Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Breast yeast infection or Candida albicans

In the last 2 days, my breasts started to hurt again. I kept checking the latch and it seemed alright but it hurt while feeding and then even more after feeding. The pain is a bit unusual in that it was more prickly and burned at the tip. I was disappointed because I was finally starting to feel better being on the antibiotics for my breast infection or mastitis. Pain was going away and then all of a sudden it appeared really sharp, just at the tip on my infected side. In fact, I sort of feel it a bit on the other side too now.

I spoke to a friend the other day and we were talking about breast infections and yeast infections. She asked if mine was a yeast infection and we talked about some of the differences. At the time, my symptoms did point to a breast infection. She was telling me that a high sugar diet for the mom and not cleaning the baby's mouth enough could lead to a yeast infection. This morning, I started thinking about it some more while I was eating my chocolate banana bread and wincing at the sharp pains in my breast. I wanted to do some research so I jumped on the computer after breakfast. From what I have discovered, I am quite positive now that my mastitis (breast infection) has now turned into candida albican (yeast infection) :(

This was the first article I read that made me believe I have a breast yeast infection now:

Yeast infections are more common in warm and sweaty environments. I'm afraid I don't air out my breasts after feeding either. It may be summer but I'm still so cold in the house. Antibiotics can increase your chances of getting an infection too. Eeeks! Tristan is on solids and his mouth is a lot filthier than before. I'm worried he has been infected because he is a lot fussier the past 2 days. It has only been 2 days since I got my piercing pain. His fussiness is also due to teething but maybe the yeast infection is causing it too. Oh boy!

"Antibiotics can trigger an overgrowth of the body's yeast." Breast infections and yeast infections are similar in many ways and you can have both. Under "Nipple pain caused by Candida albicans," there is a good description of what it is and its symptoms. What stood out most to me was #8:
"may occur only in the breast. This pain is often described as "shooting", or "burning" in nature, and is often worse after the feeding is over. It is often said to be worse at night. At the same time, the breast appears or feels normal. This is not mastitis and there is no reason to treat with antibiotics. On the contrary, antibiotics may make the problem worse."
In my case, I did start with mastitis and probably still have some of it present but now I have a yeast infection too. I have to finish my antibiotics to cure my breast infection but now I need to get started on the treatment for the yeast infection. I will try to see the doctor about it tomorrow. Whether Tristan shows signs of being infected or not, he still has to be treated for it.

Apparently, this is something that can commonly happen after breastfeeding has been established and unfortunately many moms end up giving up breastfeeding as a result. I can see how it can be a problem. After being on the pregnancy diet and then breastfeeding for so long, you just want to eat junk food and sweets. I have been totally bad in that regard. It's either ice cream or cake or cookies or chocolate every day for the past few months! I was totally asking for a yeast infection!

Now that I know about it, I will try to prevent it from happening again. After reading about it this morning, I have already washed and sterilized all the bottles, pacifiers, and wiped all the toys Tristan has been sucking on the past few days. I am also cleaning myself with baking soda. Well, it doesn't hurt to try! I might try vinegar instead tomorrow but that may stink. I won't be eating any more sweets or junk food until I am all better. That one will be hard :(


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