Thrush Breastfeeding Natural Remedies That Actually Work

Thrush isn’t fun! This is why this article explains what thrush is, its signs, as well as some of the best thrush breastfeeding natural remedies for you and your baby plus how to prevent it.

What is thrush and why does it happen?

Thrush is a candida fungal infection in the breast that causes pain in breastfeeding women. Breastfed babies can also develop thrush in their mouths.

When the nipples are cracked or damaged, Candida fungus can get into your nipple or breast. Thrush infections can also occur after a course of antibiotics has been taken by the mother or the baby, as medications can reduce the number of beneficial bacteria in the body, allowing the candida fungus to enter.

Because babies’ immune systems are not completely matured, babies are more prone to oral thrush.

Thrush is a highly infectious disease. Breastfeeding mothers and newborns might get into a vicious cycle of reinfecting each other through feeding. When an infection occurs, both the mother and the baby must be treated.

If you have thrush, your breast milk and anything that touches your breasts can spread the fungus. This includes your hands, nursing bras, nursing pads, clothing, towels, burp cloths.

Signs of Breast/nipple thrush in breastfeeding women:

  • You start experiencing pain in both nipples or breasts when that never happened to you before.

  • Sharp pain that lasts about an hour after every feed. 

Signs of oral thrush in breastfed babies:

  • Creamy white spots or patches on the tongue, gums, roof of the mouth, or insides of the cheeks, that won't come off

  • Your baby being unsettled when feeding

  • A white film on the lips

  • A nappy rash that won't go away in some babies.

The infection usually clears in 2-3 days, but it’s best to keep treating it for at least 10 days. 

thrush breastfeeding natural remedies

 

Thrush breastfeeding natural home remedies for the mother:

1. Saltwater

Salt has antiseptic properties. This makes it a common natural remedy for thrush breastfeeding.

To use:

  • Add 1/2 teaspoon of salt in 1 cup of warm water and gargle with it then spit it out

2. Baking soda

Baking soda is a good enough alternative to salt for a quick thrush breastfeeding natural remedy

To use:

  • Add 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda in 1 cup of warm water and gargle with it then spit it out.

3. Yogurt

Probiotic yogurt contains live and beneficial bacteria cultures that won’t kill the fungi but will stop its growth and may also help restore the proper balance of good to bad bacteria in the mouth.

To use:

  • Eat unsweetened yogurt multiple times a day.

4. Lemon juice

Thanks to its antiseptic and antifungal abilities, it will help fight against the fungus that causes thrush.

To use:

  • Add the juice of 1/2 a lemon to 1 cup of water and either drink it or gargle with it but don’t apply lemon juice directly to avoid burning and irritation. 

5. Turmeric

Curcumin is the active constituent in turmeric and has anti-inflammatory abilities which makes it a great thrush breastfeeding natural remedy.

To use:

  1. Combine 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon turmeric paste with a dash of black pepper and 1 cup filtered water or milk of your choice.

  2. Heat in a saucepan until warm and gargle with it.

6. Clove oil

It is a great thrush breastfeeding natural remedy, used as an antiseptic, and helps with the pain caused by thrush 

To use:

  1. Steep 1 teaspoon of whole ground cloves in 1 cup of boiling water for at least 5 minutes.

  2. Strain the solution, keeping the liquid.

  3. Gargle with it then spit it out.

Some people are allergic to cloves or could feel numbing in their mouths.

7. Oregano oil

It can help since it has antimicrobial and antifungal abilities, but you should never use undiluted oregano oil orally or topically.

To use:

  1. Add 2 drops of oregano oil to 1 cup of water.

  2. Gargle with it then spit it out. 

8. Apple cider vinegar

Cheap, available, and effective, it’s a great thrush breastfeeding natural remedy for thrush breastfeeding, given its antifungal properties against Candida.

To use:

  1. Add 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar to 1 cup of water.

  2. Gargle with it for at least 15 seconds, spit it out.

9. Grapefruit seed extract 

It is an extremely potent and effective broad-spectrum fungicide used to treat thrush Candida.

To use:

  1. Add 5-10 drops of grapefruit seed extract to a 1/4 cup of distilled water.

  2. Apply the solution on your nipples after each breastfeeding session and let them dry.

  3. If you feel that your nipple area is dry after the treatment, apply a moisturizer or coconut oil for added fungicidal effects.

10. Tea tree essential oil

As an effective antimicrobial, you can add a couple of drops of tea tree oil to a hot bath without any bubble bath products.

thrush breastfeeding natural remedies

Here are a few natural remedies for treating thrush in breastfed babies:

1. Salt Water

Gently apply the saltwater solution on the lesions using a cotton swab.

2. Baking Soda

Mix one-half teaspoon of baking soda with one cup of warm water, and apply to the baby’s thrush with a cotton swab. Or you can apply the paste to the mother’s nipples before breastfeeding.  

3. Coconut Oil, oregano oil as well as olive oil

Apply to your child’s white patches with a cotton swab for a quick thrush breastfeeding natural remedy. However, you should ensure the baby isn’t allergic to any of them beforehand.

4. Aloe vera

Apply some aloe vera gel on your baby’s tongue for an easy thrush breastfeeding natural remedy. 

You can also apply antifungal cream along with the thrush breastfeeding natural remedies.

How to prevent thrush?

  1. Sterilize all items placed in the baby's mouth, by boiling bottle nipples, pacifiers, breast pumps, and teething toys after each use.

  2. Maintain your hygiene and wash your hands often, especially after breastfeeding and diaper changing.

  3. Eat a balanced diet and reduce your sugar intake.

  4. Keep your nipples dry between feedings by remaining topless for several minutes after breastfeeding, or wash your breasts.

  5. Avoid plastic-lined breast pads. Since can trap moisture, making you more prone to thrush.

  6. Reduce your stress levels.

  7. Increase your water intake and breastfeeding-friendly tea.

  8. It’s best to start using thrush breastfeeding natural remedies upon the first sign of infection.

To recap:

Thrush can be treated by antifungal creams prescribed by your family doctor as well as many thrush breastfeeding natural remedies, thrush can be easily prevented too so just remember to take care of your hygiene for a better health outcome for you and the baby.

 Read more about:

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Natural Remedies For Vaginal Thrush

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