Yeast and Thrush.
Two of the most feared words for breastfeeding mamas. It ranks right up there with mastitis and colic.
However, there are some safe and all natural rememdies to help eliminate and prevent recurrent yeast infections.
First, I am not a medical professional and can not diagnose or treat any medical condition. With that said, these recommendations were given to me by my holistic pediatrician and they have worked wonders for us.
Perhaps the most important thing to know is that sugar feeds yeast. Yeast LOVES sugar. It really really loves sugar. Therefore, it’s very important to avoid sugar while treating yeast. I know, I know. But it’s so important! Eliminate all processed foods and processed sugar to starve the yeast at the source. Limit natural sweeteners (like fruit and maple syrup).
Increase your probiotics and also your baby’s. I use this probiotic powder for Hudson. I mix it into his puréed food or his coconut milk yogurt. You can also mix it with a little breast milk and spoon feed it. I did this when he was a newborn. Probiotics help balance the bacteria in the body and help to eliminate yeast.
Epsom salt baths are also recommended. Especially if the yeast is in their diaper area like ours was. We added a drop of tea tree oil into our bath as well. Epsom salt baths draw out toxins and boost magnesium levels. The added tea tree helps eliminate the yeast. See this study and this study.
In addition to adding tea tree oil into the bath, we made a balm combining the motherlove diaper ointment with a couple drops of tea tree oil. This was applied at every single diaper change. I also applied this to my nipples after every feeding. I would wipe off any residual ointment prior to the next feeding to make sure he didn’t ingest any of it.
For me, I took a capsule with two drops of oregano oil in it every day. I also added dried oregano to all my dishes and soups. Oregano is a hot oil and I would not recommend using it topically on infected nipples. I also would not use it on a child. However, I was able to take it internally. For more info on oregano oil and yeast go here. It’s also important to note that I only recommend taking oils internally if you are 100% sure your oils are pure. Most oils are not for internal consumption. Young Living is the only brand I trust to take internally and their oregano vitality oil is labeled as a dietary supplement and considered GRAS.
Wash all of your bras in hot water with bleach. Normally, I resist using bleach and instead opt for natural cleaners. We have switched all of our products over to non toxic alternatives. However, in this case, I highly recommend using a little bleach to kill off the active yeast and the spores.
Wear disposable nursing pads. We normally are an all cloth family. I use cloth nursing pads and cloth feminine pads. We also cloth diaper. But when you have yeast, switching to disposable pads goes a long way in preventing reinfection. Once you have been yeast free for two whole weeks (and you’ve bleached your cloth pads), you can resume using your cloth products. This also rings true for cloth diapers. Temporarily switch to disposables until the baby has been clear for two whole weeks. Wash your diapers normally and then wash again with 1/2 cup of bleach. Dry in the sun and then they will be good to go once your baby is ready for them.
Colloidal silver can be added to a cotton round and applied to nipples and diaper area daily.
Lastly, seek medical help if it is not clearing up after two weeks. Yeast can take up to two weeks to go away once you’ve started treatment but if it is not responding then see your doctor. Sometimes antifungal ointment is needed.
We battled recurrent thrush and yeast for 4 months (including taking diflucan and nystatin) until following these guidelines. We’ve now been yeast free for 6 months!