Dear Aunty Tina, I am breastfeeding and have a yeast infection on my nipples. What can I do to get rid of it?
A nipple yeast infection can be painful, itchy and problematic when you are breastfeeding. It can be a result of too much sugar in your diet, candida in your system, a warm damp environment and giving birth with a yeast infection (which 6 days later can appear in your baby’s mouth, which is then transferred to your nipples). Apple cider vinegar is a great antidote. For you, the mother, take a shot of apple cider vinegar in the morning. If your baby has thrush in her mouth take one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and mix with 8 ounces of water. Then take a clean cotton cloth and wipe inside her mouth and on her tongue before every feeding. Do not use straight vinegar, as it will burn her vocal chords. You should also swab your nipples with this solution before and after feedings and then change your bra, or padding every two hours as it takes 2-4 hours for the yeast to reproduce.
It can be excruciating to breastfeed while you have a nipple infection so pumping on the lowest vibration can give a break from some of the suckling, but you must remember to disinfect the apparatus between pumping. Adding Acidophilus in your diet in the form of yogurt will also hopefully help; as will expressing a little milk and letting the drops dry while you are topless. The homeopathic Bryonia has also been known to help a nipple yeast infection. Hopefully it will clear up in two weeks.