How to Cure Thrush Using Gentian Violet

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Thrush can be a painful infection for nursing mothers. If you feel shooting pains and soreness in your nipples while nursing and after but your breasts appear normal in every other way, you may have thrush. Your baby may have white patches in his mouth that are hard to scrape off. Gentian violet gives fast relief to the painful symptoms of thrush.

Things You'll Need

  • 2 tsp. gentian violet (1% solution)
  • Cotton swabs
  • Find gentian violet at drugstores like CVS or online, including at Amazon. Two teaspoons will be enough for the usual three or four treatments required. You will probably have some solution left over.

  • Start treatment with gentian violet just before bedtime. Undress your baby down to the diaper. Gentian violet is very messy and can dye clothing but will usually wash out after several washes. The mother should be undressed down to pajama pants. Use linens on your bed that you do not mind getting stained with purple.

  • Soak one end of a cotton swab in the gentian violet solution. Let the baby suck on the swab for just a few seconds. This should coat the inside of baby's mouth. If the inside of baby's mouth is all purple, then you know that that is enough. If not, use the cotton swab to paint the inside of the baby's cheeks and gums.

  • Allow the baby to nurse on both breasts. This way, the baby will transfer the gentian violet to you.

  • Check to see that both of your nipples are purple. If needed, use the same cotton swab to paint your nipples.

  • Sleep with the gentian violet on, while leaving your breasts exposed.

  • Repeat this treatment at bedtime for three days. If you are still slightly sore, then continue the treatment for two additional days. Gentian violet should begin to bring relief after the first two treatments.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you are not feeling relief after two treatments, consider seeing your doctor. Thrush may not be the problem.
  • Do not overuse gentian violet. Use just enough to barely dye the skin.
  • Boil all artificial nipples that your baby uses. They can pass the fungus back to they baby, and the baby can pass it back to you.
  • Discontinuing artificial nipples is the best course of action during a thrush infection.

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