breastfeeding, a yeast infection (called
thrush when it occurs in the mouth) can be passed back
and forth between the mother's breasts and the infant's mouth. The nipple of an
infected breast becomes red or very pink and sore. If the infection extends
into the milk ducts, it may cause pain throughout the breast and a sharp,
burning pain in the breast while breastfeeding or between feedings.
An infant can be infected with yeast during delivery if the mother
has a vaginal yeast infection, or the infection may develop later. The infant
may then pass the infection to the mother during breastfeeding. Yeast
infections of the breast may also occur when the mother is taking or has
recently taken antibiotics. Cuts, scrapes, and other injuries to the nipple
increase the risk of a yeast infection.
Thrush appears as white patches in the infant's mouth and a rash in
the diaper area (one type of diaper rash).
Both the mother and infant must be treated for a yeast infection to
prevent reinfection. For more information, see the topic Thrush.
Other Places To Get Help
La Leche League International
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: Women's Health
ByHealthwise Staff Primary Medical ReviewerSarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine Specialist Medical ReviewerKirtly Jones, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology