Baby & Breast Thrush - Major Cause of Painful Breastfeeding

by wrylilt

Many women experience pain when breastfeeding but think it's normal. Often it's not and the pain can easily be cured.

What is Baby & Breast Thrush?

Thrush is very common in babies. It's caused by yeast that is always present in the body and thrives in wet and moist environments. No matter how clean your keep yourself and your baby, it's still possible to get thrush.
This article is based more around breastfeeding babies with thrush, however most of the same rules apply to bottle fed babies as well.

Symptoms of Thrush

It's possible to have mild thrush and have only one or no symptoms. However many babies and mother have all three symptoms:
► Nappy Rash - Usually a very red and sore looking nappy rash that cannot be cleared up by normal rash creams.
► Breast Pain/Nipple Pain - Either red and sore nipples and areola or shooting sharp pains throughout the breast, if the yeast has invaded the ducts.
► White sores in baby's mouth - White dots on the inside of the cheeks and sometimes a white coating on the mouth.

If your baby isn't happy or feeding well there may be a good reason.
If your baby isn't happy or feeding w...

What Medicines Cure Thrush?

The following are all available over the counter at most pharmacies - however it will often take a combination of more than one to cure the thrush for both mother and baby.

  • Daktozin - A great anti-fungal cream that can clear up a bad rash in a short time.
  • Hydrozol - A steroid cream that can be applied a few times a day and then covered by a normal nappy cream. However it is very strong and should be recommended by a doctor only in severe cases.
  • Nilstat - Usable on both nipples and baby's mouth. Can clear up problems in a few days.

Natural Cures for Thrush

There are several different ways to control and kill thrush:

  • Grape fruit seed extract
  • Baking soda
  • Coconut oil
  • Garlic
  • Acidophilus yoghurt

Most of these can be used both directly on the thrush.

Yoghurt and garlic can be taken orally and grape fruit seed extract can be used to clean items the thrush sufferer comes in contact with.

Best ways to Stop Thrush Recurring

If you want to make sure that the thrush is completely gone you need to do the following:

  • Boil everything - from bottles to pacifiers and toys, everything should be boiled. Boiling is the only way to kill thrush.
  • Wash everything - anything that comes in contact with baby or breasts needs to be washed in either hot water or vinegar or bleach, so that all of the yeast germs are removed.

My Experience

I recently began to have problems breastfeeding my (then) seven month old daughter. I assumed it was because we had regular visitors at the time which caused her to get distracted and come on and off the breast. My daughter also had severe nappy rash. Both my doctor and child health workers I regularly visited knew about our problems but just told me to basically - grin and bear it, and use more nipple cream.
After five weeks of breastfeeding pain I was on the verge of weaning. I noticed a few white dots in my baby's mouth. I bought a cheap medicine (nilstat) from the chemist and within 48 hours I was feeding almost pain free. I just wish that one of the medical professionals who knew about the problem had considered thrush as the cause.

Updated: 07/23/2011, wrylilt
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