Thrush can begin as a vaginal yeast infection during pregnancy. When your baby moved down the birth canal, she may have come into contact with the yeast and transferred the infection to your nipples during breastfeeding. A case of thrush may also be triggered by antibiotics taken by you or your baby, because antibiotics kill off some of the healthy bacteria that controls yeast. A yeast infection is common and completely harmless, and it's not difficult to treat.
Look for the common signs of breastfeeding thrush, such as pain during or after nursing and red, itchy, burning nipples. Common signs of thrush in your infant are white patches on the inside of his cheeks and lips that resemble cottage cheese, crying when breastfeeding and a dark, raised diaper rash.
Take your baby to your healthcare provider for you both to be diagnosed. Take your doctor's advice about treatment methods. An antifungal prescription medication cream is often recommended. This is applied to the nipples to treat the yeast on the breasts, which will allow you to continue breastfeeding without worrying about the infection being passed back and forward between you and your infant. It is also applied to the inside of your baby's cheeks and lips several times a day for 10 days. Over-the-counter antifungal creams are also available, which are applied to the nipples after each feed for up to 10 days. Stronger antifungal medications can be taken orally if topical applications are not successful.
Follow the instructions provided with your thrush treatment, and take ibuprofen to ease the pain of breastfeeding until your treatment starts working. The maximum recommended dose of ibuprofen is 1200 mgs in any 24-hour period.
Go back to your healthcare provider if your thrush has not cleared up after ten days. Another treatment method will be prescribed. If your infant also has a diaper yeast infection -- a common side effect of thrush -- ask your doctor for an antifungal cream that is suitable to apply to the diaper area.