« 3 Tips to Improve Indoor Air Quality | Main | To Pump or Not to Pump? »
Monday
Aug152011

Natural Remedies for Your Baby's Thrush 

Good Monday!

Our question this week is regarding baby thrush. What causes it? And what natural remedies will get rid of it?

Thrush is a yeast infection in your baby’s mouth, an overgrowth of Candida albicans, which is a type of yeast that is normally present in smaller amounts in our bodies. For babies, thrush is usually passed to them through their mother’s nipples during breastfeeding, which is why the end result is ‘thrush’ in their mouths. The insides or your baby’s cheeks and throat may look redder than normal, and their tongue will be coated white and you may see pockets of white yeast in baby’s cheeks or the corners of her mouth.

Thrush can occur as the effect of antibiotics taken by mothers during pregnancy. Antibiotics can kill good bacteria that are essential to the human body in fighting against bad bacteria that causes infection. It can also be caused by Mamas taking antacids, getting inadequate rest, stress, allergies, or an injury to nipples from poor latch-on during breast feeding.

Young babies are more prone to a thrush than adults because of their immune system is immature. This means their bodies are unable to restrict the growth of this yeast as effectively as adults can and an infection may occur. For thriving babies, it is a minor inconvenience that may result in mild discomfort. For nursing mothers, it is very painful (we’re talking shooting pains, and razor blades! My babe had it a couple of times, and I just remember crying when I nursed. Yuck!). As horrible as it may be, PLEASE DO NOT GIVE UP ON BREASTFEEDING!

Treating thrush with any remedy requires patience and persistence, repeatedly administering remedies and paying close attention to hygiene. But it CAN be done easily and naturally!

The secret is to kill the yeast. Yeast feeds on sugar, so reducing your sugar intake while the thrush persists is a very good idea. I had a tough time with this bit of advice; I have a serious love affair with sugar…

These remedies worked for me:

Yogurt. Offer a fingerful of yogurt to be sucked by your baby or smear it on the yeast patches in baby’s mouth and on your nipples using a cotton swab (remember to clean your nipples of yogurt before nursing again). Discard the swab or wash your hands after applying the yogurt, as to not contaminate your yogurt with thrush.

Baking Soda. Make a solution of one-teaspoon baking soda in eight ounces of water. Use a cotton swab or baby washcloth to wipe the solution on the insides of baby’s cheeks, gums and tongue after each nursing. Prepare a fresh solution every day, and stir well before using.

Acidophilus. Break open an acidophilus tablet and rub the powder on the pockets of thrush and your nipple.

Apple Cider Vinegar. Rinse nipples with an organic, raw apple cider vinegar solution made from 1 tablespoon vinegar in 8 oz of water. WARNING: may sting if thrush is severe.

Some other remedies I’ve found:

Garlic. Use fresh garlic in your cooking or take a strong garlic supplement.

Vitamin C.  Take 1 gram every 2 hours for a week or longer if immune system is very weak. It is said to discourage the growth of yeast.

Virgin Coconut Oil. The pure and raw varieties. This is perhaps the most effective and safe for mom and baby alike. Apply to your child’s mouth and to your own nipples to prevent the continual passing of thrush.

Grapefruit Seed Extract. Often touted as being more effective than bleach for killing bad bacteria.

To prevent thrush, stick to whole, balanced diet and reduce acidic and sugar-filled foods, get a good night’s sleep and rest when necessary (eye rolling here, I know), clean your child’s toys, bottles, and anything else that goes into his or her mouth often and thoroughly, try using natural and homeopathic soaps rather than grocery store brands (they may be too alkaline, thus increasing your risk for a yeast infection).

If you find you’ve got a particularly persistent case, it can be really hard and frustrating. If you can, set up a support system for yourself, and know that you and your baby will get through this time.

What are YOUR experiences with thrush? Have any remedies I missed? Leave them here in the comments. If you have questions on anything else, comment or email me and I’ll do my best to answer. Check back here every Monday for the latest Ecobaby topic!

Xo Melanie

 www.ecobabyplanning.com
www.ecobabyplanning.blogspot.com

Reader Comments (3)

I'm grateful I've not had to deal with this while nursing my first for the last 12 mo
But if in the future I do have to, do u recommend using these tips simultaneously or try just one at a time? I'm sure you would want to do allll of them together simultaneously, but which ones could you do together?
Aug 15, 2011 at 9:44 PM | Unregistered CommenterAmanda
I'm grateful I've not had to deal with this while nursing my first for the last 12 mo
But if in the future I do have to, do u recommend using these tips simultaneously or try just one at a time? I'm sure you would want to do allll of them together simultaneously, but which ones could you do together?
Aug 15, 2011 at 9:45 PM | Unregistered CommenterAmanda
Amanda, I started with the baking soda/water combo. Definitely cut down on or cut out sugar! At the same time, you can start eating yogurt and taking a vitamin C supplement. If you're not seeing any kind of improvement in a couple of days, move on to some of the others. None of these need to be your sole choice, mix and match, there's no harm in overlapping! Just get rid of that yeast! I hope you never have to deal with it, but thanks for asking! Happy nursing.-Melanie
Aug 16, 2011 at 10:38 AM | Unregistered CommenterMelanie
Comments for this entry have been disabled. Additional comments may not be added to this entry at this time.