Candida is a yeast infection, which loves to thrive in a moist and dark environment. This form of yeast infection is found in the diaper area, mouth, vagina and in the skin folds and nipples of the breast. Treating a breast yeast infection becomes very imperative especially if you are breastfeeding because it increases the chance of the infection being passed from the mother to the baby.
The common symptoms of a breast infection are sore and painful nipples with ulceration or blistering on the nipples, pain after feeding, and cottage cheese like patches in the baby’s mouth or a diaper rash.
A yeast infection is sometimes common after taking a course of antibiotics. Despite this, the infection can be easily tackled with the help of some treatment strategies.
Treatment of Breast Yeast Infections
Treat the Yeast to Sunlight
One way of eliminating a yeast infection is to expose the breasts as well as your bras to sunlight. Yeast hates sunlight and cannot thrive in the sun. Wash all your lingerie in hot water and make sure you sun the lingerie for several minutes even for a few hours until the lingerie is dry.
You can also take a sunbath by exposing your breasts for several minutes in the sun. Since you can get badly tanned, you need to do it for a few minutes several times a day. Exposing your breasts to sunlight should help to ease the discomfort to a large extent.
Keep Your Nipples Clean and Dry
After every feed or a bath, make sure you dry your nipples. Clean them gently with a warm cloth and then let them air dry under the fan for a few minutes. This prevents moisture or sweat from accumulating on the nipples and causing a yeast infection.
Use Cloth Breast Pads
Breast pads are used to give padding and cushioning to the breasts as well as to soak up excess leakage of milk. It is very important to use cloth ones or pads made of cotton as these do a better job of absorbing the excess moisture.
Do not use plastic lined breast pads as they continue to remain wet and become ideal breeding grounds for a yeast infection. They also feel uncomfortable.
Change the Nursing Pads
Buy a stock of nursing pads and ensure that you change them after every feed. By changing them, you are practicing good hygiene and the chances of a yeast infection developing are very little.
Wear only Cotton Bras
If you regularly suffer from a yeast infection, you need to change your lingerie. Nylon bras may look chic and promise the ultimate comfort but they also do a poor job of remaining sweat free, moisture free and dry.
Switch to 100% cotton bras, as they are far more convenient to wash, dry and keep clean and are also easier on the skin of the breast. M
ake sure that you wash the bras daily with hot water. If the infection is severe, air-dry them regularly for long periods so that there are no remnants of a yeast infection.
Sterilize the Breast Pump
An unlikely source of germs and hidden Candida is the breast pump that you may be using to pump milk. That is why most breast pump manufacturing companies give out clear and specific instructions to clean and sterilize the equipment after every feed.
You need to place the kit in a sterilization unit or simply boil the individual parts. Make sure the parts are thoroughly clean and dry after every use.
Apply an Anti-Fungal Cream
Make sure you apply an anti-fungal cream on your nipples. These are easily available with the doctor. If your baby has thrush too, make sure you get a prescription anti-fungal ointment for him/her as well.
In any case, even if your baby is showing no signs of a fungal infection, it is still important to treat him/her to avoid the possibility of contamination. Wash the cream off before feeding the baby as the cream may have harmful chemicals that the baby could ingest with the milk.
Treat the Diaper Rash
If the baby has developed a diaper rash due to contamination, make sure that you apply the anti-fungal cream on the baby’s bottom as well.
Eat Curd and take a Healthy Dose of Probiotics
Curd has live cultures of healthy bacteria that thrive in your gut and do an excellent job of keeping thrush and candidas away.
Likewise, make sure you take your daily dose of probiotics as they are high on the bacteria acidophilus, which is a good bacteria. This bacterium discourages the growth of yeast.
Protecting Yourself from Exposure
There are chances that your baby may have yeast infection though you have not contracted it yet. In such cases, it becomes very important to quickly treat the baby’s infection before you fall sick or develop sore and achy breasts.
Keep your Breasts Clean and Wear Cotton Clothes
Even the shirts and blouses that you wear should be 100% cotton as this allows for air circulation to the breasts. Wash and bathe your breasts with a gentle soap and warm water.
Pat the breasts dry and make sure that you apply an anti-fungal powder beneath the folds of your breasts especially if you have an infection there.
Empty out Your Breasts
Make sure your breasts are mostly empty after every feed. Overly full breasts and sore nipples leave the possibility of you contracting mastitis or a breast abscess, which can prove to be very painful.
Make sure that your baby is following the correct latch on technique. Ease the baby gently from the breast to prevent pain in the nipples especially if you have already developed a yeast infection.
Wash Your Breasts with Vinegar
Vinegar is a good home remedy for dealing with a thrush infection. Wash your breasts with vinegar diluted in water and follow this up with a good anti-fungal cream.
This will keep the breasts dry and germ free at all times. With the above measures, you can successfully treat a yeast infection.
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