Q&A: My Thrush Keeps Coming Back. What Can I Do?
Recurrent thrush is indeed a painful, stressful, and frustrating problem for breastfeeding moms. It takes a comprehensive and consistent approach for several weeks before moms finally get rid of the thrush completely. Moms will often start to feel better and stop doing parts of their treatment program before the full course of thrush is gone and sure enough, the thrush will return. Treatment involves a three-pronged approach — treating the mom, treating the baby, and treating the environment. After confirming the diagnosis with a healthcare professional the mom should be treated with gentian violet for three to five days, antifungal cream, or oral antifungal medication for at least two weeks or as prescribed. Moms can also add in other holistic treatments, such as lowering the dairy and sugar in her diet as well as taking acidophilus and grapefruit seed extract. Babies should be treated simultaneously with gentian violet for three to five days or an antifungal solution for the mouth and/or antifungal cream for the diaper area. Treatment of the environment can involvemany strategies including: frequent hand washing and drying hands with a paper towel after all diaper changes, frequent nursing pad changes using disposable pads, special laundry instructions for any clothing items that touch the baby or your breasts, and special washing instructions for any and all baby items such as bottles, pacifiers, or teethers. It takes a tremendous amount of time, energy, and patience to combat thrush, but with proper knowledge and support, moms and babies can once again nurse pain free.