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Candida / Yeast Infections Remedies

As a Lactation Counselor I am always asked, "what is the best way to get rid of a yeast infection?" Even expert moms' who have nursed many babies ask me this question.

I have decided to create this blog with what I have found to be the best way/ways to deal with this pesty problem.

The two most important things are this: Number One, make sure that both baby and mom are treated at the same time or the yeast will continue to thrive on one and then jump to the other. In other words, you will be passing that little sucker back and forth. Number Two, cut down or eliminate sweets and sugars.  Yeast thrives and grows in a sweet environment.  That is why you dissolve it in a little sugar and warm water during baking :)  Cutting down sugars means nothing WHITE - no white breads, pastries, pasta, rice, etc.  If baby is eating solids, cut down or eliminate fruits until this problem is under control.

Eating too many sugary foods / beverages, anti-biotics, and STRESS, yes, stress,  are the culprits for yeast infections because they throw off the natural flaura and fauna (good bacteria) in our internal system.

Once you have these two things done the treatment plan will be more successful.

Now, in order to fully combat yeast you have to deal with the external symptoms and with the internal imbalance.  If you treat the external with topical remedies and do nothing for restoring your internal balance then the cycle will continue to occur.

For the external part, I have several remedies and it all depends on whether or not you want a mainstream cure or a more holistic approach.  I will discuss both:

Mainstream Approach
Go to your doctor and baby's pediatrician to get an anti-fungal cream to be used in tandem.  The usual prescription is Nystatin and Triamcinolone and Diflucan.  Once you begin treatment remember to continue rules one and two that I have already discussed.  Along, with this external topical ointment there are several things that you must do in order to keep the yeast away and I will discuss these in the internal approach.

Holistic Approach

I have several holistic approaches.  Many of my moms swear by some and not so much by others, some swear by all of them, and vice versa.  I will list all the ones that I have gotten rave reviews about and you pick and choose the one you feel will work best for you and baby. 

  • Yeast and Thrush Away Tea is a loose leaf tea that is very effective for cleansing candida growth both internally and externally. Steep the tea in hot water for 10 minutes and strain. For internal use, it tastes much better creamy and sweet.  However, you want to minimize the use of sugar as much as possible when fighting candida, so don't be a wimp and drink it straight up. One cup twice a day for adult use, and a few drops in the mouth is sufficient for babies under 6 months of age. Toddlers and children can take a tablespoon at a time according to their size and weight. The tea can also be used on a washcloth to cleanse any external candida in the mouth, on nipples, or on genitals, or poured into bath water for a soak. This is a dark tea which will make the bath water look yucky, but it's great for dealing with yeast infections.

  • Baking soda can be an effective treatment for thrush. It changes the ph of the skin, inhibiting fungal growth. You can make a paste of baking soda and water and apply it to Mom’s nipples. Rinse off before feeding the baby. Baby can also take baths with a little baking soda sprinkled in the water, which will soothe any yeasty diaper rash (it looks bright red and hurts).

  • 0.25 - 0.5 percent solution of Gentian Violet applied to mom's nipples twice a day for three days. Gentian violet is effective, but VERY messy. You and baby will probably look like Smurfs during this treatment. Also, apply a small amount once a day to baby's mouth.  WARNING: overuse of Gentian Violet may irritate the sensitive oral mucus membranes of baby's mouth. Apply an organic lip balm to baby's lips before using the gentian violet to avoid purple stains.
    WARNING: Gentian Violet has been used for many years to treat thrush. A recent study done in Australia has linked Gentian Violet to cancer of the mouth. However, many other professionals around the world believe that it is safe, and continue to recommend it. For this reason, I suggest you use this remedy sparingly, and for as little time as possible.
Okay now that we discussed the external remedies, remember that we must also treat the internal system or the yeast will come back or not linger around.  So once you have chosen an effective external remedy you must also do the following: 
  1. Wash everything that has come in contact with the yeast infected areas in vinegar.  These include: bras, tank-tops, nursing shirts, nursing pads (washable kind), bibs, burps cloths, pacifiers, breast pump parts, toys, etc.  Let them soak for a good ten minutes (if you have an HE front load washer just press the pause button) and then rinse.  Your items will not smell like vinegar because it will evaporate.  Vinegar is actually a great and inexpensive natural fabric softener than can be used all the time in the wash. 
  2. Take an organic and reputable source of pre and pro biotics like acidophilus supplements.  This should be done on a daily basis just like a multi vitamin. It is a healthy thing to do in general.  It should especially be done when on anti-biotics! You can also give this to baby.  Empty the capsule (1 teaspoon) into breastmilk, formula, or baby food.  Also, you can empty a capsule (1 teaspoon) into breastmilk or water to make a paste and rub on baby's mouth. 
  3. Change your nutrition if you are not a healthy eater.  Increase your veggie intake, eat more healthy omegas like those found in nuts (if you are not allergic.  Do not give nuts to infants!), eat less processed foods, etc.  
  4. Drink more water!  In general most people do not drink enough water.  You must be drinking half of your body weight in water!  Example:  If you weigh 140 lbs then you must drink 70 fluid ounces of water - even more if you are breastfeeding!  Don't explode your't down all of that in one shot.  The healthiest way to drink water is to take the amount you need and divide it by the amount of hours you are awake.  Take the 70 fluid ounces as an example, if you are awake for 10 hours divide it by that and this means you have to drink 7 fluid ounces every hour.  
  5. Hygiene is very important!  Make sure you are changing your bras and breast pads often.  Do not use a plastic lined breast pad or underwire bras.  Change baby's diaper as soon as they have a bowel movement and at least every two hours when urinated, more often if using cloth diapers.  Always thoroughly wash anything that comes in contact with baby's mouth and wash hands after every diaper change and bathroom run.  
  6. Do not use anti-bacterial cleansers as this will also kill good bacteria.  Good ole water and soap for 30 seconds will get rid of the nasty germs.  

Hope these help.  And remember to always discuss any medical changes or treatments with your doctor.  If you have any questions please feel free to ask! 


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