While on the whole, motherhood is a magical journey where you get to connect and form a bond with the tiny bundle of life that you made. It still, however, has its fair share of unattractive parts – one of them being thrush.
Thrush is a common problem that nursing mothers may experience during breastfeeding. It is primarily a yeast infection around the nipple area, also known as a fungal infection called Candida. Although a harmless condition, thrush is contagious and can be transferred to the baby as well. It can spread quickly and is tough to treat.
The best way to nip it right in the bud is to prevent it from happening in the first place. Here are a few tips to help you out.
Washing your hands before doing any task can reduce the chances of you contracting a host of diseases, including thrush. Prevent thrush by washing your hands before the nursing session, and especially after using the bathroom or changing your baby’s diaper. Hand washing is one of the best defences against thrush.
Choose the Right Breast Pads
If you use breast pads to soak up excess leakage, consider avoiding using the ones that have waterproof liners or are plastic. Plastic lined nursing pads don’t allow for proper air circulation on the skin around the nipples. This leads to a build-up of moisture which provides hospitable conditions for thrush to develop. Try switching to unlined disposable nursing pads or reusable pads made of natural fibres.
To make sure the area around the nipples remains clean and dry, it is best to change your nursing bra every day and every time it gets wet. Remember to wash bras, other clothes, and linens in hot water and keep them dry and fresh. Also, make sure you change nursing pads often. If they get saturated with breast milk, it will give bacteria the perfect sugary and moist environment in order to grow.
Any feeding equipment that comes into contact with your baby’s mouth, such as pacifiers, bottle nipples, toys, teethers, etc should be washed thoroughly in soapy, hot water. Make sure to sterilize all feeding equipment from time to time. You should also regularly clean up the washables parts of your breast pump.
Eat a Well-Balanced Diet
Limit the intake of sugary and unhealthy food or any other foods with empty calories. Make sure to include probiotics (healthy gut bacteria) in your diet. They can be found in foods containing live cultures, such as yogurt.
The author is a dedicated, full-time mom to three toddlers. She spends her free time writing blogs with helpful tips for new mothers. She takes a proactive approach to parenting and shares all her mommy experiences and findings. She’s also a regular contributor at GWC Baby Formula.