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How can I manage a yeast infection when breastfeeding?

You can deal with a yeast infection while breastfeeding by taking the following steps:
  • Rinse your nipples with warm, clear water after breastfeeding. A water and vinegar mixture may be even more effective than plain water. Mix 1 tablespoon vinegar in 1 cup of water. Pat your nipple dry with a soft towel when you’re done. Do not rub your milk into your nipples. Yeast thrives on the natural sugars in mother’s milk.
  • Apply a thin layer of antifungal cream to your nipples and areola after each feeding for 14 days, or as otherwise instructed by your doctor. Usually the cream is absorbed into the skin between feedings. However, if you notice any extra cream, remove it with a wet cotton ball before breastfeeding.
  • Since yeast thrives in a dark, moist environment, change your breast pads or bra whenever they become wet with milk. Use cotton bras and breast pads (without waterproof linings) because they allow air to reach the nipples.
  • Wash your bras, nightclothes, sheets, towels and washcloths in hot water daily.
  • Wash your hands after you use the bathroom or change your baby’s diaper.
  • If you’re expressing your milk, you can still feed freshly expressed milk to your baby. However, because of the risk of re-infection, it may not be wise to freeze the milk for later use.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.