Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Yeastie Beastie

No, I am not going to disclose TMI in this post. Well, unless you consider the fact that my daughter's mouth had more yeast in it than a bakery to be TMI?

I am writing this post because I truly believe that yeast infections in a baby are far more serious than your average pediatrician will lead you to believe. Now, I love our pediatrician to bits and pieces (even if she is way too cute!), but when she said that Emma's oral yeast infection shouldn't cause her to be fussy, I have to respectfully disagree.

Her fussy period was two weeks long and it was horrendous. It was an all-day-long-affair that would cause me to want to tear my hair out. I couldn't figure out what had changed my "easy" (sorry, but she was!) baby into a baby that reminded me of her brother at that age (not "easy" at all). In fact, she was worse than her brother, with the exception that she did sleep through the night. Then she stopped doing that! And when she stopped STTN, I freaked. I freaked BIG.

I started playing with The Evil Dr. Google. And I found that thrush does hurt babies! And it does make them fussy! Apparently, it also makes it very painful to breastfeed, so nursing babies will avoid nursing, or will nurse halfheartedly (she was so doing this!), and then become fussy.

So, I started pumping after she would feed and offering her a bottle of the pumped milk (it isn't as painful for a baby to take a bottle because they don't have to suck as hard). And what do you know? She stopped being as fussy. I also started treating myself for the yeast infection, even though I wasn't having a lot of symptoms, I read that a nursing mom and baby can continually pass the infection back and forth, even if one is not showing symptoms.

I talked to my OB, looking for their advice on treating yeast on nipples. My OB's nurse was a family practice nurse for many years and recommended a soft wash cloth to wash out the baby's mouth before applying the medication. I tried this and it seemed to help the white patches in Emma's mouth (but if you have this issue, please remember to wipe very gently, as the patches are sore and to use a different cloth or gauze for each side so as not to spread the yeast) and then apply the nystatin. In two days after starting this, the patches cleared up, whereas before, we had been using the medication for ten days and the patches were still very present.

Now, I have my "easy" baby back. She allow me to set her down to get things done during the day, she doesn't seem to fuss nearly as much, and she is back to STTN. I know this is just my baby and an anecdotal event, but I think that if you are dealing with unexplained fussiness, you might want to look into a yeastie beastie!


HereWeGoAJen said...

Beware the yeast! It is really hard to get rid of! MONTHS, I am serious.

Nicky said...

Glad you figured out what was going on!

I'm not sure if this applies to you, but you did mention pumping, so I'll throw it out there in case it matters:

When LL and I had a yeast infection, I was also told to throw out any milk that I had pumped during the infection, because the yeast can survive even in frozen milk, and then reinfect the baby. It seems like very few women are told about the pumped milk problem, and most of my friends have then gone through several rounds of everyone being better, only to have the yeast return. I *hated* throwing away milk, but on the plus side, when our infection was gone, it *stayed* gone.

PamalaLauren said...

I'm surprised a doctor would say it wouldn't cause any problems. I mean aren't yeast infections no fun for adults so I imagine that it wouldn't be fun for a baby. Kaylee got thrush right before her surgery when she was 1. We just did yogurt to fix the issue since it wasn't really bad, and it cleared up within a few days. But I can tell you she didn't like having it for sure.

Rebecca said...

This terrified me when I was BF-ing...I hope it goes away quickly and I'm glad you posted this. So many mothers are dismissed as being too overprotective, but this is as serious as you say.

Searching said...

Oh, my gosh!!! Poor angel- it DOES hurt! It can even go down their throat and I am quite sure I would be fussy if I were starving and the only way to get food was through my sore hurting throat! Geeeez. Glad you got the nystatin. I'm surprised the ped didn't immediately treat you from the start! Wiser now but hope you never encounter thrush again!

To make you giggle, I see alot of un-knowledgeable mommas. They say "my baby got the thrash." It's all I can do to not crack a smile. Poor Emma and her thrash!