If you or your baby has been diagnosed with thrush, you should both be treated to prevent reoccurrence.
Treating Your Baby
Your doctor may prescribe an oral anti-fungal for your baby's mouth. Most of them need to be used for at least 2 weeks.
Breastfeeding specialist, Dr. Jack Newman, suggests starting with an over the counter treatment called Gentian violet. Use a .5 percent of 1 percent water based solution. A stronger solution can cause sores in you baby's mouth. Using a cotton swab, wipe the solution all over the baby's mouth, including the inside of her cheeks, her tongue and her gums, once or twice a day until the symptoms are gone. It can be used for up to a week. Caution: gentian violet is a plant dye that will permanently stain clothing.
If not using genetian violet you can use acidophilus. Open a capsule and dip a wet finger into the powder. Let the baby suck this off of your finger. Use one capsule 3 times a day.
Many of the oral anti-fungals are available in a non-oral solution for your nipples. Miconazole and Clortimazole can be purchased over the counter. They have been found to be more effective than prescription Nyastatin. The creams should be applied to the nipples and areola after feeds and after the area has been rinsed with water and patted dry until symptoms have been gone for at least two days.
Gentian violet can be used on nipples as well. Use it on your nipples in the same way that you use it on your baby's mouth.
If local treatments are not working your doctor may prescribe oral fluconzale (diflucan). Fluconzale is often used when the yeast is causing pain deep in the breast. It can be used in conjunction with topical treatments.
Grapefruit Seed Extract
Grapefruit seed extract is a natural remedy for you and your baby. You can take it in capsules of 250 mg three times a day or mix 5 to 15 drops of tincture into water or juice 2 to 5 times a day. You can also make a topical solution to use on your nipples, in the baby's mouth and on her bottom if needed. Use 10 drops of tincture to one ounce of water. Treat both your nipples and baby's mouth with this every hour. If symptoms haven't improved after a day, increase the amount of tincture 5 drops at a time to a maximum of 25 drops per one ounce of water.
Acidophilus is useful for keeping yeast in check. Take 2 capsules of acidophilus 3 times a day for one to two weeks. Cut back on sugar and dairy products.
Getting The Thrush Out Of Your Home
Thrush can live in many places causing re-infection. Make sure to wash your hands frequently especially after changing your baby's diaper. Wash your baby's hand too if he spends a lot of time sucking on them. Boil any thing that goes into baby's mouth for 20 minutes, including bottle teats, pacifiers and teething toys. Things that can't be boiled can be washed with hot soapy water. You may want to replace teats and pacifiers after 7 days of treatment. Change your nursing pads after every feed and wear a clean bra every day. Launder towels and bras and anything else that comes in contact with yeast in hot water.