Registered Midwife, Ali Pickles, from The Healthy Mummy Pregnancy Team shares some information about thrush during pregnancy:
Thrush is very common during pregnancy and after childbirth.
It just adds to one of the complications many women experience during pregnancy. Thrush is not life threatening to you or your baby but can be extremely uncomfortable for some women.
It does not mean you are dirty or have eaten too many yeast containing products. Pregnancy naturally decreases your immune system, as it has to work harder to prevent illnesses as it protects your unborn baby.
Also, pregnancy hormones such as Oestrogen are said to be a factor in increasing women’s risks for thrush.
- Itching and burning in the vaginal area
- White discharge different to mucous passed during pregnancy (appears like cottage cheese)
- Stinging or burning when passing urine
- Distinct yeast smelling discharge
- Splits or discolouring in the skin in the vaginal area
- Redness or yellowing and burning around the nipples and areola
- If bub is born bub may have it too. Babies naturally have milk patches in their mouths but if it’s yellowish or can’t be gently scratched off it may be thrush.
- Pregnancy, changes to hormones, decreased immune system, build-up of yeast in the vaginal/bowel area
- You are at higher risk if you suffered pre-pregnancy
- Sometimes the cause is unknown
- Doctor/Midwife sighting the problem
- A swab from the area
Many of the treatments for thrush can be bought over the counter at the Pharmacy but make sure you speak to your Pharmacist or Doctor about which is best suited to pregnancy and your issues.
- Antifungal Creams
- Pessaries (to be used with caution in pregnancy as you don’t want to hurt your cervix if inserted too far)
- Oral Tablets
- Depending on the severity thrush can disappear itself
- Avoid using soaps high in perfumes around your genitals. You need some natural bacterias to live in those areas so if you use harsh soaps you will wash these away
- Wiping from front to back when you go to the toilet
- Do not overuse vaginal products including powders
- Do not use antiseptics in your genital area. This will cause burning and stinging
- Allow your genitals to breathe/air by wearing looser fitting underwear
- Change your underwear regularly
- Avoid perfumed laundry detergents
Diet to prevent or treat thrush
Eating a well-balanced diet such as The Healthy Mummy Pregnancy Eating Plan is beneficial as they are low in fats and sugars.
Regular exercise appropriate to your fitness level and pregnancy is also recommended.
Foods are known to prevent thrush:
As well as keeping up your water intake, you can try:
- Yoghurts (Greek, Natural)- preferably ones with acidophilus/bacillus.
- Vegetables (all)
- Herbs – garlic, thyme, turmeric, calendula, Echinacea
- Meat, poultry, fish
- Nuts and seeds
- Probiotics (these are strongly recommended)
- Yeast-free bread
- Oats, Quinoa, Cous Cous
Foods to avoid:
It is recommended you avoid these foods if you have had multiple bouts of thrush.
- Foods containing yeast including bread or Vegemite
- Processed foods
- White flour
- Tea & Coffee
- Melons, grapes
- Dried fruits
The Healthy Mummy Pregnancy Eating Plan recommends you start the day with a glass of water with a slice of lemon. Lemon can help restore the body’s natural condition and balance so adding this to your diet can help maintain balance.
Registered Midwife, Registered Nurse
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Disclaimer: Always speak to your doctor before changing your diet, taking any supplements or undertaking any exercise program in pregnancy. The information on this site is for reference only and is not medical advice and should not be treated as such, and is not intended in any way as a substitute for professional medical advice..
Our plans promote a healthy weight gain in pregnancy to benefit the mother & baby and you can read more on this here
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