During breastfeeding it is important to keep an eye on everything the mother consumes as it whatever she consumes can be transmitted to the newborn via breastmilk just like in pregnancy where transmission is through the bloodstream. Sometimes due to improper care of the body after delivery, the mother might develop skin problems due to fungal infection. These could be due to yeast or ringworm. Such infections are usually treated with anti-fungal drugs like miconazole popularly known as Monistat.
In this article:
Monistat During Breastfeeding: Is it Safe?
Monistat or Miconazole is an anti-fungal drug used for the treatment of infections. It is placed intravaginally in the case of vaginal yeast infections. Topical use is seen in localized fungal infections. Vaginal creams are usually applied once every alternative day. During pregnancy, more use of Monistat is beneficial in eliminating the chances of development of future infections.
During breastfeeding as such, no adverse effect of Monistat is observed. However, only a small amount of Monistat could pass from the mother to the newborn through breastmilk when used topically or intravaginally. It is even safe to be directly used on the newborns for the treatment of fungal infection.
What Can the Mother Take for Yeast Infection while Breastfeeding?
Fungal infection is usually caused by yeast more often by Candida albicans. Candida is supposed to spread fast and it is hard to get rid of it. It is important to treat it before it spread to the baby, therefore follow steps are must along with doctors advice :
Medications: Both the mother as well as the baby should be treated with medication even if only one of them develops the infection to avoid the spread. Other than Monistat following medicine can also be used –
Nystatin Cream: can be applied directly to the skin of the breast and nipples.
Fluconazole: Oral pills are available which are beneficial in treating the recurrent fungal infection. The course of treatment is two weeks and it is safe to be used during breastfeeding.
Clotrimazole: Ointments or creams are used to treat fungal diaper rash in babies.
Gentian Violet: It is a liquid medication used to swab the nipples as well as the baby’s mouth. It is natural and has no side-effects.
Washing Hands: Washing hands properly could prevent many infectious diseases to occur and spread. It is important to wash hands before touching the breast or even after changing the baby’s diaper.
Washing of Breast: Breast should be kept clean and dry. As soon as the mother breastfed the baby, rinsing the nipple with water and later drying it is important to maintain hygiene. Sunlight exposure is considered good for healthy hygienic breasts.
Washing Baby’s Item: In order to get rid of the fungal infection, it is required to clean all the items which come in contact with the breast and baby’s mouth. Boiling of the bottles, its nipple, teethers along toys is important.
Breast Pads: Changing the breast pads regularly as they keep breast warm and moist. This warm and moist condition favors the growth of fungus.
Nursing Bra: It should be kept clean and dry and changing it frequently is a must to avoid fungal infections.
Probiotics: These are nothing but good bacteria that inhibit yeast growth.
Limitation of Sugar Content in Diet: Sugar accumulation is a major cause for yeast infection and sugar favors yeast growth. Therefore, it is better to avoid sugary foods and drink.
Protection of Breasts: Breasts can be protected with the help of breast shells which also help in relieving the pain.
Yeast Infection and Breastfeeding
It is very common for a lactating mother to develop yeast infection as yeast thrives on milk and moisture. Commonly this fungal infection is called “thrush”. Sore nipples along with itchy, red flaky nipples or blisters on nipples with shooting pain can be characterized in this condition. Breastfeeding yeast infection is totally different from vaginal yeast infection through the causative agent is the same in both.
Ativan Use During Breastfeeding
Ativan is the brand name of lorazepam, an anti-anxiety drug also used for the treatment of insomnia and seizures. When observed only low levels of lorazepam were found in breastmilk. Therefore, it was concluded lorazepam lead to no adverse effect when given to breastfeeding mothers. But in some cases, if the baby appears abnormal like more drowsy or poor at suckling then it is important to consult the doctor as soon as possible.
If used with proper doctor’s consult both the medicines, Monistat and Ativan do not cause any harm to the baby and the mother. If the mother maintains proper and clean conditions for herself and the newborn she can avoid the fungal infections easily.