How to Prevent Oral Thrush in Breastfeeding Babies

For parents, watching their babies suffer oral thrush is unbearable. When babies get infected with yeasts, they could not eat or feed. They keep crying intermittently because of the painful sores in their mouths caused by these microorganisms.

Parents can prevent this occurrence, though, by learning how to prevent it. Listed are some methods to prevent oral thrush in babies.

Breastfeeding Baby; image credit: USDA Photo by:
Ken Hammond ([1]) – USDA, Public Domain 
Mothers should wash their breasts and hands thoroughly before feeding. This is important because it is through the breasts and hands that yeasts enter the mouth of the baby.

Both should be watched with soap and water and dried with a clean towel or soft cloth. The hands should be washed, especially after changing baby’s diapers. The area of the skin below the breasts is an ideal breeding places for microorganisms because they are damp and warm. Mothers should keep that area dry by applying powder after washing.

Mothers should wash their nursing bras thoroughly in hot water to sterilize it. The nursing pads should also be frequently changed. Nursing bras should never be worn twice because of the danger of transmitting more harmful bacteria to the baby. Disposable pads could help a lot in reducing the propensity of infection with yeasts or bacteria.

Mothers should eat more food that would maintain the slight alkalinity of the body. Yeast cells proliferate when the pH balance of the flora of the mouth becomes more acidic. This would result to the elimination of good bacteria and the growth of yeasts. This could be caused by antibiotic treatment, or because of diet that produce more acidity in the body.

When these happen, mothers should ask their doctor’s advice whether to continue with the antibiotic or not. Foods, which could increase the alkalinity of the body, should be increased in the mother’s diet.

Examples of foods that would help return the body to being slightly alkaline, are vegetables and fruits. Foods rich with sugar should be avoided because they enhance the growth of yeasts.

Mothers should get treatment, as well, when baby gets infected with thrush because this disease is infectious. When the mother is infected, then the baby also gets treatment to prevent him from contracting the disease from the mother.

This would also prevent the spread of the condition to other siblings in the household.
The best way to prevent oral thrush is for the mother to observe proper hygiene and cleanliness in her body and her environment. A nutritious diet rich with vegetables and fruits are recommended to help prevent the occurrence of oral thrush in babies.

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