Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

THRUSH- what it is and how to get rid of it **New Info**

Posted by on Apr. 17, 2009 at 3:53 PM
  • 35 Replies

Thrush is a yeast infection that causes white patches in the mouth on cheeks, gums and on the tongue. Thrush is most common in babies and older adults, but it can occur at any age.  You get thrush when a yeast called Candida, normally found on the body, grows out of control.

In babies, Candida causes thrush because babies' immune systems are not yet strong enough to control the growth of the yeast and are more likely to have problems if they have been or are on antibiotics. 

It is possible to contract thrush from your breastfeeding baby.  Most likely it will not infect your mouth, rather, your nipples.  Common symptoms are itching or light peeling and in more severe cases a sharp needle-like pain inside the breast. 

The most common symptoms of thrush are white patches that stick to the inside of the mouth and tongue. In babies, it is easy to mistake thrush for milk or formula. It looks like cottage cheese or milk curds. Don't try to wipe away these patches, because you can make them red and sore. I have also read that to check that they are not just from milk it is ok to wipe very gently with a soft cloth to see if they come off, so use your discretion.  Some babies with thrush can be cranky and do not want to eat.  ** I have also noticed that thrush outbreaks really exacerbated my son's reflux, so I knew when he was getting it again even before he had white spots**



Thrush can be particularly hard to get rid of when you are breastfeeding as the infection can be passed from nipple to mouth and then back from mouth to nipple.  It is important to treat both even if there are no visible signs.

HOMEOPATHIC TREATMENT:
For Baby:
~Gentian violet in the mouth, and it is indeed violet!   It will stain the mouth for a few days, and will stain clothes, paci's and nipples.  This should get rid of most, if not all, visible white patches and gives quick relief.
~If they have a diaper rash associated with thrush (there will be bright red sores, and general irritation) DO NOT USE PETROLEUM BASED CREAMS. Wash hands thoroughly after diaper changing. 
~If you are using cloth diapers, I recommend switching to 'sposies during rash outbreaks to preven re-introducing the infection.  If possible, wash cloth diapers in hot water with vinegar in the 1st rinse.
~If baby is old enough, add yogurt with active cultures to diet.  Children's Probiotic powders are also available in the health food section of many grocery stores, and can be dissolved in milk or water.


For Mom:
~Make a solution of 1 C. water and 1 Tbsp. white vinegar.  Apply to your nipples with a clean cotton round after each feeding. 
~Eat yogurt, or add a probiotic to your diet.  The good bacteria in the active cultures will help your body naturally keep the yeast in check.

For Home:
~Boil all pacifiers, bottle nipples, breast pump accessories (as allowable) for 20 minutes. 
~Use vinegar wash on all teethers and any other area that comes in contact with baby's mouth frequently.
~Wash all towels, blankets, and clothing exposed to breastmilk or spit up in hot water, adding 1/2 c. vinegar to the rinse cycle.
~Use towels and bras only once before washing.  (I don't have that luxury with bras, so use disposable breast pads and change them often)

**New Info!!** Using Grapefruit Seed Extract (GSE):
~Make a mixture of 10 drops of Citricidal Grapefruit Seed Extract to one ounce of water. The use of distilled water to make your solution is very important.  The chemicals placed in your local tap water to kill bacteria can reduce the effectiveness of the active ingredients in GSE.    

