Q Is it possible to get thrush from your baby if you are not breastfeeding?

A It’s not very likely to get thrush without direct contact between your baby’s mouth and you.

Thrush is an overgrowth of a normal yeast that’s ordinarily found in many places on your body. It’s a normal part of what lives on your skin, vagina, mouth, and intestinal tract.

Ordinarily, it doesn’t cause any kind of noticeable infection or symptoms. But under certain conditions this yeast can grow quickly, and lead to a whitish, sticky plaque. Newborns are at higher risk for thrush because their immune systems are immature, and they’re not colonized yet by friendly bacteria. Women can also be at risk for both vaginal yeast infections and oral thrush during pregnancy or immediately post-partum.

Nursing moms seem to be at higher risk for yeast overgrowth, too, though the symptoms are less clear and may be overlooked. There may or may not be a deep “breast pain” with nursing. Because it can be difficult
to diagnose, some clinicians routinely treat nursing moms for yeast any time they’re treating a baby for oral thrush. If you’re not nursing, your baby’s thrush really can’t get to you.

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Send your questions to QandA@pedsforparents.com or Pediatrics for Parents, PO Box 219, Glouces┬Čter, MA 01931. Please keep them general in nature as we can’t give specific advice nor suggest treatment for your child. All such questions should be asked of your child’s doctor.

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From issue: 27/07-08