Kill yeast by scalding milk?

I found your article informative..I have a mom who is exclusively bf/pumping.

20 day treatment w/diflucan and oral nystain drops for baby. Occasional bottles and uses a pacifier. ? concerning discarding frozen milk. If scalded would that kill yeast?

Wic Breastfeeding Peer Counselor/IBCLC

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Oct 25, 2012
my thoughts
by: Tracy, CBC, CLD (CBI)

While the mom is being treated for yeast and for two weeks after there are no thrush symptoms (while on medication still), she can give her baby the milk without scalding it. After this period of treatment she can scald the milk to kill the yeast.

There have been no studies on this, but it is said that freezing does not kill the yeast, scalding does. (But she must not boil the milk)

How to scald milk: heat milk in a saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the milk begins to steam and small bubbles begin to form around the edge of the pan; remove from heat.

There are active ingredients in breast milk that also fight against Candida, it actually inhibits the growth of yeast. Breast milk also encourages good bacteria growth which helps to limit yeast growth. These factors will help to protect baby from any yeast still contained in the expressed milk.

She should label her milk and give baby the oldest milk first. To reduce the risk, she can also dilute the "infected milk" with other milk (if available)

The scalded milk will have less protective antibodies in it, but if no other breast milk is available it is still much more nourishing than formula.


Per Mohrbacher and Stock in The Breastfeeding Answer Book (2003, p. 483):
“Research indicates that freezing does not kill yeast (Rosa 1990). Suggest the mother give the baby any milk that was expressed and stored during a thrush outbreak while they are being treated. If that is not possible, suggest she boil it to kill any yeast before giving it to the baby."

Per Newman and Pitman in The Ultimate Breastfeeding Book of Answers (2000, p. 149):
“Throwing away frozen milk collected while the mother has her problem with C. albicans seems to me a terrible waste. Although freezing the milk does not kill this organism, it is likely, given the antifungal factors in breastmilk, that the fungus will remain in the form that does not cause problems."

Per Amir and Hoover in Candidiasis and Breastfeeding (p. 3) and per Odds in Candida and Candidiasis: A Review and Bibliography, 2nd ed. (p 14), candida usually dies within minutes at a temperature of 122°F (50°C).

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