you as well. So you can give the baby the acidophilus too. I think you can even buy a pediatric form at El Cerrito Natural grocery. I also used grapefruit oil with some success. It is a vile citrus oil extract that you put in a little water or other liquid and chug quickly. It helps with the balance in the gi track. It is also available at El Cerrito Natural grocery. It might also be worth mentioning that I believe my yeast was worse in our old apartment where there had been a flood once and there was a terrible mold problem. When we removed all our pictures on the wall there was a black area. It was gross but we didn't realize when we were living there that we were living in a little moist petri dish. That is a lot of info but hang in there and this is worth fighting for. Please email me if you want to talk more or just want some support from somebody that has been there.
I thought I suffered from a thrush, too. I did get some relief from gentian violet. I found it at Longs. You and your baby are a mess, but it cools the itching. I also had some luck w/ what the kaiser lactation nurse called ''triple nipple cream''. You basically swab a bit of bacitracin or antibiotic cream, a bit of lotrimin, and a bit of hydrocortison cream on. In the end I got a referral to a dermatologist.This was after months of assuming it was thrush. Do you have a skin condition appearing anywhere else on your body, esp. elbows and knees? This appeared on me for the first time in my life post baby. The diagnosis? Psoraisis. I was prescribed a very strong cortisone cream. I used it in very minute doses (when I knew I had a fairly long gap before the next nursing) and never as often as the label suggested. Sometimes not even once a day. I've been fine ever since and don't experience discomfort during nursing or from nursing bras etc. any longer. I noticed that the drier the weather the itchier I was, too. I hope some of this helps.
I had breast yeast and my daughter had thrush when she was only 1 week old. We used the Nystatin for 10 days, which seemed to clear up her thrush, but did nothing for me. Acidophilus and OTC anti-fungal cream were also ineffective. Finally I tried Gentian Violet and it worked wonders. I applied it to my nipples and then had her nurse from both breasts once a day for three days. It is staining and a bit messy, but not nearly as bad as I had thought it might be. This method worked for me, and many others I know, when all other methods failed.
The Gentian Violet is available at drug stores (I got mine at Longs). It's behind the counter, but you don't need a prescription. You should use the 1% topical. They may have to order it for you. It only costs a few dollars.
Also be sure to sterilize everything that is touching your breasts and the baby's mouth (bottles, pumps, pacifiers, bras, pads, etc.). I just washed my bras with a bit of bleach, but others I know preferred to boil them and let them dry in the sun, which also worked.
Feel free to contact me with questions. Good luck!
I have a breast yeast infection, too. Like you, it began immediately. My daughter had thrush (she's almost two now), and see was repeatedly treated with Nystatin suspension oral medication, but it did not resolve until she began to eat other foods regularly. She still nurses, but only twice per day. I want to nurse her until she's two years old, so I have learned ways to cope because, like you, I am too frazzeled to change my diet yet.
Gentian Violet works well to get rid of yeast and can be applied to the nipple area and swabed in the baby's mouth. I would have your pediatrician check the baby for thrush. She probably has it or you wouldn't be having such a hard time getting rid of it. It's VERY HARD to see if it is almost resolved in the baby's mouth. Gentian Violet works FAST (you'd need to apply three times per day to both of you for 3 days). You can find it in the homeopathic section at Longs. It's a purple liquid (kind of like iodine) and it stains everything, but it is the quickest way to get rid of it.
Because I have accepted that this won't go away completely until she finishes nursing, I use Lotrimon AF on my nipples at least once everyday becasue Gentian Violet is so messy. If I skip a day, I experience the same symptoms as you do.
My infection was not as bad as yours and did not last as long, but what worked for me was to wash my nipples with a white vinegar soaked cotton ball after every feeding or pumping. I didn't quit wheat, but did cut back on sugary stuff. Good luck!
I had a horribly painful yeast infection in both breasts when my baby was a few months old. I spoke with my obstetrician, my pediatrician, La Leche League, and did my own research. I tried at least seven different remedies and nothing worked. Breastfeeding was excruciating. Finally I saw Janaki Costello, a wonderful lactation consultant who concluded I needed rest. I was rundown and depleted. After 24 hours I was better. The pain threatened to come back once or twice later and I took that to mean I needed to take it easy and drink more water. I think a yeast infection is an autoimmune problem and in my case needed to be treated holistically, which I believe was psychosomatically. It's possible that only you can make yourself better. I don't think diet would have cured me, and giving my infant medication was very stressful. Please contact me if you'd like to discuss this further and need more support. Good luck and you will get better! Ilona
I had severe breast (nipple) pain for 8.5 months, consulted with several lactation specialists, a homeopath , and a medical doctor, tried around 20 different things to treat the problem (including Gentian Violet), with little improvement. We had ended up in C-section after 4 days of labor (my baby just could not drop), and immediately after the procedure I had spiked a fever. So they had given me antibiotics in the hospital, (which I usually avoid,) creating the possible reason for thrush. Many of the treatments were for thrush.
Around 8 months after the birth, I developed a sudden severe case of mastitis, and agreed to use an antibiotic again. The antibiotic actually cleared the mastitis quickly, AND cleared the nipple pain for good. It must have been a low grade infection all along. Just goes to show there is definitely a time and place for each of these Western Medical interventions. My tendancy is to avoid such treatments.
My daughter is now 21 months old, and loves breastfeeding still. We enjoy wonderful bonded time together, playing many silly games while nursing, and just cuddling. The experience made me understand why so many women give up breastfeeding. I think I was a bit judgemental toward such decisions prior to our ordeal. I am so glad, though, that I gritted my teeth through the whole time, and did not give up. There had been so many times that I would sit there with tears running down my face, trying not to stomp my feet, wanting to scream, and feeling very sad and disappointed that nursing did not feel like the archetypical wonderful experience it was cracked up to be.
My advice is to not give up. If all of the thrush treatments, positioning, cleaning techniques, diet changes do not help, possibley consider whether it could be a low grade infection. Good luck. Hang in there!
-No longer sore, and enjoying breastfeeding!