Since so many moms emailed about thrush and yeast infections in breastfeeding (it's so painful!), I thought I'd give you some of the tips and some practical advice.
I don't want to spend too much time on what you can find on good, thorough sites, so for Tuesday links, I have a very informative source for you to read up on medical and natural remedies here at kellymom.
Practice good hygiene. You should anyway, because children are sort of a breeding ground for disease, sorry to tell you. You don't need antibacterial detergents and sprays. You need old fashioned hand washing with warm water and soap.
As I said in my last post (#5), wash your hands after diapering. With warm water and soap. Really.
Babies sort of come with yeast and it can get out of control. Diaper rashes are often caused by yeast. I had one baby whose rash was misdiagnosed by the doctor, and I kept putting cortisone cream on his poor bum. That only makes it worse. Fortunately the nice lady at the diaper service told me to use a different cream and to air out his diaper area, since yeast thrives on dampness.
Many readers reminded us to keep bras (cotton), nursing pads (don't use anything but cotton pads), nighties, and towels clean and dry. Wash them in hot water. Wash your hands before you nurse the baby.
Eat less sugar and carbs. Eat more protein, yogurt, and salt. Yeast thrives on sugar.
Sibyl said make sure it's yeast and not eczema. If it's thrush, the baby will likely have white spots in his mouth. If so, use the remedy on your breasts too, whether or not you think you have thrush.
If what you have is cracked and sore nipples but not a hot pain like you are sending knives, not milk, through your nipples, it could be eczema and needs a different treatment.
Kathy recommended washing with a vinegar solution, as vinegar kills yeast. Let your breasts air dry. If you can be discreet, allow some sun to get on your skin!
And above all, keep nursing. You don't want a plugged duct on top of everything. I found that the pain was intense for a few minutes but subsided if I just plunged in. Offer your pain to God for your child and all children and mothers! If you follow these tips and the ones on kellymom, it will be over soon.
And wash your hands.