260 chapter 12: Caring for your baby
If a baby is in a good position while suckling and you still thrush
have pain in the nipples that lasts for more than a week, it
may be caused by thrush (a yeast infection on the nipple or
in the baby’s mouth). Your nipples may itch or you may feel
a stabbing, burning pain. The baby may have white spots or
redness in her mouth. She will be fussy if her mouth hurts.
Thrush can lead to sore and cracked nipples and breast
infection. Both mother and baby should be treated.
How to treat thrush
Mix gentian violet (see page 344) and water to make a 0.25% solution.
For example, if you have a solution of 1% gentian violet, mix 1 teaspoon
with 3 teaspoons of clean water.
Use a clean cloth or a finger to paint your nipples
and the white spots in the baby’s mouth once a day
for 5 days. Gentian violet will stain clothing and will
turn the baby’s mouth and your nipples purple—this
is normal. You should keep breastfeeding. If the
thrush does not get better in 3 days, stop using
gentian violet and get medical advice.
Breast Infection (mastitis)
Painful breasts and sore or cracked nipples can lead to an
infection inside the breast.
• Part of the breast becomes hot, red, swollen, and
• Fever or chills.
• Lymph nodes in the armpit are often sore and swollen.
• Abscess (painful lump in the breast) that sometimes
bursts and drains pus.
A Health Handbook for Women with Disabilities 2007