Our breastfeeding journeys can be rough. Around a month ago I noticed some white spots on my 9 month old’s tongue. I suspected thrush, so I made a call to her pediatrician’s office. The nurse I spoke with suggested it was just milk residue. The next day we noticed it had spread to her cheeks and lips, so we took her in to see a doctor. It was a very mild case of thrush (which is an overgrowth of yeast) and looking back I wish I would have just treated it at home. But when you’re in the moment and you think something’s wrong with your baby, you panic.
Yeast is a normal part of everyone’s digestive system, but when there’s an imbalance, an infection sets in. Most infants first come in contact with yeast as they travel down the birth canal. Thrush can develop when hormonal changes right after birth trigger an overgrowth of yeast in your baby’s mouth.- babycenter.com
- She was prescribed Nystatin 3 times a day, and I was directed to put it on my nipples after feedings. This stuff is so sticky and gets everywhere. I chose to apply in her mouth after every feeding because yeast can regrow every 90 minutes. I also started taking grapefruit seed extract which is an anti-fungal to help combat the thrush in me. Thrush in breastfeeding moms and babies is tricky because mom and baby can keep reinfecting each other. We also had to boil her pacifiers daily and clean anything her mouth touches, which is um, just about EVERYTHING. I was feeling really defeated.
- After 2 weeks the thrush seemed to go away but a week later she did have a bit of thrush left at her 10 month check up, so we did a gentian violet treatment on my nipples and in her mouth after each feeding. I wish I would’ve done that in the 1st place, as recommended by Ina May Gaskin, one of my breastfeeding idols.
Thrush is not a reason to stop breastfeeding!! No one ever said breastfeeding was going to be easy. But find the support you need. Look into your baby’s eyes when you nurse and see that satisfaction that they get from your sweet milk!!!!! Keep going!!!