Bringing a newborn baby home is a joyful occasion. Should mamas choose to breastfeed, that time can be a beautiful bonding moment, however, that doesn’t mean it comes free from its challenges! One of the less spoken-about challenges is that of thrush – a yeast infection that can be passed back and forth between mama and baby’s mouth causing pain and frustration. But it can be treated, don’t worry mamas! Little Steps breaks it down for you here.
Thrush is caused by a bacterium called Candida Albicans. Although we all have this organism present, our bodies usually do a good job at keeping it in check. However, once it grows out of control, it can cause a host of problems.
Initially, babies may fuss during feeds and refuse the nipple – never ideal while nursing – but a sign that the baby’s mouth is in pain. The infection spreads to mom and her nipples may turn bright red, cracked, sensitive and itchy. It’s also possible to experience shooting breast pain during and after feeds or develop a vaginal yeast infection.
When the condition presents itself in your baby, typically you’ll see white patches in the baby’s mouth, a white coating on the baby’s tongue, or even a bad diaper rash – an indication that the yeast infection has traveled down to the baby’s bottom.
Fortunately, thrush can be treated. Its important to not let it linger too long as it could pass to other family members. Safe pain relievers can help with the shooting breast pain while taking actions to keep your nipples clean and dry after feeds can help treat and prevent thrush too. A prescribed anti-fungal medication may help the baby, too. Prevention is key here.
The above steps should help you avoid any infection while enjoying special moments with your baby.
Breastfeeding can be a beautiful time, but the more we know about how to prevent and treat thrush, the more we can enjoy this special time!
Mamas who are breastfeeding their babies.
There are natural, at-home remedies that can help with your baby's thrush, too, such as baking soda, tea tree oil, gentian violet, and virgin coconut oil. However, it is always best to check with your pediatrician first before trying any alternative treatments.