6 Signs & Symptoms Of Thrush During Breastfeeding

Thrush During Breastfeeding

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When your little angel is born, you have decided to breastfeed her. This indeed is one of the great decisions, as the best nutrition for your newborn is mother’s milk.

Breastfeeding itself is considered as a beautiful natural act; but, truth is, it can cause a few health issues. Thrush is just one of the most common problems faced by nursing mothers and breast-fed babies.

What Is Thrush?

Thrush is a fungal infection, which generally affects a mother’s breasts and also the mouth of her baby as he or she is being breastfed.

  • Thrush is caused by the fungus Candida albicans.
  • It grows in moist, warm and sugary places; which is what the mouth of the baby provides during breastfeeding.

[ Read: Toxins In Breastmilk ]

Causes Of Thrush During Breastfeeding:

Candida albicans is present in all of us but its growth is prevented due to the presence of good bacteria in our bodies. Some of the most common causes of thrush are listed below:

  • White spots on the breasts or the nipples
    which produces pin-point pain.
  • Infection caused due to bacteria that appears to be yellowish and has thick discharge.
  • Vasospasm that is associated with not so perfect attachment of your baby at your breast.
  • A white nipple (generally at the tip) after your baby is breastfed.
  • Reynaud’s syndrome.
  • Attachment of your baby to the breast for longer periods than normal.
  • Eczema which also includes reactions to breast creams or pads.

Symptoms Of Thrush In Breastfeeding Mothers:

Like all the health-related issues, you should keep a check for signs that leads to thrush. Some typical signs are mentioned below in order to ease your worry:

  1. The pain is extreme in both your breasts and nipples after days or weeks of painless breastfeeding.
  2. The pain on your breasts or the nipples may last for about an hour.
  3. Although your baby latches well on to your nipples, you still have cracked nipples which do not heal easily.
  4. You have nipples which becomes sore after a pain-free breastfeeding.
  5. You have itchy nipples which is very sensitive to any kind of touch.
  6. You have a burning sensation on your nipples.

[ Read: Diabetes And Breastfeeding ]

Thrush Symptoms In Your Baby:

Here are some thrush symptoms you can notice in your infant:

  • The tongue or the lips of your baby might have a white gloss.
  • Presence of creamy white patches in the mouth of the baby or in the cheeks or the tongue and the patches do not rub off.

[ Read: Cold During Breastfeeding ]

Preventing Thrush During Breastfeeding:

Thrush is a totally treatable fungal disease so there is nothing you need to worry about. But still just to be on the safer side, here’s a list of some of the measures that you could take to prevent thrush:

  • Using a separate towel for every member of the family.
  • You could also take a painkiller to ease the pain of thrush.
  • Maintaining hygienic environment in the house.
  • Using only plain water to clean your nipples after breastfeeds.
  • It has been found that garlic has helped to prevent thrush and also other fungal diseases.
  • Washing your baby’s clothes and toys in hot water in order to kill off the fungus clinging on to them.
  • Some moms have also said that when they reduced the level of sugar and yeast in their diets, it helped in preventing thrush.

If you are careful, there is nothing to worry about this condition!

[ Read: Flu And Breastfeeding ]

Treatment For Thrush In Breastfeeding Mothers:

To get rid of thrush completely, you and your baby will need to undergo treatment. Generally, the pain and the symptoms of thrush begin to disappear once the treatment starts. But if the symptoms take more than seven days to disappear then you should definitely seek help from the person who is helping you with breastfeeding your child in order to make sure that you are not suffering from some other health issues.

We hope our little guide on thrush and breastfeeding helps you handle the situation effectively. Do share your views and comments in the section below.

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