I can't get rid of breast yeast infection! — The Bump
Babies: 0 - 3 Months

I can't get rid of breast yeast infection!

I gave birth to my son 9/27, so almost 4 weeks ago. My water broke at 33w3d, so I was kept at the hospital and loaded with IV antibiotics to inhibit any infection from developing. My OB opted to deliver him at 34 weeks and he spent 12 days in the NICU where he was also treated with IV antibiotics just in case. I began pumping for him immediately and was thrilled with how easily my milk came in and the volume I was able to produce. He was tube fed, then bottle fed, then about 3 days prior to his discharge I was given the OK to actually start nursing him, so we began nursing twice a day when we were visiting him. I was so looking forward to bringing him home and being able to nurse him regularly and ditch the pump and bottles for awhile. I was still hesitant to nurse much initially because he came home still jaundiced and I wanted to know for sure how much he was taking in, so I made a plan to keep with bottle feeding him pumped milk until we saw his ped 3 days later, just to make sure the jaundice was clearing. Two days after getting him home, I noticed a foul "fishy" odor coming from my left breast and the nipple had a white coating that didn't wipe away. I immediately started dumping that side's milk and made an appt to see my OB. She diagnosed it as a yeast infection and prescribed diflucan, 2 doses spaces out by 3 days. Did the diflucan, didn't see much improvement, so I called her again. Got APNO and have been using now for 4 days. Still seeing a lot of pink/red around nipples and a bit of the aereola and I can still smell the odor faintly from that breast. It feels a lot better though, since starting the APNO, so I thought it was improving,but my OB said she thought it actually looked worse. She wrote a new script for diflucan, higher dose every day for 7 days, but did not seem very optimistic and actually said it might be time to just call it quits with BF-ing. I am so frustrated and I do not want to stop breastfeeding, I've barely gotten to actually nurse my baby at all. :( I don't want to give him formula and his ped said that if it comes right down to it, he'd advise just giving him the milk even if it is contaminated with yeast, as opposed to giving formula. He is showing no signs of thrush, so he is not being treated. I hate the thoughts of breaking down and nursing/pumping on the bad side and him ending up with a sore mouth and bottom from yeast. I feel like every bit of my birth and his first weeks have been so stressful and out of my control. Premature rupture, steroids, antibiotics, cervical softeners, having my baby being taken immediately and having to leave him at the hospital day after day for other people to care for him instead of me...now he's well and home with me and I still can't nurse him. I know some people find themselves in much worse situations and I shouldn't complain, but I am so upset. I have been washing my pumps pieces, bottles, and pacis with each use in soapy, HOT water...my hands are nearly raw at this point. I boil them once daily. I change pads with each pumping session and keep breasts exposed to air as much as possible. I don't know what to do...I'm so frustrated and just want to be able to feed my baby without fear of infecting him. :(

Re: I can't get rid of breast yeast infection!

  • I don't have many positive things to say. I've had a few yeast infections, bouts of mastitis and tons of blocked ducts. Did everything you did, except I also put lotrimin on the nipple as well (yes, that's foot fungus cream, but told to do so by the lactation consultant). It helped. I'm slowly stopping fb only because of all the mastitis, but if it were just yeast, I'd want to keep going too!!!
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  • I know it's not the end of the world to give him formula and I'm certainly not trying to be offensive to those who choose that route for whatever reason. I just happen to have a perfect situation to be able to exclusively nurse him at least for his first 3-4 months, then I'd planned to be stockpiling milk to give by bottle when I would be back at work. I am not someone who was on the fence about it, I desperately want to breastfeed him. I just want to make sure he's getting the best I can give him, I want that bonding for both of us and the sense of comfort and security for him, not to mention the fact that formula is really costly. I'm just feeling really sad and disappointed that I have been working so hard with pumping to keep up a good supply for him, now to only be told that I might as well just give up. :(
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  • Keep your chin up. If you want it that bad check with a local lactation consultant? Doulas in your area probably know some great ones!!! You go girl!
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  • I had a mild case of nipple thrush on my left nipple after my son got it badly in his mouth. Our pediatrician told me to war Greek yogurt as it has probiotics. I also drank the kefir probiotic smoothies you can find in the milk section of the grocery store. It cleared up the thrush completely in a matter of days going through by breastmilk. I was shocked at how quickly it worked and was glad that we didn't have to do antibiotics. Hope this helps you!! Good luck
  • Gentian violet cured ours in just a few days. http://www.breastfeedinginc.ca/content.php?pagename=doc-CP
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