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Old 09-03-2007, 03:03 PM   #1
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Yeast and more yeast!

I'm sure this topic has been covered before, but I need help! Today I came down with thrush for the 3rd time in 2 months and my 3 month old also has a yeast rash on his bum, abdomen, and inner thighs. If you've had it then you know how excruciating it is to have thrush of the nipples. I am getting so frustrated because it keeps happening. And yes, it is tempting to give up breastfeeding, but I've stuck with it despite all this. Can anyone tell me a surefire way to get rid of this for good? I think I may need to change my diet a little. I've been using nystatin cream on both of us. Is there another ointment that I should try?


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Old 09-03-2007, 03:19 PM   #2
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Re: Yeast and more yeast!

I have found Nystatin to be the least effective method of ridding thrush. I suggest Gentian Violet, once a day for a week. It's a topical natural anti-fungal- you can get it at CVS/local drugstore over the counter. Also, you and baby should take a probiotic everyday. You can use Lotrimin to ease some of the pain/itching for your nipples. Wash all of your bras in HOT water and add a little vinegar to the rinse. Boil all baby's pacifiers/artificial nipples for 20 minutes every night. Cut out as much sugar as possible from your diet- yeast thrives on sugar. Ummm...Ok, I think that's it! GL, mama!
Jen, Mama to 2 lovely little girls and one sweet VBAC baby boy, born naturally!
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Old 09-03-2007, 03:37 PM   #3
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Re: Yeast and more yeast!

I was told by someone at a breastfeeding support group to just throw everything at it at once -- Gentian Violet, probiotics, and Grapefruit Seed Extract pills. She also used diluted GSE drops on her nipples in between GV applications. I did what she said and it worked.
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Old 09-03-2007, 05:19 PM   #4
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Re: Yeast and more yeast!

I've done everything that was mentioned in pp and that helps but Diflucan is the only things that works for me. I'm on a 200 mg pill once a week now for maintenance to keep the thrush from coming back. Nystatin didn't help at all. Lotrimin cream over the counter works better. You get it in the foot care aisle.
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Old 09-03-2007, 06:32 PM   #5
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Re: Yeast and more yeast!

I agree, the Nystatin is pretty much worthless IMO. The probiotics and the grapefruit seed extract have worked for us, although it has been recurring for us too I haven't tried the gentian violet yet........
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Old 09-03-2007, 08:33 PM   #6
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Re: Yeast and more yeast!

I used generic athletes foot cream on my nipples twice a day and diluted grapefruit seed extract (15 drops/1 oz distilled water) in DD's mouth 3-5 X/day. Probiotics and GSE for you can't hurt.
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Old 09-03-2007, 09:12 PM   #7
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Re: Yeast and more yeast!

I second the gentian violet, we got it at the walmart pharmacy but you have to ask for it cuz it's behind their counter...warning it does stain clothing...put it on the nipples and in the baby's's worked on all three of my kiddos with no recurrences good luck!
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Old 09-03-2007, 09:34 PM   #8
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Re: Yeast and more yeast!

I myself have been struggling with horrible recurrent thrush here recently. I have searched and searched and tried everything under the sun to get it to go away. This plan is the only thing that worked for me. It came highly recommended by a lactation consultant friend of mine. You should have results if you follow it to the T until two weeks after all symptoms have gone. I had six thrush infections since my son was two weeks old, and he is five months now. Good luck!

Yeast and Thrush

It is important to remember that the yeast overgrowth is throughout your whole system, and you want to restore a healthy balance between the yeast and the healthful bacteria. Just killing off yeast doesn't resolve the problem. It will always return unless the proper balance is restored, and this takes diligence and working with your and your baby's physicians. The best prevention of candida (yeast) overgrowth is a good diet, a healthy immune system and a healthy intestinal tract.

We always have yeast and bacteria in our gastro-intestinal and vaginal tracts. In a healthy state they are in balance, and both are essential for health. However with a yeast overgrowth, the yeast overpopulates our systems and we have what we call a "yeast infection." This overgrowth can be on your nipples and in your milk ducts in your breasts, as well as in your baby's mouth and gastro-intestinal tract. It causes sore nipples and can cause intraductal pain in your breasts (burning, shooting pain during and after feedings). In your baby, a white tongue can be an early sign of oral yeast (thrush). If not treated, it will progress to patches of white on tongue and cheeks. It causes a sore throat and tongue and, sometimes red, sore skin in the diaper area, along with irritability and excessive gas. A baby with a sore mouth from yeast will often not feed well, coming off and on throughout the feeding or feeding in a way that hurts your nipples i.e. clicking or nipple compression.

