Pregnancy is a time when many women are more susceptible to Candida overgrowth. This is because pregnancy alters your body’s hormonal balance, sugar production and pH, all of which can contribute to Candida overgrowth. In addition, the emotional stress of pregnancy can compromise the immune system, leaving you more vulnerable to infection. Even your pregnancy cravings can be harmful; many women crave foods high in sugar or refined carbohydrates that are not only bad for them, but also great for feeding the Candida yeast.
One of the most common and unfortunate symptoms of Candida overgrowth during pregnancy is thrush. If a woman has thrush when they go into labor, there is a chance that the baby will contract it as they pass through the birth canal. Until then, the baby is safely tucked up in the uterus and won’t be affected.
If your baby has Candida, it will often present itself as oral thrush – white patches on the sides and roof of the mouth and sometimes the tongue. If you’re breast-feeding, the yeast infection can be transferred back to you and can spread. Babies can be treated for thrush, but it’s not the best start to life!
Antifungal medication, a change of diet, nutritional supplements and/or probiotic supplements are your best chance against Candida overgrowth. However, prevention is key. Ignoring Candida overgrowth during pregnancy will only cause the condition to worsen. Once the baby is born, you’ll be left with an even harder-to-treat problem.
Before starting any treatment, be sure to consult with your midwife or doctor. Many over-the-counter medications for Candida overgrowth are not safe for pregnant women. Even if you have taken the medication before, it’s still worth checking with a healthcare professional.
If you choose the more conventional route to dealing with your yeast infection, your doctor will likely prescribe antifungal medications in the form of pessaries or creams. If you are given pessaries, be careful when using them so as not to put any pressure on your cervix. If your condition gets worse or if you don’t feel that your current prescription is working, go back and speak to your doctor.
Many antifungal medications are not safe for pregnant women, so some choose to take a holistic approach to treating their Candida overgrowth. This approach includes dietary changes, nutritional supplements and probiotics. If these dietary and lifestyle changes are maintained, then not only can Candida overgrowth be treated, but reoccurrences can also be prevented.
Pregnancy is a time when you want to be extra careful with everything you do. Make sure that whatever you do is the right thing for you and your baby.