Thrush is one of the most painful breastfeeding conditions and is caused by a fungal infection. Breast fed babies can display fussiness at the breast, clicking sounds during feeding, poor weight gain and fussiness at the breast.
Causes can include the use of antibiotics which may affect breastfeeding, disrupting the harmony between mother and child. Thrush always occurs in both breasts and usually presents following a period of pain free feeding. The pain experienced is not resolved by improved attachment and may persist after the feed has finished.
Common symptoms can include: Itching, burning or stinging of the skin over the nipples for a period of time which is unresponsive to position changes. The nipple may become bright pink following feeds. The skin of the nipple may appear shiny, moist / soggy. Some mothers report a shooting pain in the breasts. Nipples may be sensitive to the cold. Deep shooting/stabbing pain that often subsides during the feed only to return following feeds.
Treatment for thrush in a breast feeding mother is a prescription for Miconazole 2% cream which can be applied sparingly to the nipples /areola twice daily following breastfeeds and needs to continue for 10 days after symptoms have cleared. This prescription can be given by a Health Visitor or a GP.
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