~If thrush is not markedly improved by the second day, increase the mixture to 15, or even 20 drops of GSE per one ounce of distilled water.   If after reaching up to at least 20, and a full day of hourly treatment with it, you see no improvement, I would consider using Diflucan.  If you are prescribed Diflucan, continue to treat topically with GSE during the course of treatment.   
~Use this solution with an absorbent swab on mom's nipples and baby's mouth once every hour during all waking hours. Swab baby's mouth prior to nursing and mom's nipples after nursing.  Applying it to baby's mouth prior to nursing will help them to  avoid the possibility of baby associating the bitter taste with nursing.  
If diaper area is affected, put the same strength solution into a spray bottle or swab as above at every diaper change.  
~If the infection is particularly rampant or you are having difficulty getting rid of it, mom may need to take acidophilus or GSE capsules to get rid of it systemically.   
~GSE solution can also be used in laundry or as a surface cleaner to kill yeast hiding and waiting to multiply again.  
~It may be necessary for Mom to eliminate sugar from her diet until the yeast infection is gone.
~If treatment with GSE seems to leave your nipple area dry, I suggest applying a light coating of Vitamin E oil in the following manner: First apply the GSE solution, allow that to dry or use a hairdryer to dry it completely, then apply a light coating of Vitamin E oil.  I would suggest doing this 3 to 4 times a day until the dryness is gone.  It should only take a couple of days to show significant improvement.  The Vitamin E oil should absorb into the skin thoroughly prior to the nursing following the application.  I'm a big fan of Lansinoh, but do not use it when dealing with thrush, because it provides a moisture barrier that is counterproductive to getting rid of thrush.  (from www.drjaygordon.com)


MEDICAL TREATMENT:
~Nystatin oral suspension drops may be prescribed for oral treatment, Nystatin cream for diaper rash.  Use for the full duration prescribed, do not stop just because symptoms are no longer visible.  Be sure to apply oral drops after a feeding and do not feed or give drinks for 45 minutes afterward.
~Other anti-bacterial or anti-fungal treatments are also available.


In my personal experience, Nystatin is great for treating it here and now, but does nothing to prevent re-infection. Many antibiotics will also kill probiotics--good bacteria-- that help keep your body balanced, and will likely make it come back worse.  The most important way to treat it is to treat everything, and follow these guidelines for at least a week after symptoms are no longer visible.  There is no real explanation as to why some babies get thrush and others don't, or why it may be a recurring problem or a one-time event. The above notes are a combination of information from medical professionals, research and personal experience. 

Other suggestions are welcomed, and please remember, this is just from one mom to another and is not an attempt to give or replace medical diagnosis or advice.

by on Apr. 17, 2009 at 3:53 PM
Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Replies (1-10):
amc103
by Alli on May. 10, 2009 at 9:46 PM

This is great info! I am going through this right now with my first child and last week, I couldnt even nurse or pump because my nipples hurt so badly. They are somewhat better now, and the Thrush in my son's mouth is almost gone with the help of the nystatin drops. ALso, there is Nystatin cream for your nipples which is what the dr perscribed me, BUT a lactation specialist I talk to regularly told me about something called tripple nipple cream which has the same thing as the Nystatin cream, plus an anti-inflamitory which TOTALLY helped with the pain. My recomendation-if your dr is going to perscribe the nystatin cream, ask her/him about the tripple nipple cream instead. It needs to be compounded, so it will need to be called into a pharmacy that does that sort of thing. Its also more expensive if you dont have insurance-(I had to pay 40 dollars) but when you have this infection on your nipples, you know that ANY amount is not too much..lol! Good luck to everyone out there.

rosebud31
by on May. 11, 2009 at 10:39 PM

The above is great info, but I wanted to share...

I thought I had thrush when my little one was born.  We used acidophillus and I treated the both of us every hour round the clock with diluted grapefruit seed extract, and before and after each feeding.  I washed and ironed sheets and washcloths and whatnot, and treated the wash with vinegar and grapefruit seed extract.  It never went away, so I tried the doctor's remedy.  It still didn't go away.  I went in for my 8 week checkup and my midwife told me she thought it was some kind of epstein pearl, I think.  It was.  We never had thrush.  It was white and sounded like some of the descriptions I'd found!  Oh well...what else do you have to do when you have a newborn in the house except make yourself crazy?

