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Thrush and Breastfeeding

Before a diagnosis of thrush is made we would recommend that swabs of the mother’s nipples and of the baby's mouth are taken to detect bacterial or candida growth.

The half life of Fluconazole in babies is 88 hours. Levels reaching the baby via breastmilk can accumulate to a level in excess of the dose given to babies directly. This can result in adverse effects in the baby.

Whilst fluconazole is given to babies, in the period from birth up to 4-6 weeks the drug is only administered every other day.

It is extremely important to avoid the inappropriate use of thrush treatments particularly in babies under 6 weeks. The BfN cannot take responsiblity for the diagnosis and the use of medication in babies.

Please consult the information on differential diagnosis of nipple pain (pdf 87KB) and the fact sheet on Thrush and Breastfeeding (PDF 110KB).

If you are still unsure please contact us by email rather than call the Drugs in Breastmilk Helpline.

This information replaces the The Breastfeeding Network Thrush and Breastfeeding leafelt which is no longer available.