Breastfeeding with Oral Thrush

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A lot of young babies suffer from at least one bout of mild oral thrush. If you are breastfeeding, this could be a cause for alarm for you, and many women raise many questions about the right thing to do concerning the continuation of breastfeeding and passing the infection from your baby to you. Although it is possible that your baby can pass the infection on to you, it is normally not very severe, and can be cleared up easily.

Passing on the infection through breastfeeding

If your baby has oral thrush and you are breastfeeding, the infection may be passed on to you. This infection will primarily be within your nipples, inducing a case of nipple thrush. This may sound distressing, but like many other strains of thrush, is more often than not a very simple infection that can be easily cleared up relatively quickly.

Susceptibility to thrush through breastfeeding

Although it is possible that your baby can pass on the thrush infection through breastfeeding, this will not happen to every woman who chooses to breastfeed. Like all strains of the thrush infection, some women may be more susceptible to developing the infection than others. This includes women who suffer from diabetes or any conditions that affect the state of the immune system, women who have suffered from thrush before or and particularly vulnerable to reoccurring instances of thrush, and women who are undergoing a course of antibiotics.

It is also noted that if you have suffered from cracked nipples before through the wrong positioning of your baby whilst feeding, you may be more susceptible to receiving the infection. If you do suffer pain in the breasts or from cracked nipples, it may be a good idea to consult your doctor or nurse and gain some advice on the ideal way to position your baby. Breastfeeding can be difficult for many new mothers for a variety of different reasons, and the advice given to you can do wonders in making the breastfeeding experience much more comfortable and potentially infection free.

Potential symptoms of thrush in the breast and nipples

Some of the signs of your baby having passed on the infection to your nipples and breasts include;

  • A change in the appearance of the nipples. This can include a principally red or shiny areola (the areola is the darker part surrounding your nipple).
  • Particularly sensitive nipples, which can also be cracked or flaky. As breastfeeding and pregnancy usually means that your breasts will be more sensitive than usual, this sensitive or altered nipples can often be just a side effect of the natural changes your body is going through.
  • Pains experienced while you in the process of feeding your baby.
  • Pains experienced in your breasts whilst you are not feeding your baby. This can be similar to the pain you may experience when your baby is feeding, but can often be different. The sensations experienced are usually shooting, burning or itching pains.

Although these are symptoms that some women will experience if their baby has passed on the thrush infection to their breasts or nipples, it is possible that you do not suffer from any symptoms at all.

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