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Breastfeeding may be slightly uncomfortable in the early days, but it should never be a painful experience. If you are experiencing pain that doesn't go away with a correct latch and isn't due to plugged ducts, you could have thrush. Thrush is a common fungal infection that affects breastfeeding moms and infants.

What is Thrush?

The same fungus that is responsible for those dreaded vaginal yeast infections (candida) is the same fungus that is responsible for thrush. This yeast is a normal part of your and your baby's digestive system. Under certain conditions, this yeast can overgrow, causing thrush to occur.

Though the symptoms of thrush are painful, it is a harmless condition that can be taken care of with the right treatment. Because …show more content…
Common signs and symptoms in moms include:

Shooting, deep pain in both nipples that occurs during and after nursing
Pain in the breasts that lasts for an hour or more after nursing
Sudden onset of pain after pain-free nursing
Cracked nipples
Pain while using a breastpump
Feeling an itching sensation or burining in the nipples
Bright pink or red nipples that may have a shiny appearance

In your baby, signs of thrush include:

White, chunky patches (that have the appearance of cottage cheese) inside of his or her cheeks or tongue that doesn't easily wash off
A white film on his or her lips
Crying when sucking at the breast, bottle or …show more content…
Treatment should bring relief for both and your baby within 48 hours. Pain relievers, such as ibuprofen, can be taken to lessen the pain during breastfeedinguntil the treatment begins working. Make sure to wash your hands thoroughly before and after breastfeeding and after applying the medication in order to prevent the yeast from spreading.

Because breastfeeding can be painful for both you and your little one during thrush, try pumping to maintain your milk supply and to provide breastmilk for your baby while your nipples heal. Most insurance providers will cover the cost of a breast pump with no out-of-pocket cost for you.

Though it may seem like a frustrating (and painful) hurdle in breastfeeding, thrush is a very common problem that nursing moms and babies experience. With the right treatment, you will soon be pain-free and enjoying the nursing relationship that you have with your baby

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