Have you noticed that your little one is extra fussy during feedings? If that’s the case, or if you notice small white patches in his or her mouth, an oral yeast infection known as thrush may be to blame. In this blog, we’ll examine some of the causes and treatments of this common yeast infection.
What is thrush?
Simply put, thrush is a type of yeast infection.
Thrush symptoms present as white or yellow irregularly shaped patches or sores within your baby’s mouth, whether that be on his or her gums, tongue, or roof of the mouth. Caused by Candida albicans, thrush is a mild infection that can be uncomfortable or painful to babies.
What causes thrush?
Typically, thrush show’s up in a baby’s mouth and can actually be transferred from mom during breastfeeding. It’s also possible that this fungal infection started in mom’s birth canal as a yeast infection. As the baby passes through on his or her way into the world, the infection can be picked up.
Most often, thrush is picked up at birth, making it most common in newborns and babies under 2 months of age. If your baby is older than that, it’s possible that he or she developed it as a result of taking antibiotics to fight a different infection. (Antibiotics can kill of the “good” bacteria that keep yeast in check). Another possibility is that thrush developed as the result of a depressed immune system.
How to prevent oral thrush
Oral thrush can be very easy to prevent, though prevention typically must start before the baby is even born. It’s important to remember that if an expecting mother develops a yeast infection during pregnancy that she consults her doctor. Failure to get rid of the infection before the baby is delivered could result in the baby being born with oral thrush.
After the baby is born, there are other things to keep in mind to help prevent thrush. First, women who experience nipple discharge or pain during breastfeeding should be examined by their doctor for signs of a yeast infection in the nipples which can be transmitted to a nursing infant. Additionally, nursing mothers should use breastpads that do not have a plastic barrier which can promote the growth of Candida. They should also ensure that bottle nipples and pacifiers are always kept sterile.
Oral thrush treatment
There’s good news here: oral thrush will generally disappear within two weeks without using medication. Parents are advised to monitor the infection throughout that time period, however.
If you want to help treatment along or if you notice a reoccurrence of thrush in your baby’s mouth, however, you can use coconut oil. The medium-chain fatty acids it contains (including lauric acid) are potent antimicrobial agents that kill fungi, including Candida albicans.
We recommend using Skinny & Co.’s Pure Baby Coconut Oil for oral thrush treatment, as it was designed with mom and baby in mind. Moms can apply a small amount to their nipples before and/or after breastfeeding or directly to the thrush in a baby’s mouth.
We also advise keeping your baby’s doctor updated about any cases of oral thrush and to let them know that you are using coconut oil to help with treatment.