Treating Thrush Naturally

by Jennifer (Virginia)

Is there any way to naturally get rid of thrush in mother and baby?


Hi Jennifer,

Thrush can often be treated naturally, though it can also be persistent and hard to get rid of. Thrush is a yeast infection. Yeast infections can be hard to shake on their own, and thrush is especially tricky because mom and baby can keep passing it back and forth between themselves.

You can identify thrush by dry, flaky skin on mom’s nipples – there may be cracking and most of the time there’s pain nursing. The baby often has a thick white coating on the inside of his or her mouth.

Keep in mind that you shouldn’t rub as you’re applying treatments to your baby – rubbing at the thrush could hurt him or her.

Thrush, or yeast, thrives in an environment with little “good bacteria.” Get started beating it naturally by eatings lots of probiotic foods. Yogurt is the most well-known, but there are a lot:

  • Yogurt
  • Kefir
  • Sauerkraut
  • Kimchi
  • Pickles
  • Kombucha

Those are several examples. Make sure all products are unsweetened – thrush likes sugar. Also, make sure that all cultured vegetables are unpasteurized – they should be in the refrigerator case at your grocery store (Bubbies and Sunja’s are good brands found at many grocery stores). Pasteurization kills the good bacteria.

You can also take a probiotic powder as a supplement. There are baby powders, too. If you feel comfortable with it you can put a little on your nipples from time to time for baby to get. Or you can gently spread some over your baby’s tongue. Look for an infant blend – it should have more than one strain of bacteria in it. Your baby will get some good bacteria through your milk, too.

Apple Cider Vinegar – vinegar creates an acidic environment that yeast can’t live in. You can use a clean cotton ball to apply cider vinegar to your nipples after each nursing. Use a 50/50 solution of cider vinegar/water and a q-tip to apply vinegar in your baby’s mouth. Use an unpasteurized apple cider vinegar if you can find it – it will have probiotics in it. Eden is a good brand to look for at the grocery or natural foods store.

Another topical remedy is gentian violet. It lives up to its violet name and will stain everything that it gets on. Plan for you and baby to wear clothes you don’t care so much about for the course of treatment!

You can buy gentian violet over-the-counter and you should follow exactly the package instructions for use. It’s a pretty powerful remedy.

Be sure you’re eating well: drastically limit or cut out sugars and cut carbohydrates as much as you can (they’re converted to basic sugars in your body). Try to limit all grains (even whole grains) and get most of your nutrition from meats and vegetables while you’re getting rid of the thrush.

Finally, wash everything, frequently, on very hot cycles. Wash all your clothing and sheets frequently, especially nursing bras and tanks, or undershirts. You may want to use disposable nursing pads for the time being. Wash your bras, tanks, or undershirts separately from other laundry.

About the author 


Kristen is a pregnancy coach, student midwife, and a mama to 8 - all born naturally! I've spent nearly two decades helping mamas have healthy babies, give birth naturally, and enjoy the adventure of motherhood. Does complete support for a sacred birth and beautiful beginning for your baby resonate with you? Contact me today to chat about how powerful guidance and coaching can transform your pregnancy, birth, and mothering journey <3

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