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03 May 2016

Thrush is the common name for an infection caused by Candida alb cans, a type of yeast which naturally occurs in our bodies. Normally held in check by bacteria, this yeast sometimes spreads and causes an infection in baby's mouth, on mum's nipples, or in the milk ducts.  Often this can be bought on by the use of antibiotics to treat another problem, killing off 'good' bacterial in the process.

Thrush in baby's mouth often appears as white dots, which don't move when rubbed, on the tongue, inside the cheeks, or in the throat. It is often accompanied by a bad bout of nappy rash.

Mum may have any of these symptoms;

Itchy, red or burning nipples

Cracked nipples

White dots around the nipples

Pain in one or both breasts

Often a thrush infection in the milk ducts does not show any symptoms in mum apart from a deep, shooting pain in one or both breast during and or after feedings.

Thrush can be treated quite easily, but if left untreate can be incredibly painful. It is a good idea to seek medical help as soon as you suspect that you may have thrush.

If either mum or baby are diagnosed as having thrush it is very important that they are BOTH treated for thrush, as even though the infection can be symptomless in one half of the nursing pair they can still pass it back to the other.  Many midwives, health visitors and doctors know this, but some do not.  If you have difficulty in getting suitable treatment for both of you, you should contact another GP/HV in the practice, or ask a local breastfeeding counselor for support.

Your doctor will almost certainly prescribe a cream/ointment for baby's mouth and should prescribe either an anti fungal cream for your to use on your nipples and surrounding area, or anti fungal tablets (similar to the Caneston tablets which are widely available to treat vaginal thrush, but more powerful).  the only effective way for treating milk duct/ deep breast thrush with tablets - externally applied creams just can't reach the seat of the infection. The Breast Feeding Network has more information on the medicines used to treat thrush in mothers and babies.

If you or baby do have thrush then, as well as the creams and/ or tablets prescribed by your doctor, you should take extra care with hygiene, washing your hands before and after feeding and nappy changes, regularly sterilizing any thing which come into contact with baby's mouth or your breast milk.  You should try to change breast pads frequently and, if you can, either wear a cotton bra or expose your breasts to the air. This can help because thrush thrives in warm, damp places.

You may want to eat bio-active yoghurt, or one of the drinks commonly available, both of which help to top up the levels of the 'friendly bacteria' which normally keep the Candida alb cans under control.

Read more here: http://neobabycenter.com

You could also try cutting yeast products, dairy products and sugary foods out of your diet for a short time, or washing your nipples in a vinegar/water mixture after each feed.

 Thrush which is infecting other parts of mum's body - for example vaginal thrush, or thrush in a cesarean wound can also be passed on to mum's breasts or baby's mouth, so it is important to take extra care with washing after touching the affected area, and to seek medical advice on how to treat it.

 

 



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