Self Care Instructions for Thrush

Thrush is caused by an OVERGROWTH of a yeast like organism that is present in the air and on your skin. Thrush can be difficult to Treat. The body has to be restored to it's normal balance. According to Dr. Jack Newman "You can't cure thrush, you can only establish a new relationship with it."

Vinegar helps destroy the yeast cell wall. It is important that you follow the treatment guidelines below for a minimum of 14 days.
** All references to vinegar and water solution refer to 1 Tablespoon of white vinegar added to 1 cup of water unless otherwise noted.

Treat the Overgrowth
1.  Bathe the nipples and areola with a weak vinegar solution * after each nursing. (Make a fresh solution for your nipples each day) The solution can be applied by moistening a cotton ball in the solution and squeezing the cotton ball over the nipple and areola. Do not touch your breast with the cotton ball. Use a fresh cotton ball for each breast.

2.** Apply a very light coat of --can use over the counter Gynelotrimin or Femstat- or prescription for nystantin topical cream- cream to your nipples and areola, after the vinegar wash, every -- 4-- hours or after every feeding. Do not wash off. Continue to use the medication for 14 days even if your nipples are no longer tender. If your nipples become more tender, you experience a rash on your breasts or the symptoms appear to worsen contact the lactation clinic or your medical provider.

3.**Use the oral (liquid) medication [prescription from baby's doctor] --nystantin----- for your baby use -------ml every ---- hours for a minimum of 14 days. Place half the dose inside the baby's cheek. Coat the baby's oral surfaces with the medication by using a cotton swab, clean fingertip, or gauze square. Allow the baby to rest briefly. Then apply the second half of the dose in the opposite cheek and coat the oral surfaces again. Use the medication for the full 14 days, even if you no longer see white patches in your baby's mouth.

**Or paint: nipples, areola and baby's mouth with gentian violet (available at drug stores) once a day for three days. Be careful it stains EVERYTHING.

4.  Treat any existing vaginal yeast infection

5.  Watch the baby's diaper area for a rash. Contact your pediatric provider if a rash appears in the baby's diaper area.

Treat the Environment

1.  Use a clean towel for each shower or bath. Wash all towels in hot water after each use. Do not allow damp towels to hang in bathrooms

2.  Wear a clean, washed, cotton bra daily.

3.  Keep your nipples and areola dry. Expose your nipples and areola to air as much as possible. Change damp bra pads as soon as possible.

4.  Use disposable bra pads if possible. Avoid bra pads with water-proof liners (or plastic backing). If you are using washable bra pads, boil them in water and vinegar * solution, for 20 minutes, at a full boil, after laundering.

5.  You may use breast shells with large holes to keep your bra from sticking to your nipples and assist with healing. Boil the shells in water and vinegar * solution for 20 minutes every day. Replace the shells, if needed, after 10 days of treatment.

6.  Boil baby's bottle nipples and/or pacifiers in water and vinegar * solution, for 20 minutes once a day. Replace all bottle nipples and/or pacifiers after 10 days of treatment. Clean baby's toys with a light spray of water and vinegar * solution to prevent re-infection.

7.  If baby is having problems with rashes, use 1/4 cup vinegar in the final rinse instead of fabric softener when you wash baby's clothes.

8.  Wash your hands frequently. Use disposable, paper towels to dry your hands. Keep fingernails short and clean. Use a nail brush to scrub under your fingernails.

Restore Normal Balance

1.  Yeast may cause you to crave sugary foods, cheese, bread or alcohol. Avoid adding these items to your diet until treatment is completed.

2.  Add live culture, unsweetened, yogurt to your diet once or twice a day. Acidophilus capsules (Live or viable units) may also help.

3.  Yeast burns up your vitamin C and Zinc, add these in the minimum daily requirement on the supplement label.

4.  If you are using a breast pump, boil all the parts that come in contact with your breasts and milk, in water and vinegar * solution, for 20 minutes at a full boil after each use.

© Marie Davis, RN, IBCLC 6/99 
A copy of the treatment protocol from my book The Lactation Consultant's Clinical Practice Manual can be emailed to you for you health care provider. Just click on the email me button above and request Thrush Treatment Protocol.


Consulting with Marie Davis, RN, IBCLC via the Internet/Email does not provide the benefits of one on one consultation and/or an examination of you, your baby or breastfeeding.
Any recommendations for self treatment of your problem MAY BE INCORRECT due to these limitations.
Marie Davis, RN, IBCLC offers advice for FEEDING PROBLEMS ONLY and cannot give medical advice. You should always consult your doctor or your baby's doctor regarding medical care.
Keep all well baby checkups. Keep immunizations up to date.
If your baby appears ill, listless, sleepy, fussy and/or is not wetting at least 6 times per 24 hours contact your baby's doctor or local emergency room IMMEDIATELY.
If the recommendations made by Marie Davis, RN, IBCLC via Internet/Email do not help the problem or if the problem gets worse you MUST call your own doctors, medical provider and/or lactation consultant for further advice.

reviewed: Wednesday, September 15, 2010