Navigating your 3 most common baby care concerns


September (in South Africa) has one of the highest birth rates annually, so this month our focus is babies and some of the common concerns that occur with most newborns.

Breastfeeding and thrush

Thrush (candida infection) can cause breast and nipple pain in breastfeeding women. Breastfed babies can also develop thrush in their mouths when they drink from a thrush-infected breast.

Thrush infections sometimes happen when the nipples become cracked or damaged. This means the candida fungus that causes thrush can get into the nipple or breast. Thrush infections can also happen after you or your baby have had a course of antibiotics. Antibiotics may reduce the number of helpful bacteria (called the biome) in the body and in the mouth, which allows the candida fungus (that causes thrush) to flourish. One of the many functions of the biome is to prevent infections from gaining a foothold and developing.

Signs of thrush in breastfeeding women

If after feeding you begin to feel pain where previously you had none, this could be an indication of a thrush infection. The pain can be quite severe and last for up to an hour after every feed. However, it is important to note that if you have always experienced pain while breastfeeding, or the pain only affects one nipple or breast it's not likely to be thrush. Also note that if you have a fever, or there is a warm, red patch on one of your breasts, it is unlikely that you are suffering from thrush. If you suffer from these symptoms, you should visit your health care professional as you may need antibiotics for a bacterial infection, because thrush usually does not cause fever. It is important that other causes of breast pain be ruled out before you start treatment for thrush.

Symptoms of oral thrush in breastfed babies 

Signs to look for include creamy white spots or patches on the tongue, gums, roof of the mouth or the insides of the cheeks. If you gently wipe these patches with a clean cloth, they will not come off. Thrush will unsettle your baby when feeding. There could also be a white film on the lips and your baby may also have a nappy rash that will not clear up.

Treating thrush when you are breastfeeding

Washing your hands carefully after nappy changes and using separate towels will help to prevent cross-contamination. You will also need to wash and sterilise any dummies, teats or toys your baby puts in their mouth.

Thoroughly wash any breastfeeding bras in a hotter wash cycle and change your breast pads frequently while you're both being treated.

If you do have thrush, you will need to have treatment even if you intend to express milk rather than breastfeed, as the thrush contamination will carry over in the milk. Freezing milk and using it later may also lead to a recurrence of the thrush, so the best course of action is to treat the thrush as soon as possible.

You can continue breastfeeding while you and your baby receive treatment for thrush.

Once you and your baby start treatment, your symptoms should improve within 2 to 3 days. It will take a little longer for the infection to clear completely.

If you don't see any improvement within 7 days, speak to your health care provider, nurse or GP.

If you suspect you or your baby has a thrush infection, you may benefit from using our Trifectiv® Plus spray. The active ingredient in Trifectiv® Plus is hypochlorous acid. This is a naturally occurring molecule that normally occurs in our white blood cells. Its job is to fight infection and heal wounds. The active ingredient (medical grade hypochlorous acid) is completely safe for use on mother and baby. Simply spray into baby’s mouth and onto your nipples after each feed.

Cradle Cap

The exact cause of cradle cap isn't known. It is potentially due to a combination of things - namely too much skin oil (sebum) in the oil glands and hair follicles plus a type of yeast found on the skin called Malassezia. These two conditions appear to play roles in the development of this scaly rash, which occurs mostly on the scalp and in the skin folds of baby.

Cradle cap responds well to Trifectiv® Plus. Spray Trifectiv® Plus on the affected areas four times per day and it should clear quickly.

Nappy Rash

Most babies get nappy rash at one point or another, it is a common side effect of wearing nappies and the occurrence is between 87 and 90%. The moist environment inside a nappy makes it almost impossible to avoid nappy rash and the painful inflamed skin that is associated with it. The condition also causes a huge amount of stress for mom and dad due to the distress caused for the baby.

You can treat most nappy rash at home.

Let us look at how we can approach this very common problem, what steps we can take to avoid it, and how we can treat it when it happens.

What is nappy rash?

Nappy rash is that painful inflamed skin that appears on the bottoms of nappy-wearing babies.

What causes nappy rash?

