Breastfeeding is a beautiful and natural way to nourish your baby, but it can also come with its fair share of challenges. One common issue that breastfeeding moms may encounter is thrush, a yeast infection that can affect both mom and baby. In this blog post, we will explore what thrush is, how to recognize its symptoms, and what steps you can take to address it. We will also address the question of whether you can still use reusable nursing pads like Lil Helper Hera Breastpads if you and your baby have thrush.
Thrush is a type of yeast infection caused by an overgrowth of Candida fungus. It can occur in various parts of the body, including the mouth (oral thrush) and the nipples and breasts (breast thrush) in breastfeeding mothers. Thrush is highly contagious and can easily be passed between mom and baby during breastfeeding. This can make it extremely frustrating to deal with as mom and baby can pass it back and forth over and over again making it challenging to treat.
Recognizing the Symptoms
If you suspect that you or your baby may have thrush, here are some common symptoms to look out for:
- For Mom:
- Nipple pain or soreness that persists after breastfeeding
- Itchy or burning sensation on the nipples
- Shiny or flaky skin on the nipples
- Shooting pain in the breast during or after feeding
- For Baby:
- White patches inside the mouth that do not wipe away easily
- Fussiness or irritability during feeding
- Diaper rash that does not improve with regular diaper cream, open air, etc.
If you notice any of these symptoms in yourself or your baby, it's important to consult with a healthcare professional for an accurate diagnosis.
Dealing with Thrush
Treating thrush typically involves a combination of antifungal medication for both mom and baby, as well as some additional measures to prevent reinfection. Here are some steps you can take:
- Medication: Your healthcare provider may prescribe antifungal medication such as topical creams or oral medications to combat the yeast infection. It's important to follow their instructions carefully and complete the full course of treatment.
- Good Hygiene Practices: Practicing good hygiene is crucial in preventing the spread of thrush. Make sure to wash your hands thoroughly before and after breastfeeding, and wash your baby's hands and toys regularly.
- Avoid Darkness & Dampness: Yeast loves damp, and dark spaces. Change your nursing pads or bra/shirt regularly as needed, and allow open air time for your nipples to properly dry. If possible, it can even be helpful to get some sunshine on your nipples! Just make sure your neighbor’s not out having a BBQ at the same time. For some folks, you might find it easier to switch to disposable breast pads while you treat the thrush, just like many folks switch to disposable diapers when treating for yeast. Cloth diapering and other reusable products don’t have to be all or nothing! Do what works for you and your family.
Cleaning Reusable Nursing Pads:
If you are using reusable nursing pads like Lil Helper Hera Breastpads, it's important to properly clean them to prevent reinfection. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to bleach treat Lil Helper Hera Reusable Breast Pads:
- Start with clean breast pads.
- Use disinfecting bleach with at least 5.25% sodium hypochlorite as the active ingredient.
- Avoid splashless bleaches, as they do not properly disinfect.
- Soak the breast pads in cold water for 30-45 minutes (max).
- Dilute the bleach according to the size of your washing machine or vessel
- Once the soak is done, rinse the breast pads in hot water, wring them out, and do a hot wash with detergent.
Breastfeeding is a journey filled with ups and downs, but with proper care and support, you can overcome challenges like thrush and continue providing your baby with all the benefits of breastfeeding. Stay informed, seek help when needed, and remember that you're doing an amazing job nurturing your little one.
Source: Verywell Family