Friday, May 20, 2011
3 questions about: Thrush
What is thrush?
Thrush is a fungal infection in your baby's mouth caused by the yeast Candida albicans. If you see white spots on the inside of your baby's lips and cheeks or on his tongue that don't easily wipe away (like spit-up does), they could be a sign of thrush.
Yeast grows in moist, warm, sugary environments — like the inside of a baby's mouth. If you're breastfeeding, your nipples can become infected with yeast when your baby latches on, which can then cause your nipples to be dry, sore, and painful during feedings. You're more vulnerable if you're stressed and your resistance is low. The yeast can also travel through your baby's digestive tract and come out on the other end, causing a diaper rash or vaginal yeast infection.
What can be done about it?
See your baby's healthcare provider. She'll probably prescribe an antifungal medication for you and your baby. If you're breastfeeding, it's important for both of you to be treated so that you don't continue to reinfect each other. It will probably take several weeks for the condition to go away once treatment has begun.
During treatment, be sure to wash your hands frequently and sterilize your baby's toys and pacifiers in boiling water. Applying an over-the-counter antifungal cream (clotrimazole) on your nipples can help you, as can taking ibuprofen.
How does thrush affect my baby?
While the yeast infection is annoying to you, your baby may show no ill effects at all. Some babies with thrush are more irritable and less interested in eating, however, because their cheeks and gums are sore.