Canadian Breastfeeding Foundation

Candida or thrush of the nipple and breast

Herzl Family Practice Centre, Goldfarb Breastfeeding Clinic and Program Patient handout


Candida albicans is a type of fungus that can cause infections in various warm and humid places, such as the nipples, breasts, skin, vagina, mouth, and baby’s bum → these infections are commonly called “thrush” or “yeast infections”.

Risk factors for developing thrush:

For mother:

For baby:

If you have thrush, you may notice the following:

In the mother:

In the baby:

Even if the baby has no signs of infection, the mother may still be infected, and needs to seek treatment from a health professional or lactation specialist.

How to treat a candida infection?

First of all, make sure your baby has a good latch and that you have no pain while nursing.

Home remedy:

It is important to seek professional help if you think you might have thrush. However, you can try this home remedy in the meantime.

Rince your nipples with 1 tablespoon (15 ml) vinegar in 1 cup water (250 ml), every hour for a 24-hour period.

Treatments that may be suggested by your health professional:

Home hygiene:

For cases of severe or repetitive thrush, certain things can be done in the home to prevent the growth of fungus in general. Note that these things are not essential if your thrush is easily treated, only if it keeps on coming back, or does not go away easily:

More home hygiene:

If the above don’t work, and you are still dealing with recurrent thrush, you may want to try the following:

Normally, you should feel better with the treatment prescribed by your health professional. If you are not better, it is important that you return to see your health professional.

The information contained in this patient handout is a suggestion only, and is not a substitute for consultation with a health professional or lactation specialist. This handout is the property of the author(s) and the Goldfarb Breastfeeding Clinic. No part of this handout can be changed or modified without permission from the author and the Goldfarb Breastfeeding Clinic. This handout may be copied and distributed without further permission on the condition that it is not used in any context in which the International Code for the Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes is violated. For more information, please contact the Goldfarb Breastfeeding Clinic, Herzl Family Practice Centre, SMBD Jewish General Hospital, Montreal, Quebec, Canada. © 2009