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Tips for Getting Rid of, and Preventing, Thrush (page 2)

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Updated on Apr 18, 2012

Preventing Recurring Infections

Thrush can be terribly uncomfortable, but there’s a silver lining—these infections are 100 percent preventable. Use these tips to keep your home infection-free:

  • Change dirty diapers immediately.
  • Coat your baby’s bottom with a diaper ointment.
  • Let your baby’s bottom dry thoroughly before re-diapering, and allow her time to be naked during the day.
  • Avoid using plastic diaper covers—instead, use coverings that allow air to circulate, or go cover-less.
  • Wash cloth diapers, cloth wipes, towels, and washcloths in very hot water to remove all traces of the yeast. A vinegar rinse will complete the disinfecting process.
  • Clean and sterilize all pacifiers, teethers, and bottle nipples after each use.
  • Let your nipples dry after breastfeeding, before covering them with clothing.
  • Avoid letting your baby suck on a bottle or pacifier for long periods of time.
  • Dump breast milk that was pumped and stored during a thrush infection—it may contain harmful bacteria.
  • Always wash your hands—and your baby’s—after breastfeeding, changing diapers, and using the restroom, paying particular attention to underneath your fingernails.
  • Avoid candy and other sugary goodies—high levels of sugar create an environment where yeast thrives. Additionally, pass on fermented foods, such as cheese, beer, and wine.
  • Add plain yogurt to your diet—and to your baby’s diet if she’s eating solids—as live cultures can help prevent yeast infections.
  • Wear clothing that allows the skin to breathe, and avoid synthetic fabrics.
  • Use regular hand soap instead of antibacterial soap; it kills beneficial bacteria that control yeast growth.

Thrush can be uncomfortable for you and baby both, but eventually it’ll pass. By following the tips outlined above, you can keep future infections at bay for a happier, healthier mama and baby.

Parenting educator Elizabeth Pantley is the president of Better Beginnings, Inc., a family resource and education company. She is also the author of eight parenting books, including the popular "No-Cry" series.

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