JilliansMommy07
by on May. 11, 2009 at 10:47 PM

Good post!  I know how painful it can be on the boobies...mine hurt so bad and they would crack.  UGH it was HORRIBLE!  I just wanted to add along with all of the advice from the OP...to sit with your boobies exposed to sunlight for about 5-10 min...not long enough for them to get sun burned...b/c I'm sure that would hurt just as bad!  Sunlight helps kill the yeast infection.

2beeAmom
by on May. 11, 2009 at 10:55 PM

All the info in the first post was great! I highly recommend getting some Gentian violet, it is messy but it works fast. If yours is as painful as mine was with all three of my babies fast is very important!

Also My youngest got diaper rash with it and none of the creams, or any of the natural remedies that I found online( yogurt, acidophilus, colloidal silver, tea tree oil...) helped, I finally tried my husbands Gold Bond powder and the rash was gone the next day!


  Join Team Prosperity/NHR today!!! CLICK HERE

bltcahill
by on May. 11, 2009 at 11:01 PM


Quoting rosebud31:

The above is great info, but I wanted to share...

I thought I had thrush when my little one was born.  We used acidophillus and I treated the both of us every hour round the clock with diluted grapefruit seed extract, and before and after each feeding.  I washed and ironed sheets and washcloths and whatnot, and treated the wash with vinegar and grapefruit seed extract.  It never went away, so I tried the doctor's remedy.  It still didn't go away.  I went in for my 8 week checkup and my midwife told me she thought it was some kind of epstein pearl, I think.  It was.  We never had thrush.  It was white and sounded like some of the descriptions I'd found!  Oh well...what else do you have to do when you have a newborn in the house except make yourself crazy?

That is a great thing to point out that there are a few other things that resemble thrush but aren't. 

Another to be on the look-out for is Coxsackie virus which is the culprit behind Herpangia and Hand-Foot-and-Mouth disease.  They are most common in summer and fall (or year round in more tropical climates).  These two strains of the virus also display white spots in the mouth, but they are ulcers and may have a grayish tint and a red ring around the outside.  They are accomplanied by sore throat, lethargy, muscle and head aches, and a high fever.  It usually lasts 3-7 days and is highly contagious.  Coxsackie viruses can also lead to much more serious diseases, like meningitis.  With summer approaching, please read up on this! Click here.

ASH5388
by on May. 20, 2009 at 11:39 AM

I had thrush, all because you are sitting in the wetness of your own BM - I started using bras from omamma.com (leak proof and EVAPORATES the milk) and have never had another issue - they are also very comfy, lightweight and best of all no mor eleaking thru to my clother or mattress and no more health issues - allelluia

DanielleHoevey
by on Jun. 3, 2009 at 9:24 AM

My baby has white on the back of her tounge. But she eats ok, and is a little fussy at night. I wonder if it is thrush?

bltcahill
by on Jun. 3, 2009 at 8:16 PM


Quoting DanielleHoevey:

My baby has white on the back of her tounge. But she eats ok, and is a little fussy at night. I wonder if it is thrush?

Most babies have white on their tongue anyway, just milk residue.  If it looks patchy or raised up then it might be thrush.  It is also common for babies to have a fussy time of day.  I'm not saying rule it out, but don't jump right to thrush just because of some fussiness.  If you are still concerned about it, ask your ped. at the next well baby check or you can schedule a nurse visit.

                     come be a
      ~Zen Momma~

MommaXfour
by on Jun. 21, 2009 at 2:44 PM

i used the g. violet with all three of my boys, and it worked.... it wouldnt work on my daughter though, so the doc gave her oral dyphlican (spelling), and her thrush went away and never came back! 

mommato2boys79
by on Jul. 11, 2009 at 4:37 PM

my son had thrush and ended up giving it to me as well. that was some of the most painful stuff i have ever had happen to my breast. so i told his Dr that i thought he had it and he gave me meds for it and he asked if i bottle or breast fed and when i told him breast he told me to put some of it on myself and it really worked. the med was Nystatin

Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)