Thrush is a yeast infection which can easily be transferred by a breast feeding mom to her baby or through a change in an infant’s environment. A baby that is bottle fed can also easily get a yeast infection. Oral thrush is a common infection in infants; it will cause irritation in and around a baby’s mouth and is commonly accompanied by diaper thrush.
The cause of the thrush is an overgrowth of the yeast called candida albicans. Everybody actually has candida present in their mouth and digestive tract, it is only when there is an overgrowth that we experience thrush. Overgrowth is controlled with a strong immune system and good bacteria. If an immune system is weak or in the case of infants not fully developed it can lead to an overgrowth which will cause thrush.
Can I Give My Baby Thrush? Answer: Yes
You may find that your baby’s thrush is painful, and your little one will demonstrate signs of discomfort. While this may be upsetting to many parents, you should remember that thrush is very common amongst infants and that there are ways to treat it, just talk to your pharmacist or health professional. In the meantime, if you are breastfeeding make sure you keep up a healthy diet to ensure plenty of god bacteria, consider taking a quality pro biotic and practice good hygiene of your nipples and any teats your baby may suck on. If you are bottle feeding your baby, try to avoid letting them sleep with a pacifier or bottle and be sure to sterilize all of your baby’s bottles and teats.
What are the signs of oral thrush
There are obvious tell tale signs that will indicate to you that your baby has thrush. Firstly, your little one may not be feeding well. They may be irritable, fussing and crying when you are trying to feed them. You may also see white patches on the inside of your baby’s cheeks, palate, lips and tongue. Many moms who bottle feed their baby mistake this for milk residue. You can also test for oral thrush yourself simply by gently touching a patch of white with a gauze covered finger. If it is thrush it will not come off easily. If the white area does come off you will find a raw area underneath that may bleed. Thrush lesions are painful for a baby and when it comes to feeding time they will squirm and be fussy.
What can cause thrush?
When a baby’s environment changes this can trigger thrush. Stress, antibiotics and a breast feeding mom with thrush can also trigger an infection. Babies who sleep with a bottle or pacifier may be more susceptible to a yeast infection because the delicate lining of their mouths become abraded through constant sucking. Likewise a breastfeeding Mom may find her nipples are more susceptible to thrush because they are damp and abraded through constant sucking from their newborn. If the environment that is going into an infant’s mouth is dirty – such as the teats of a pacifier or bottle – your little one may be more susceptible to thrush.
If a breastfeeding woman has developed thrush on her nipples it is highly likely that your baby will develop oral thrush. This can become a problem with you transferring thrush between each other over the course of your breastfeeding; it can be very hard to get rid of thrush once it has infected mother and child.
An infant can also get infected with thrush which will present as oral thrush on its passage through the birth canal. Many women experience thrush as a side effect of pregnancy and if not completely eliminated by the time labor commences there is a potential that your newborn will become infected if you have a vaginal birth. This is not a reason to opt for a cesarean section delivery, speak with your health care professional if you are worried about ways to treat oral thrush in infants.
Best ways to prevent and cure thrush
Make sure that you treat your own thrush if you are a breastfeeding Mom. There are still limits on which medications you can take while breastfeeding so it is important that you consult your doctor or pharmacist before taking any thrush medication. This way you are less likely to pass thrush onto your little one through breastfeeding.
Try to avoid leaving your baby with a pacifier or bottle to sleep with, and always make sure that you practice good sanitization when cleaning your baby’s feeding teats and pacifiers. Overgrowth of candida is controlled naturally by our body by good bacteria and a strong immune system. As your little one’s immune system strengthens and their good bacteria increase you may find that the oral thrush clears up by itself. Otherwise, there are treatments you can discuss with your doctor for your baby’s thrush or other health professional.
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