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Help! Breastfeeding and Thrush

  1. #1
    Lav
    Lav is offline Registered User
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    Hong Kong
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    Help! Breastfeeding and Thrush

    Hi ladies,

    Im express feeding my one month old and i suspect i have thrush on my nipples. Please give me suggestions on what to do to cure it.
    My baby has a white tongue but im not sure if its from the thrush or if its just milk build up.

    My supply has decreased dramatically since yesterday and im just anxious to solve this problem!!!

    Anybody been through this? need suggestions on what to do? Do i need to go see the doctor???

  2. #2
    LLL_Sarah is offline Registered User
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    There is a good article about thrush by Nancy Mohrbacher
    http://www.llli.org/NB/NBMayJun93p83.html
    which explains about the possible symptoms and treatment.

    (Nancy Mohrbacher will be the opening speaker at our conference in February 2009. For more details of this event please go to www.lllhk.org and click on the conference graphic.)

    Thrush shouldn't have any effect on your milk supply although it might effect the amount you can pump (remember that the amount of milk you can pump is not a reflection on the amount of milk you can produce just the amount you can get out of your body by pumping).

    Best wishes,
    SARAH
    La Leche League Leader
    www.lllhk.org

  3. #3
    MLBW Guest
    When I breastfed I was treated extensively for thrush. Thrush is basically a yeast infection in your breast. The common treatment is an oral treatment of fuconazole (an anti-fungal pill)--it is safe to take while breastfeeding.

    I was also treated with a topical home-mixed treatment of miconazole cream (the cream you use for a regular yeast infection--known as Monistat--that's one brand name), triple anti-biotic gel (Neosporin is a common brand name) and a pain relief medicine (I can't remember the name). The exact "recipe" for these was given to me by my lactation consultant who is La Leche League certified. These are all over-the-counter creams and it isn't that expensive to use them but if they work, it takes a lot longer to be cured. Also, before you pump milk you need to remove the cream with mineral oil which can be inconvenient and irritating to your skin if your nipples are sensitive.

    There is also a multi-purpose cream that is specially mixed for you a the pharmacy that I'm sure Sarah can give you the name for. The reason why I made this one of my last-resort options was that it cost nearly $200 USD for only a few ounces--it was SUPER expensive where I was at. I did end up buying this but the steroid in it made the condition worse. It is a mixture of three things--including a steroid. It is safe to use with breastfeeding and does not need to be cleaned off before you pump or nurse.

    Lastly you can take a messy but cheap route and use Gentian Violet. This is a dye that comes in a bottle that is similar to topical iodine. Iodine dyes your skin a yellowish-brown color and Gentian Violet dyes your skin purple--it stains it purple. This is a really old remedy for thrush and Gentian Violet is dirt-cheap (I think you can pick up a bottle that will suit your needs for less than 10 HKD--and if you can't find it in HK, I have an unopened bottle from the US that I will give you for free). If you do the Gentian Violet route--just know that it's messy and will turn the milk kind of a blueish color but you only have to do the treatment for 7-10 days.

    One thing to look for with thrush--is the inside of your baby's mouth covered with a whitish coating--that can be a tell-tale sign.

    Hope you get things worked out.

    Also, to help support your body, it's a good idea to stop eating all sugar because yeast infections feed upon sugar--so cut out the candy and sugary foods while you're being treated. And, it's a good idea to take a probiotic to strengthen your immune system--these recommendations helped me a lot.

  4. #4
    cyberfish88's Avatar
    cyberfish88 is offline Registered User
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    MLBW, have you tried Gentian Violet? I just realized I have thrush after 2 VERY painful weeks of breastfeeding so want to try Gentian Violet because I hear that the effects are almost immediate. (I am trying other remedies too) My LC recommended it but after buying a bottle I notice it says on it that it is for external use only. Everything i read says that it should also be applied to the inside of the babies mouth along with my nipples. But after reading the warnings on the box, I am concerned about using it in my LO's mouth! Anyone have some advice on using it?

    Lav, hang in there! I started using a cream and within 24 hours the pain has gone down slightly giving me hope.

  5. #5
    LLL_Sarah is offline Registered User
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    I know that many doctors in Hong Kong don't like to use Gentian Violet, although it is very cheap, because they don't like the idea that the baby may get some internally. Many believe that the number of babies that get side effects from using it is too many. The possible side effects are, irritation leading to buccal ulceration and necrotic skin reaction if used excessively and in higher concentrations. Also possible nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea.

    The side effects are the reason Dr. Jack Newman in his information about Gentian Violet, http://www.breastfeedingonline.com/6pdf.pdf states,
    "Uncommonly, babies who are treated with gentian violet develop sores in the mouth which may cause them to reject the breast. If this occurs, or if the baby is irritable while nursing, stop the gentian violet immediately, and contact the clinic. The sores clear up within 24 hours and the baby returns to feeding."

    Dr. Hale in Medincations and Mothers' Milk gives Gentian Violet a Lactation Risk of L3 = Moderately Safe

    Best wishes,
    SARAH
    La Leche League Leader
    www.lllhk.org

  6. #6
    MLBW Guest
    I have used Gentian Violet--I think it's a totally different deal if you're pumping, though because the baby isn't sucking directly on your breast. You don't apply a ton of that stuff--only a thin layer and you don't apply it right before you pump or breastfeed either. A little will totally go a long way in this case. And I also wiped my breasts with a warm wash cloth before pumping. It turned the milk a slight blue-ish color and my son never had any ill effects from it. I doubt that most babies actually get sick from it--you would have to be pouring it over your breasts and then letting your baby feed directly afterward for probably an extended period of time before it would start to cause problems. It is quick. It is cheap (much cheaper than the $200 USD cream I also purchased that did me no good). I would give it a try. If you want me to pick you up a bottle or two (I already have one bottle that is unopened you can have) just let me know. I am leaving the States on Friday. By the time I did the Gentian Violet, my son was already being treated with an oral medication for thrush so I didn't have to apply the dye to the inside of his mouth.

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