Thrush is a painful but common problem for breastfeeding mothers and babies. It's caused by an overgrowth of yeast that leads to an infection in the mother's nipples and the baby's tongue and mouth. This can make breastfeeding painful for both mother and baby. Signs of thrush include shooting pain during breastfeeding and white spots on the baby's mouth or tongue.
Vinegar and Water Treatment
Vinegar is effective at killing yeast, so you can treat thrush naturally with a vinegar and water solution. Mix 1 tbs. of vinegar into one cup water and apply this to your nipples after every feeding, using a cotton swab. Make a fresh mix of the solution before every application, and use a fresh cotton swab as well. You can also apply this mixture to the inside of your baby's mouth, using a clean cotton swab. However, if the infection is severe, this may sting, and your baby may protest.
Thrush is a systemic problem, which means it affects other areas in the body besides where you see the infection. Therefore, you should treat it in all areas that are affected by it. Use the same solution of water and vinegar to treat your baby's bottom after diaper changes because thrush frequently spreads to that area and causes diaper rash.
You must also keep diapers and clothes free of thrush. Add one cup of vinegar to the rinse cycle for clothes and cloth diapers. This will help balance the pH of the laundry and destroy any thrush that might spread via clothing.
It may take several weeks of treatment before thrush is completely gone. It's important to continue the treatment for at least two weeks after your symptoms have entirely disappeared.
Other Treatment Steps
When using a natural treatment such as vinegar and water, you will also need to take additional steps to balance your system. Probiotics are one effective way to do this. Probiotic pills help colonise your digestive system with helpful bacteria, which will balance out yeast growth. You should also reduce sugar in your diet because yeast thrives on sugar. Keep your nipples dry, and expose both your nipples and your baby's bottom to fresh air and sunlight as much as possible. Wash your hands well and regularly, especially before and after diaper changes.