What Is THRUSH?🤷
Thrush is a type of Fungal(yeast) infection. It may sometimes occur in breastfed babies and on the nipples of breastfeeding women.
Candida albicans is a natural fungus that lives in the digestive tract and on skinof aall humans. It doesn’t usually cause any problems, but if it multiplies uncontrollably, thrush can occur.
Lactating babies get thrush in their mouths and on their tongues. This is known as Oral thrush. Oral thrush in babies can be painful and that’s why they have trouble feeding.
Hence making them cranky and fussy.
Oral thrush is more common in infants under 6 months old.
Since thrush flourishes on the yeast found in breast milk it infects the mother’s nipples and milk ducts, which can also result in an oral thrush infection for the baby. In appearence thrush looks like white, milky-looking patches on the gums, tongue, inner cheeks, and tonsils, which bleed easily when touched. Child may also have cracked corners of the mouth and often have a diaper rash that doesn’t go away at all.
💁Now come to think of it if an organism is part of our natural flora and doesn’t harm any one then why does this mutiply in babies. The answer to this is : that an overgrowth can occur if the healthy bacteria in your body can’t keep the fungus under control which can also happen if the immune system in the body is weakened or immature. Since little babies don’t have a fully developed immune system they are more susceptible to oral thrush. Most common treatment is Nystatin oral drops for the baby, while a cream version of the medication is prescribed for the mother’s breasts.
Thrush is very contagious. Lactating mothers and their babies can get into a vicious cycle of reinfecting each other through lactation. So it’s highly important that both mom and baby get treated completely when infection occurs.
If mommy has thrush, the breast milk, as well as anything that touches the breasts, can spread the bacteria. This means
hands, nursing bras, nursing pads, clothing, towels, burp clothes can all spread the infection.
Where as if the little one has thrush, anything that they put in their mouth may also spread thrush. This includes pacifiers, teething rings, and bottle nipples as well. So they have to be properly sterilized.
Now this means that this thrush from your baby can also be transmitted to your breasts during feeds.Also, you may get it from changing your baby’s diapers if the fungus is in their stool. Mommies taking certain medications, such as antibiotics, corticosteroids, and certain types of cancer drugs are at an increased risk because these drugs can destroy healthy bacteria, making thrush more likely to occur.
Women with diabetes are also at increased risk for developing thrush.
Thrush can be treated with antifungal medication. Your doctor may prescribe a topical antifungal cream to apply to your breasts, such as miconazole cream.
There are several strategies you can use to try and prevent thrush:
*Frequent hand washing especially after breastfeeding and changing diapers.
*Reducing stress. Everything will get done…if not now then later. You dont have to be stressed about it coz it affects your immune system.
*Incorporating a lifestyle with healthy and balanced diet.
*Reducing your sugar intake.
*Sterilizing everything that goes in your little ones mouthe such as pacifiers or teething toys.
*Your nipples should be dry between feedings. After breastfeeding spread some breast milk over your nipples and allow them to air dry.
*Increasing the level of good bacteria in your body by daily eating yoghurt or by taking a probiotic supplement.
🤦Reinfection-the actual problem.
The organism is difficult to get rid off. It hides in teeny weeny places and causes reinfection. So, you have to be surper smart. Below mentioned hygiene protocols may help you prevent reoccurring thrush infection:
*Bottles, pacifiers, breast pump parts and toys that the baby puts in their mouth should be boiled for 20 minutes each day.
*Pacifiers and bottle nipples are changed after every two weeks.
* Nursing bras, burp cloths and item of clothing that come in contact with breast milk are sterilized by washing with bleach or a cup of vinegar.
*Frequent hand washing especially after diaper changes but here make sure that the soap that you use is NOT antibacterial soap, which may kill the good bacteria.
*Do not use a cloth towel, rather dry hands with paper towels and make sure to discard them after each use.
*Avoid diaper wipes if the baby has a diaper rash. Instead, use a washcloth and luke warm water. If poops then wash with luke warm water.
*Minimize diaper time. Cloth diapers are preferable over disposables.
🧘Oral thrush is a commonly occuring infection in babies which makes nursing a difficult and tiresome task but by following a strict hygiene regimen and contacting a doctor at the first hint of thrush this bond between the mommy and little one can still be enjoyed in its true sense.