To learn more about mycosis, read the previous part, Fungal Infections and Breastfeeding (Mycosis).

Pour en connaître davantage sur la mycose, consultez la partie précédente : Les champignons et l’allaitement (la mycose)

First, there are many treatments for mycosis. You can start with non-pharmacological ones. But to quickly eliminate the infection, we often combine natural measures with antifungal treatments.

Natural Treatments

  • You have to deal with the potential cause of mycosis. If the breasts are injured, you have to change latching positions and heal the nipples. It’s also essential to make sure you clean your hand several times a day. You also need to boil the nipples and pacifiers for at least 10 minutes every day.
  • Because there may be intestinal microbiota changes, the mother may want to take probiotics to help reconstruct her protective intestinal flora.
  • The grapefruit seed extract is an effective natural product. It’s a potent liquid antiseptic that acts on bacteria, viruses, fungi and yeasts. This product is sold in some pharmacies and natural product stores. You need to read the posology to use it correctly.
  • Finally, the mother needs to have a very balanced reduced sugar diet.

Antifungal Treatments

To get rid of the mycosis infection as quickly as possible, you can use antifungal products.

I suggest gentian violet. It’s a liquid treatment that you place in the baby’s mouth with a dropper. Administer it once a day for a maximum of seven consecutive days, as it can be an irritant. Usually, four straight days is enough.

Three things to note if you use gentian violet:

  • It stains. The baby’s mouth will be violet or bluish. Your breasts will also be stained, and perhaps your clothing too. Of course, don’t wear your best clothing when using this product.
    Photo - bébé traité au violet de gentiane
  • The baby should not swallow it. Here is a reassuring technique for parents. Administer the liquid with a dropper softly inside the baby’s mouth. To get rid of the surplus liquid, lean the baby downwards on the side. The baby will salivate and eject the surplus naturally. You can then wipe their mouth with a Kleenex and restart breastfeeding.
  • The product is an irritant. If you use gentian violet several days in a row, it can irritate and dry the baby’s lips. As a preventative measure, you can apply 100% purified lanolin cream on their lips before treating with gentian violet.

Many other products can be used to treat mycosis, either in cream or suspension form. These include nystatin, Canesten®, or MONISTAT® for at least 7 consecutive days. This may extend to 14 days if you use Jack Newman cream. The latter combines three types of creams: anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antifungal. It’s a good choice, but it needs to be prescribed. Before choosing a treatment, talk to your health professional.

If the treatment choices you make don’t reduce the mycosis (mother or baby), the doctor can treat using an appropriate oral medication (fluconazole). The mother can continue with the non-pharmacological measures she is taking.

Don’t confuse vaginitis (fungal infection) with vaginosis. The latter is a bacterial infection characterised vaginal discharge that is grayish, acidic and smells like rotten eggs (often occurs in pregnant women). You have to treat this infection, as it can lead to premature labour, water breaking before term or postnatal infections. That’s why Health Canada and The Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada recommend screening for vaginosis between the 16th and 20th week of pregnancy if the mother had a premature baby in the past.

C’est pourquoi, il est recommandé par Santé Canada et la Société des obstétriciens et gynécologues du Canada de faire un dépistage de la vaginose entre la 16 et 20e semaine de grossesse si la femme a déjà eu un bébé prématuré dans le passé.

After reading this article, I hope you have learned more about fungal infections, causes and treatments. You will now be able to identify these infections to help your breastfeeding experience be a great one.

Talk soon,


The Baby Expert

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