Why You Find Thrush in Some Babies and Not in Others
Thrush is a yeast infection caused by the overgrowth of Candida albicans and there are various ways to treat thrush in a baby. Newborn babies of up to three or four weeks old are more susceptible to thrush than grown children or adults.
A newborn baby is more likely to get thrush from rubber nipples which have been handled carelessly but this is not a hard and fast rule as babies well taken care of also get infected with thrush. Although the symptoms of thrush may at first cause some alarm, there is no need to worry as with proper diagnosis and treatment thrush can be controlled.
Newborn babies get infected with thrush during the delivery itself if the mother has a vaginal yeast infection or it can be passed from the mother’s hands or any other family member who is handling the baby.
At times, hospital nurseries are responsible as thrush spreads from one infected baby to others through the hands of the nurses. Mothers who are diabetic may also pass on thrush to their newborns. Other babies who are a higher risk of catching the thrush are babies born with a cleft palate or lip and they need to be constantly watched over for any signs of thrush.
If the baby is showing signs of discomfort when feeding or is not able to nurse properly, check the mouth for symptoms of thrush. The main symptom of thrush in a baby is the appearance of white patches on the tongue, roof of the mouth or the insides of the cheeks.
These look like milk scum and may well be mistaken for it but unlike the scum, they do not wipe off easily. In fact, if rubbed even slightly, they will cause the underlying skin to bleed and become inflamed. It is very important to treat oral thrush in a baby as it makes the mouth sore leading to discomfort when it is trying to nurse.
The treatment for thrush in babies includes coating the inside of the baby’s mouth with medicines like miconazole of clotrimazole or nystatin suspension gels three-to four times in a day for about five to seven days. It is very important to remember that these medications are not meant to be given without qualified medical supervision or consent and referral to a doctor on how to treat thrush is imperative.
As it is better to prevent rather than treat thrush in babies, visitors and family members should not be allowed to put their fingers in the babies’ mouths and if the baby is on the bottle, the bottles and nipples should be well sterilized and hands washed before commencing with the feeding.