Treatment For Yeast Overgrowth In Breastfeeding Mother And Baby
Nipple and/or Intraductal Yeast

Gentian Violet: See Dr. Jack Newman's Gentian violet treatment plan.

Diflucan: 200mg loading dose day 1 150 mg a day for 13 days ( In persistent cases, a higher dose may be required.)

After Feeding

Rinse nipples with solution of 1 T. white, distilled vinegar in 1 C. water Pat dry and apply antifungal cream (Nystatin ointment or Lotrimin AF or Jack Newman's All Purpose Nipple Ointment. Expose your nipples to air whenever you can.

Take 6 capsules of acidophilus evenly spaced throughout the day. Refrigerated capsule forms can be found in health-food stores. I recommend Nature's Way Primidophilus with Bifidus. Other reliable brands are DDS and Florjen.

Eat a lot of garlic or take odorless garlic capsules to boost your immune system and help in reducing the yeast overgrowth. 6 tabs of Kwai brand or 4 capsules of Kyolic brand garlic spaced throughout the day. ( I prefer Kyolic.) Kwai and Kyolic brand garlic is found in most pharmacies.

Another outstanding immune-system booster is Echinacea. Get a good product in a health food store and take 3-4 capsules a day. Nature's Way is a reliable company which makes Echinacea in capsule form. Take Echinacea for 10 days, then off 3 days, resuming for 10 days, etc. It is a booster and if taken steadily it looses some of its boosting capabilities.

If you have trouble remembering whether you have taken enough of these products you can count them out in a cup in the morning and it is easier to space them out. Remember to keep the acidophilus in a cup in the refrigerator, counting out your 6 each morning.


Reduce sugar to a minimum and use no artificial sweeteners. You can eat some fruits and natural fruit juices, but they will best be consumed with other non-sweet foods. Avoid sugar-added fruit juices. Herbal teas and water are a good choice of drink.
Any refined carbohydrates that you eat (breads etc.) will be best eaten with other foods--vegetables and meats--so that they will not feed the yeast.

Eliminate dairy products until two weeks after all symptoms are gone. (Dairy products do not include eggs or mayonnaise, but products that come from cows milk.) You can eat plain yogurt (no sweetened or fruit-added ones) with live acidophilus bacteria if you are certain that there is not a dairy sensitivity in your baby or yourself.


After each feeding (or every 3 hours) apply antifungal (Nystatin) solution to mouth, gently rubbing it around to cheeks and gums with a finger. The bottle instructions recommend applying every 6 hours, but since yeast grows back in 1 1/2 hours, it will be more effective if you give half the dosage every 3 hours. Don't skip nighttime. Some mothers are reluctant to wake a sleeping baby after the feeding to give the antifungal, so it can be given before feeding as well.

Infant Diflucan is very effective in treating yeast overgrowth (thrush). If using infant Diflucan, use as directed.

Three times a day, open a capsule of acidophilus/bifidus, sprinkle 1/3 of
the contents on wet finger and let baby suck finger. This healthful
bacteria will begin the re-balancing of your baby's GI tract. For
simplicity, open 4-5 capsules of the acidophilus/bifidus and empty the
capsules into an airtight container. Keep tightly covered in the
refrigerator. Three times a day, wet your finger, touch the powder and let
you baby suck your finger.

Diaper Area

Rinse with each diaper change with vinegar/water solution (1T. white, distilled vingear/1C. water.) Apply antifungal ointment. Do not use baby wipes, as they nurture the yeast. Use clear water for clean-up of bm, then rinse with the vinegar solution.

