Baby Thrush | Facts About Babies

Baby thrush is a yeast infection, and a fairly common one. It is generally observed in the mouth of the baby, and is the result of an imbalance of fungi which are naturally present in the body. Baby thrush is a form of Candida infection, which also can affect adults. Candida yeast are always present, and a baby could have a mild infection and not exhibit any noticeable symptoms, or require any special treatment.

The usually symptom of baby thrush is a presence of white patches on the inside of the mouth or cheeks. At times the patches can become thick enough to resemble milk curds or cottage cheese.

Babies often pick up thrush from their mothers, and quite often during birth. The Candida fungus or yeast in women often occurs in the vagina, and the baby may come into contact with the yeast when passing through the birth canal. Some babies are more prone to the infection than others, no matter what the circumstances are as far as the mother is concerned.

Fortunately, baby thrush is seldom serious, although it may cause enough discomfort to warrant treatment. Treatment is generally straightforward, and involves application of anti fungal medication. In adults, treatment of Candida can sometimes be quite unpleasant, as the yeast leaves a toxic residue when killed off. This seldom is a problem with babies however, but treatment can be done in stages if need be. Treatment is usually called for it the baby is beginning to show signs of discomfort, or the mother is beginning to experience sore nipples while breast feeding. When that is the case, both the mother and the baby require treatment.

Potent, But Purple – Gentian violet is an excellent topical treatment for mothers, but stains whatever it comes into contact with. A gentian violet treatment usually only takes a few days, but a breast feeding baby may end up with a purple mouth for a time. Colorful, but harmless.

Treating The Baby – As far as the baby is concerned, a pediatrician should be consulted and will be able to prescribe effective medication. The usual medication is Nystatin, a topical medication that is swabbed on the inside of the mouth several times daily. Nystatin can be used on the other end of the baby as well, as can some other effective non-prescription products. Since the infection can become contagious, anything the baby’s mouth or breast milk comes into contact with needs to be thoroughly cleaned. The baby may also experience an incidence of diaper rash as a part of the thrush infection, and clean and dry diapers as well as bottoms become the rule. Anything the baby is apt to put into its mouth, such as teething rings, pacifiers, or formula bottles needs to be regularly cleaned and sterilized until treatment is completed. Mothers should avoid any food products such as yogurt and buttermilk, or food products containing acidophilus, as these foster fungal growth.

No Sense In Waiting – Baby thrush is one of those conditions which often is more scary to look at than presents any great danger. The main danger lies in waiting too long to begin treatment. While the condition may sometimes clear up on its own, that is not always the case, and if left untreated the yeast infection could result in open sores in the mouth of the baby, on the baby’s bottom, as well as on the breasts and around the nipples of the mother. In extreme cases, open sores can lead to the possibility of bacterial infection, compounding the problem. It’s better to undergo treatment of the condition before pain and discomfort have to be dealt with as well.


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