What the heck is Thrush?


Your baby is acting more fussy than normal and seems to be in some serious discomfort. You try everything from feeding them more often, to long car rides to try to soothe them, but nothing is working! Then notice something strange in their mouth, it’s all white a fuzzy on their tongue.  You try to wipe it away assuming it’s left over formula or milk, but it’s staying put?

Thrush is an infection caused by Candida Fungus (Yeast). This infection occurs in your baby’s mouth, but it can happen at any life stage. This is the same bacteria that can cause diaper rash and yeast infections.

The tell-tale sign of Thrush are white patches on your baby’s tongue, cheek, or any area that cannot be wiped away. If you notice this it is recommended to contact your Pediatrician and get them an appointment quickly as it can spread.

Thrush2010In the beginning Thrush is not necessary all over the mouth as pictured above, it may start off as one small white fuzzy patch.

The treatment for Thrush is an antifungal prescription that must be taken for nearly 2 weeks. Typically the medication can be administered as tablets, a liquid, or as  lozenges.

If you are breastfeeding it is common for you and your baby to pass it back and forth. It typically is not recommended to stop breastfeeding since Breast milk helps develop your baby’s immune system. Talk to your baby’s Pediatrician and your care provider to try to get yourself and your baby treated to avoid elongating the infection.

In addition to medical treatment you may want to consider:

  • Sterilizing your baby’s pacifiers and bottles (including nipples) and replace them weekly.
  • Sterilizing your breast pump parts that have contact with your milk*
  • Sterilizing any toys the your baby puts in their mouth.
  • Using hot water and bleach wash anything that comes in contact with your nipples→ bras, sleepwear, nursing pads, etc.
  • Talk to your care provider about taking a probiotic supplement or you can eat yogurt daily.

*When you pump and have Thrush you can use the milk, however it is not recommended to freeze it because the cold temperature will not kill the Yeast.

Although this infection is a little scary it should clear up quickly. You may find that your baby is a little more fussy, or your nipples are a little more sore when you first start the medication, however this is typically temporary. Make sure you follow the instructions provided with your medication., and ask your care provider any questions you have.

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