How to Beat Thrush!
About 90% of all newborns are colonized with the Candida albicans fungal organism (thrush). Once you have been diagnosed with thrush by a healthcare professional, you will need to carefully manage this infection or it can be a pesky reoccurring issue for you and your baby.
Chronic conditions that can cause thrush to become more prevalent are diabetes, anemia, endocrine disorders, PKU, HIV, mother’s with chronic yeast infections, and mother’s and babies that were given antibiotics during labor or immediately after.
Here are some suggestions that can help with the management of thrush. It might seem like this is an overabundance of ideas and information, but it is certainly worth it, if it can shorten your bouts with thrush.
The most common ways that thrush is dealt with are either through prescriptions or alternative treatments. The most commonly used prescriptions for thrush are Nystatin suspension or Diflucan, also known as Fluconazole (this should be used as the last resort). Sometimes these work well on their own, however there are other methods that you can use in addition to these to help beat the thrush bug.
Gentian Violet has been used for many, many years. It is inexpensive, effective, advantageous, and can be purchased over the counter. Always check with your healthcare provider before using Gentian Violet. Gentian Violet commonly comes in a 2% concentration, however this should not be used without diluting to 1%. It can be diluted by the pharmacist or you can dilute it by half with sterilized water as well. Gentian Violet can be used once a day, for 4-6 days, but should not be used past 7 days. The Gentian Violet can be applied to the baby’s mouth with a Q-tip and to the mother’s breast with a Q-tip, gauze pad or cotton ball. It can also be applied to the baby’s hands. It is very messy, so be sure to wear clothing for yourself and the baby that you do not mind getting stained. Another way of application for Gentian Violet tothe baby’s mouth, is to paint the nipple and areola with a cotton ball and quickly bring the baby to the breast to feed. Gentian Violet can be dangerous if used improperly or for too long.
Grapefruit Seed, (taken orally) 250 mg, 3 times daily, or 5 to 15 drops in 5 oz of water, 2-5 times daily. DO NOT USE GRAPE SEED EXTRACT, ONLY GRAPEFRUIT SEED EXTRACT.
A probiotic for the momma. Acidopholis Bifidus: 400 million-10 billion viable units daily. This should be used for up to 2 weeks after the symptoms are gone. Based on anecdotal evidence, it is difficult to know how well this works, however it has been used for years. Oral supplements of Acidopholis contain beneficial bacteria that can help to limit the Candida in the digestive track.
- Garlic tablets can be taken in doses of 3 tablets, 3 times a day, for 2 or more weeks.
- Vitamin B- at least 100 mg daily.
Hygiene Protocol for Thrush recipients
All people and parts need to be treated
- Wash hands every time after using the bathroom, changing the baby’s diaper, and before and after every breastfeeding session. All family members who change diapers or bottle feed the baby should follow these guidelines as well. Use soap and water while lathering for 20 seconds.
- Nipples should be rinsed after each nursing with clean water and air dried (Thrush organisms thrive on milk and moisture).
- 1 TBSP of white vinegar in 1 cup water can be applied with cotton ball after nipples are rinsed. Or 1 tsp of baking soda in 1 cup water can be applied with cotton ball, this mixture can also be applied to breast, baby’s mouth, and baby’s hands. (Keep either mixture in a sealed jar to keep sterilized, do not re-dip the cotton ball after it has touched the breast. )
- The diaper rash area needs to be washed and rinsed with clean water every time the diaper is changed.
- Several times a day the baby’s bottom needs to be left out to air dry.
- An appropriate anti-fungal cream can be used.
- Disposable diaper and plastic pants usually aggravate thrush because they hold moisture. Use cloth diapers if possible during thrush.
- Dad’s should be treated as well if Sexual Relations have taken place during the time of infection.
- You do not have to have visible signs for the thrush organisms to be present.
- Even when symptoms seem to be gone it can reoccur easily. So, make sure to continue treatments for 1-2weeks after the Thrush seems to be gone.
- Toys, Pacifiers, Bottle nipples, breastfeeding pump kit parts, medicine droppers, nipple sheilds, and teething toys need to be boiled daily for at least twenty minutes. They first need to be washed in soapy water, then rinsed in clear water/ white vinegar solution and lastly boiled. Pacifiers and other rubber nipples need to be replaced weekly. Nursing pads, bras, diapers, bed sheets, crib sheets, and all towels that are used after hand washing or bathing all items need to be washed in hot water with 1CUP bleach in wash water. If items cannot be bleached use 1CUP white vinegar instead. Items should be dried in a very hot dryer or the sun.
- Paper towels should be used after hand washing whenever possible.
- Toothbrushes and all dish ware should be washed with soap and water with vinegar. These items also need to be run in the dish washer daily, 1CUP of white vinegar can be added.
- Eat 1-2 cups of cultured yogurt daily and/or cottage cheese, preferably unsweetened.
- Try to limit food items with yeast, sugar, and alcohol while trying to get rid of thrush.
- Do not freeze or save any milk that was pumped during infection. Freezing milk does not kill Candida albicans.
- Add as much garlic as possible to your diet during this time.
Sources: “Ina May’s Guide to Breastfeeding”, La Leche League International, Ameda/Egnell-Hollister Inc., Dr. Jack Newman, M.D.
*All products pictured can be purchased locally at:
Health Nut Nutrition
1505 Enterprise Drive
Lynchburg, VA 24502
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The information provided is not and may not be applicable to every situation. The purpose of Anticipation and Beyond providing guidance and education to new families is two-fold. The first purpose is for the intention of teaching parents about the many choices and alternatives that are available to them. The second motivation is to encourage families to dig down deep and research themselves from reliable resources that will help to enlighten their new journey.