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 – is 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 fussier 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. Then I tried to find how to prevent thrush while breastfeeding.
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 an 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 the 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!