The following should be continued for 2 weeks after all symptoms are gone:

Vinegar rinse for nipples;
Antifungal cream
Acidophilus for mom and baby;
Garlic and/or Echinacea
Vinegar rinse for diaper area
Nystatin or Lotrimin ointment for diaper area, or if you run out, Desitin or Balm-X (zinc oxide) will do.
Avoid the use of anti-bacterial soaps, which destroy healthful bacteria. Also if your water is chlorinated, fill a pitcher with water and let it sit for 12 hours lightly covered and the chlorine will be dissipated. The chlorine may reduce some of the bacteria that your are trying to restore.
This treatment plan seems very complex, but after a few days it will seem simpler, especially when you are feeling better because of all of your efforts

Sunlight is a good treatment for yeast overgrowth. Sunlight on nipples and baby's diaper area is helpful, but even a walk in the sun or sitting in an sunny window helps also.

Also Fun. Try to remember what brings you joy, and do it. Laughter or relaxation or things that make you smile will boost your immune system and help your body to return to a state of health.

REMEMBER: Continue the recommended complimentary treatments for 2 weeks after all symptoms are gone. There is a temptation to grow lax after you and your baby are feeling better, but the yeast overgrowth can come back until your system is restored to its proper balance.

Patricia Gima, IBCLC, 10/2000,updated 3/2003

Pat's Gentian Violet Treatment
Gentian Violet (G/V) is an effective treatment for yeast overgrowth. It is an outstanding complement to oral antifungal treatment as a part of a comprehensive yeast treatment plan. If the yeast problem is identified early, G/V can be effective as the sole treatment. It stains clothing, so dress baby and yourself in clothing that can be bleached or that you can discard. Soaking in rubbing alcohol will also remove stains from clothing, as well as cleaning surfaces such as counters or bathroom fixtures.

For treatment of nipples and baby’s oral thrush:

2 times a day--morning and night:

Dip a Q-tip into the G/V and paint the nipples and areola thoroughly. With the same Q-tip, which has a little gentian violet left in it, swab baby’s tongue about mid-way back. It is fine if baby sucks on tip. Do this only the first time you treat your nipples.

Feed baby, which will give him a treatment with G/V diluted with breastmilk. At first application, re-paint nipples after feeding if much of the G/V has been removed.

If, throughout the day, your nipples begin burning again, you can re-apply G/V sparingly to the area of irritation.

Use Gentian Violet on your nipples twice a day until baby’s mouth and your nipples are much improved. Then you apply it once a day for a couple of days, then apply it every other day. At any time that your nipples are no longer hurting, you can take a day off from the treatment. If the burning/pain returns, resume the treatment. If there is not a return of the irritation and baby is feeding well you can consider that you no longer need to treat with gentian violet.


Pat Gima has been working with breastfeeding mothers for 30 years, 15 of these years as a board certified lactation consultant. She is in private practice in the Greater Milwaukee area, making home visits covering a 50 mile radius of her home-based office. She works closely with physicians, midwives, and other lactation consultants in assisting mothers in their desire to breastfeed their babies. Due to time constraints and the complexity of yeast problems, Pat is unable to help mom's via e-mail.

Having had an enjoyable breastfeeding experience with her two daughters--32 and 28 years old-- Pat wants to help any woman who wants to breastfeed to overcome her challenges. With the growing number of women who want to feed their babies at their breasts, she finds her work most rewarding.

Because of a rise in the incidence of yeast infections in the newborn period, Pat has made the treatment of yeast/bacterial imbalance her specialty. She continues to research and refine her treatment plan, always looking for opportunities to learn new, effective treatments for the
resolution of this condition that can greatly subtract from a woman's breastfeeding experience.
Rachael Kelly
Loving wife and mother!
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Old 09-03-2007, 09:37 PM   #9
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Re: Yeast and more yeast!

I too have had HORRIBLE yeast problems, though mostly in my milk ducts. I have a few suggestions -- there is something which is called BioKPlus which is usually at Whole Foods which has helped a lot. It's a probiotic supplement which is kind of expensive but worth it.

Also the grapefruit seed extract in water and on nipples has helped too.

Good luck on getting rid of it!
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Old 09-05-2007, 06:22 AM   #10
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Re: Yeast and more yeast!

I was wondering how many of you that are suffering from thrush were given antibiotics at delivery. I had Strep B, and my labor was long. I ended up with 4 doses. I have had thrush off since the beginning. But now at 6 months, it seems to have really gone wild. I guess I shouldn't have waited until it got really bad to get meds for it.

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