Both after pregnancy and childbirth, women go through several unprecedented changes in the body. These include hormonal changes, changes in body weight, mood swings, etc. However, at times, some women can also get affected by specific physiological conditions and infections. A number of breastfeeding mothers get afflicted with thrush.
What Is Thrush And Why It Happens?
Triggered by yeast candida, thrush is one infection that sets in lactating mothers. It generally affects mouths of babies and also gets spread to the genital region at times. From the baby’s mouth the contamination can reach nipples of their mothers too. It is quite contagious in nature.
In some cases, thrush begins as a yeast infection in vagina after conceiving. As the baby reaches down the birth canal he or she may contract a yeast infection. Later it may get transferred to the mother’s body when she breast feeds the baby. As a matter of fact, yeast is part of human digestive system, but overgrowth leads to infection in the body.
In some instances, use of antibiotics can also lead to the onset of thrush in baby or mother. Antibiotics may eliminate some of the healthy gut bacteria in human body, leading to the onset of thrush. However, the good thing is yeast infection is not uncontrollable. Pinpointing a single cause of thrush in lactating women can be tricky though. Some babies and their mothers tend to be more vulnerable to this infection compared to others.
Symptoms of Thrush
The common signs of thrush are:
- Nipples getting itchy and redder than usual
- Deep pain in breast after and during breastfeeding
- Vaginal yeast infection
- White patches on the cheeks of affected babies-these can be painful too
- Patchy red or dark diaper rash in genital region and red spots on skin
Ways To Treat Thrush In Lactating Mothers
It is important to treat thrush whether it affects your baby or your body. This is a contagious infection that can be passed from child to mother and vice versa, and so treatment becomes necessary to prevent recurrence. Thankfully, with proper medical intervention and treatment, thrush can be cured within a few days.
4 Top And Effective Methods To Treat Thrush:
1. Antifungal Medication
When you contact a doctor after suspecting thrush in your or the child’s body, the doctor may prescribe anti-fungal medication. Based on your health and severity of infection, type and strength of medication can vary. OTC anti-fungal creams are also used. These creams and ointments need to be applied on and around the nipples.
2. Pain Relievers
Mothers with thrush can feel pain in the breasts after lactating. To get relief pain relievers like ibuprofen can be prescribed. However, you need to find out if such painkillers have side effects or can interact with any existing medications beforehand.
3. Hygienic Measures
Apart from taking anti-fungal or any other medication for your and the baby’s infection, you can also adopt a few healthy measures to get rid of thrush quickly. These are:
You should sterilize the equipment like feeding bottles, bowls used for baby feeding and stuffs used by your toddler. You should also clean toys used by the baby in hot water. Similarly, it is necessary to clean the clothes of baby in hot water. You should keep the nipples dry as much as possible. The bacteria leading to thrush growth in moist environments. Make it a habit to wash towels and other garments in hot water.
4. Change In Diet
When you are coping with thrush, it may be necessary to make small changes in your diet. It will be a prudent idea to exclude foods from your and the baby’s diet that may contain yeast. Cutting down on sugar laced foods can be helpful in this regard.
Using garlic in cooking can be useful to get relief from thrush as this herb has anti-fungal properties. You may use crushed and created garlic in making foods for you and baby during such times.
Using probiotic foods like yogurt can help recover from the infection better. Such foods are ideal to grow healthy bacteria in the gut.
Some women resort to using herbs and natural extracts to kill the bacteria leading to thrush. However, it will be better to consult your doctor before trying such herbs for treating thrush.