Breastfeeding Issues and Ailments – Thrush

ThrushBreastfeeding has a wide variety of benefits for mothers and their babies that have been well documented. However, that does not mean that breastfeeding is without its challenges. There are a few different issues and ailments that can arise that create challenges for breastfeeding mothers. The ailment we are discussing in this blog is called thrush, and below, you will find some useful information on how to deal with this issue.

Description

Thrush is an infection that is caused by candida fungus and produces a characteristic white rash in the mouth. The rash is typically found on the tongue or inner cheeks and has been described as looking like cottage cheese. While it is most common in infants, it is possible for adults to have thrush in their mouths as well. It can also be rapidly spread from one part of the body to another. The candida fungus is a yeast that can cause diaper rash and vaginal yeast infections in women. All of these conditions are often easily diagnosed by a trained medical professional, so if you suspect that your baby may have thrush, a quick trip to your pediatrician should provide you a clear answer.

Causes

The candida fungus that causes thrush is naturally occurring in the human body, and small amounts are always present in the mouth, digestive tract, and on the skin. Normally, there are other bacteria present that keep the growth of candida in check. Thrush results when something throws off the balance of these bacteria and the fungus is left with ideal conditions to grow uncontrollably. Some known causes of the bacterial imbalances that can lead to this condition include medications, stress, and medical conditions. It is important to remember that thrush can be passed from baby to mother and vice versa so if you are breastfeeding and one of you gets it, it is probable that you will both get it.

Treatment and Prevention

Fortunately, this condition is easy to treat but will require you to make a trip to your pediatrician or medical care provider. They will likely prescribe an antifungal medication that you will need to take regularly until things are cleared up (10-14 days typically). Regarding preventing thrush, practicing good oral hygiene is a must and a large part of that is making sure that items that come into contact with the mouth are cleaned regularly. Additionally, mothers should limit foods that contain sugar and yeast to help prevent the proliferation of the fungus.

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