A yeast infection is a fairly common occurrence, so it’s only natural to wonder if you can pass it along to your baby.
For a healthy woman, it is fairly common to sometimes develop an irritation in the vaginal area or the mouth. When it is accompanied by other symptoms such as a creamy white, odorless discharge, a burning sensation when you urinate and swelling, it can cause a lot of distress, but it is actually a normal occurrence. This is known as vaginal thrush or a yeast infection, which is caused by a fungus very similar to yeast known as Candida albicans. While it is indeed a fungus Candida albicans is rarely harmful and can be present in a woman’s vagina without it causing trouble.
However, during pregnancy or while nursing a baby, the yeast-like organisms can grow to levels where they can actually cause plenty of irritation and swelling. This is due to the fact that the estrogen levels often run rampant when a woman is pregnant or has just had a baby. While it isn’t uncommon for this to happen during these situations, it can be a little frightening as no mother wishes for her infant to be affected by thrush.
Can I Give My Baby a Yeast Infection? Answer: Yes.
Unfortunately, a well-meaning mother can give her baby a yeast infection if she isn’t careful or didn’t catch the symptoms in time. Sometimes, a baby can be affected by the vaginal thrush simply by being born. There are also some situations that can affect other parts of a mother’s body – which can then affect a baby due to breastfeeding.
There are many different kinds of anti-fungal medication out there, so being affected by a yeast infection is neither harmful nor life-threatening. However, it can feel terrible to know that you were the cause of your baby’s yeast infection, so it is important to know how a baby can contract the rampant growth of Candida albicans and how to possibly avoid it.
If the Yeast Infection Occurs During the Final Stage of Pregnancy
This can be a rather frightening situation for a loving and expectant mother-to-be, as there is a big chance the baby can contract the fungal disease if the baby is born while the mother still has the vaginal thrush. This occurs due to the fact that the baby is exposed to the Candida albicans as they pass through the vagina. At this point there is nothing a mother can do but hope that the baby does not get it.
Treating Yeast Infections Caught During the Later Stages
If an expecting mother is fortunate enough to catch vaginal thrush while there is still time, she can visit the doctor so that she’s quickly given a prescription for her yeast infection. While it might seem easy to simply purchase anti-fungal medicine and apply it yourself (especially if it has happened before), the doctor will know exactly what kind will work best, and in a situation like this you want the best type of medicine so that your yeast infection disappears before the baby comes.
Yeast Infection of the Nipples
While it is quite easy to tell if a person has vaginal thrush, the opposite can be said about a yeast infection of the nipples. This normally occurs during the mother’s nursing stage, when the baby is being breastfed. It can be hard to tell that a person has it due to the fact that it is usually only swelling and pain that occurs. If a mother is worried that her child might get a yeast infection from being breastfed, this unfortunately can happen. However, most mothers unknowingly tend to stop breastfeeding due to the irritation on their nipples that can actually keep the baby out of harm’s way.
No matter how or where a baby can get a yeast infection, whether in the mouth or the genital area, it can be a distressing time for the mother. Fortunately, treating the body with certain anti-fungal creams and medicines that the doctor prescribes can make dealing with it much easier. Even if an infant catches a yeast infection, it is mostly harmless and will only cause the baby a little stress. Guilt from giving your baby thrush can be hard to avoid if this happens, but just remember that it is a relatively harmless infection.