Thrush is quite common among babies 2 months old and younger, although there are older babies who can get it too. It is caused by an overgrowth of the yeast fungi, Candida Albicans, which thrives in the moist areas of the body. Babies usually get in contact with yeast when they are born, especially if the mother has a vaginal yeast infection during delivery. Oral thrush can also develop due to hormonal changes right after the baby’s birth.
Symptoms of thrush in babies usually appears as white patches or sores on the baby’s mouth, particularly on the tongue and the lips. It can also appear on the gums, the roof of the mouth and inside the baby’s cheeks. Thrush may look like milk curds and can cause some pain when touched.
If you see some white coatings on your baby’s tongue, it could also be just milk residue. Cover your finger with gauze and gently touch the area. You can say it is thrush if the white patches do not come off easily, or if redness or bleeding happens after you try to clean it off.
Thrush is caused by a yeast infection which may be passed on from the mother or other caregivers to the baby. Although there is a normal amount of yeast present in the digestive system, there are instances when the yeast fungi multiplies faster than the body can handle. This usually happens when the mother has been taking too much antibiotics before or after birth and the good bacteria that keep the yeast fungi in check are destroyed. If the mother is breastfeeding, she can easily pass the yeast infection to her baby.
Some mothers may also get thrush from their babies during breastfeeding. A baby may also get the infection due to the hormonal changes that take place right after birth. If the baby is born with a weak immune system, his chances of getting the yeast infection is higher. Some people think that using bottle nipples or pacifiers that have not been cleaned properly may also cause thrush.
Symptoms of thrush in babies are usually not serious, although these may cause the baby some pain and discomfort.
If you have been diagnosed with thrush, you should avoid foods that are rich in yeast and sugar, especially baked products and processed foods. Eat more fruits and vegetables in order to increase your immunity against all infections. Drink plenty of water and get enough sleep in order to improve your immune system, especially if you are breastfeeding.
If you suspect that your baby has oral thrush, consult your pediatrician in order to find relief fast for your baby’s condition.