My 14-month-old son has been diagnosed with thrush. The doctor prescribed mystatin, then on our own we used gentian violet, which cleared it up, but it has returned twice since then. What can I do to make sure it doesn't occur again? He is breastfeeding, but unfortunately he is allergic to cow's milk so I can't give him yogurt.
Thrush is a yeast infection that is common in babies. It's especially common after someone has been on antibiotics, because along with killing the harmful bacteria, antibiotics can also kill the beneficial bacteria in the mouth. Taking active cultures in a supplement such as Culturelle, or as yogurt (soy yogurt is available for those who are allergic to cow's milk), can help prevent thrush. Just be sure to read the label on the yogurt (whether milk- or soy-based) to make sure it contains active cultures.
If a breastfeeding baby gets thrush, it's often helpful to treat the breasts as well. Yeast can live on the skin, which can cause thrush to ping-pong back and forth from baby to mother. Also treat or sterilize any artificial nipples that go into baby's mouth.
If you're already doing all this and the thrush keeps coming back for no apparent reason, it would be wise to ask your pediatrician about it. She could run some immune tests to see if your baby is especially susceptible to thrush and if some additional support might be needed.
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