Unfortunately, there are many causes. They include:

  • Dirtying of the nappy,
  • the type of nappy worn (disposable nappies have a higher incidence than cotton nappies),
  • a history of cradle cap,
  • the general state of the baby’s health,
  • any previous stomach upset – all these factors play a role in the onset of nappy rash.

The likelihood of nappy rash also increases when the baby starts to eat cereals, if the nappy is left unchanged for too long, if baby is bathed less frequently or if there is a history candida infections.

Nappy rash symptoms: how to tell the difference between mild and severe nappy rash

If your baby’s bottom has patches of bright red skin, chances are it's nappy rash. The signs can range from a mild rash to severely inflamed skin, which is painful and causes your baby to cry when you change the nappy. That is why it is important to watch out for certain nappy rash symptoms and signs.

Symptoms of mild nappy rash

  • Your baby’s skin is slightly reddish and dry.
  • The red area does not seem painful or is only mildly uncomfortable.
  • Your baby may react when urine or stool touches the rash, but otherwise, they are eating, sleeping, and acting normally.

Symptoms of severe nappy rash

  • Your baby’s skin is red, raw, broken or bleeding.
  • The rash covers a large area. It may have a bright red border or be worse in the creases and folds of the skin.
  • The rash is painful and your baby cries when you clean them or change the nappy.
  • Your baby is unhappy or unable to sleep.
  • Severe infections may even cause fever in your baby.

Nappy rash treatment tips

Most nappy rash can be easily treated at home. If you are treating it consistently, you should see an improvement within hours. The secret is in treating the affected area regularly. We suggest that you add Trifectiv® Plus Wound & Burn Care spray as a standard step in your nappy-changing routine. It is simple to use and highly effective. If someone else is sharing baby care with you be sure to let them know these nappy rash treatment instructions as well.

Doctor-recommended home remedies for nappy rash

  1. Change your baby’s nappy frequently. Change the nappy every two hours while the baby is awake, and at least once during the night. This will help keep the skin under and around the nappy clean and dry, which is how nappy rash gets better. This also prevents it from happening again in the future.
  2. Bare bottom time. Consider letting your baby spend time without a nappy on, or, put the nappy on loosely. Exposure to air will help the rash to heal.
  3. Avoid using nappy wipes while there is a rash. Instead, use warm water and mild liquid soap, and then pat (do not rub) the area dry after you have rinsed the area well.
  4. Spray Trifectiv® Plus onto the affected area and allow it to air dry before you apply a barrier ointment (please don’t use a waterproof jelly). We do not recommend using powders because your baby can inhale those.

Why use Trifectiv® Plus Wound and & Burn Care?

  1. Trifectiv® Plus is rapidly becoming known as the “First Aid in the Bottle”. It is ideal for treating nappy rash because its anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory actions stop the infection and the inflammation in its tracks. It also quickly stops the pain your baby is feeling.
  2. How does it work? Trifectiv® Plus rapidly kills all the germs that are on the skin, without affecting the natural healthy biome. And it is as effective against bacteria as it is against fungi and viruses.
  3. It has a powerful anti-inflammatory action, which reduces the inflammation responsible for the sensitivity and pain that your baby is enduring with nappy rash. Trifectiv® Plus quickly soothes and calms the affected area the moment you spray it onto the skin.
  4. Trifectiv® Plus is so safe, that it will do no harm if it gets into your baby’s eyes!
  5. Trifectiv® Plus also destroys something called biofilm, this is the primary reason for the continued inflammation experienced during nappy rash. Biofilm is a sneaky way bacteria and fungi protect themselves against human onslaught. It is an invisible slime layer secreted by the germs, under which they hide. It is this biofilm that causes inflammation. Trifectiv® Plus dissolves the biofilm, making it so much easier to reach and kill the bacteria that are hiding underneath it.

When to get help for your baby’s nappy rash

Nappy rash is almost inevitable. While it’s tough to see your little one so uncomfortable, you will both get through this.

However - if you do not see a rapid improvement with every nappy change (when using Trifectiv® Plus) or if your baby also has diarrhoea then please consult your doctor or health care professional. There may be an underlying reason for the rash that is not apparent. They will know what to do. You should be confident that you will be able to fix most nappy rash biofilm infections using Trifectiv® Plus as described.

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