breast thrush | breast thrush symptoms | breast thrush treatment
Breast thrush is an incredibly uncomfortable but treatable condition that often occurs to a newly nursing mamma, typically within the first 3 months of breastfeeding.
It can occur at any time however, and with swift action can be cleared up quickly.
What is it?
Breast thrush is a fungal infection of the milk ducts and/or nipple, often referred to as a yeast infection.
What are the symptoms?
The symptoms of breast thrush are varied, but can include:
Sharp, stabbing pain when feeding
Feeling of a 'hot poker' going through the breast
A feeling of periodic nettle sting below the skin's surface
Nipples feeling grazed or burnt
White substance on the nipple
A white coating on the inside of your baby's mouth
Speed is key
It is very important that you seek medical advice quickly, if you have any of the above symptoms. Breast thrush can take a stubborn hold on you and your baby if not treated quickly.
How to get help quickly In the first instance, contact your Health Visitor, who will be able to secure a GP appointment for you, usually within a day. If you wait to join the regular queue for appointments at your GP, you will endure a great deal of uneccessary pain and discomfort.
If you are diagnosed with breast thrush, you will be prescribed with a long course of anti fungal tablets. If the infection has taken hold on your nipples, you will also be given a topical cream to apply after feeding.
Make sure your baby is treated too
It can be surprising how little GPs know about breastfeeding. With this in mind, be sure to ask for anti fungal treatment for your baby.
If your baby is not treated, it is likely that you will be reinfected.
There are a few things that you can do to minimise reinfection:
Wear cotton nursing bras, which help your skin breathe
Change your breast pads frequently
Make sure you complete any anti fungal treatment, even if you feel that the symptoms have gone.
Rest as much as you can - your body needs to recover after the infection has passed.