When I was a kid, I thought my mom knew everything. It seemed like she just had all the answers, on every aspect of life.
I must not have gotten that mothering gene. In fact I feel like I don’t ever know anything: I’m constantly winging everything and just hoping for the best….
Like how to potty train a three-year old boy (after trying numerous times when he was a two-year-old)…
And then how to retrain them when they regress after you have baby #2…
And what do you do (and say) when your son – in trying to avoid pooping his pants – pulls down his pants and poops in your neighbors front yard…
It’s a shot in the dark. Motherhood, I mean.
So when my newborn baby (now three-year-old) became more fussy, and less interested in nursing, I did not know anything was wrong. My pediatrician had told me that babies get increasingly fussy until 2 months, then begin getting less fussy again, so I assumed this behavior was normal. Again – I didn’t know anything.
After a month of dealing with a fussy, not-wanting-to-eat baby, I took my son to his two-month (well-baby) check-up.
And there learned that he had thrush.
My pediatrician asked me how long my son had had the cottage cheese rash inside his mouth. I told her I thought it was just milk residue and that it had been there for a month. She was surprised I hadn’t experienced any symptoms.
She prescribed some oral nystatin, and we went away happier.
Except it came back. And this time it hit me too.
Forgive me for the description: it felt like my breasts were on fire. Shooting, searing pain doesn’t even begin to describe the horror that was my nipples.
And I suddenly felt very sorry for letting my son have this for over a month. I immediately called my pediatrician (and OB), and finally, after two prescriptions of oral nystatin, one vial of gentian violet, one container of lotrimin cream, and a fluconazole pill, we finally were both thrush-free.
Don’t be me: if your baby is fussy and avoiding eating, and possibly has a red, welty diaper rash, check your baby’s mouth – not immediately after feeding, but in between feeds. If there is a white, cottage cheese looking rash inside their mouth, they have thrush, a yeast infection inside their mouth. It is easily cured, but highly transferable to others (especially yourself). It can be treated with any anti-fungal medicine. I have used them all:
1. Gentian violet – an over-the-counter, purple antiseptic liquid that can be used on both your nipples and inside your baby’s mouth. Be careful using this, though – it stains EVERYTHING!
2. Oral Nystatin – prescription medication given to child orally.
3. Nystatin cream – prescription cream used externally on nipples and diaper rash.
4. Lotrimin (or any other over-the-counter anti-fungal cream -athlete’s foot, jock cream, azo yeast, etc.) – used externally on nipples and diaper area (wipe off before feeds).
5. Fluconazole – prescription oral anti-fungal, taken by mother and transferred to baby through breast milk.
Remember that the yeast is on anything your baby’s mouth has been on. Pacifiers, bottles, blankets, etc., so wash/boil everything that may be infected.
It is important that your baby still nurses even though it is more painful for them with the thrush in their mouth. Give them a little tylenol and snuggle them more than usual.
Happy (newbie) mothering!
This, now a little bit more seasoned, mother is a passionate writer, blogger, and mom. On top of that she has received her masters in child development and enjoys sharing what she knows with others. Her most recent project is to help people become more healthy one juice recipe at a time. She is an active contributor to Juicingpedia.com and works hard at incorporating juicing into her family’s diet.