Childhood Thrush And How To Treat It

Thrush is a very common infection that can affect adults and children alike.

Thrush is a very common infection that can affect adults and children alike. For young children, thrush will usually occur in their mouth.
It is caused by a build-up of yeast and often happens after a child has finished a course of antibiotics. A certain amount of this yeast is healthy and normal for both children and adults but a build-up can lead to thrush.

Thrush usually occurs for babies who are more than four weeks old however premature babies are more likely to contract thrush due to their immature immune systems which may struggle to resist infection.

In some cases, a baby may have thrush but it goes unnoticed for quite some time. That is because the patches look very similar to milk. The white patches caused by thrush will not wipe away as easily though. They usually appear on the roof of the mouth and on the tongue.

When a baby is breastfed, the baby and mother can easily spread thrush to and from each other. The baby may have thrush in their mouth which then spreads to the nipples or the mother may have thrush in her milk ducts and spread it to the baby.
When a woman has thrush on her breasts she may experience red sensitive nipples which can make feeding very uncomfortable. Stabbing pains deep within the breast tissue can also occur. If a baby has thrush they may be experiencing discomfort which could make them reluctant to feed. This can be very concerning for the parents.

In most cases, thrush is very mild and will clear up by itself. If it does not disappear after a few days your GP may prescribe an anti-fungal medication to clear it up. It is important to complete the treatment so that the thrush does not return again once it has cleared up.

Hygiene is important when it comes to preventing the spread of thrush. If your baby drinks from a bottle or uses a soother it is important to ensure that they are properly sterilised and cleaned between uses.

If you are concerned about your baby having thrush you should consult your GP. They will be able to diagnose thrush by simply looking into your baby’s mouth and they will not require a swab or an invasive examination.

Genital thrush is unlikely to occur in young children but it is very common for teenage girls. About 75% of all females will have it as some point in their lives. The main symptoms are usually itching, redness and irritation in the vagina.
There is usually a thick white discharge that is odourless and quite clumpy in consistency. Urinating may become painful and come with a burning sensation.

The cause of vaginal thrush is very similar to oral thrush. It is simply a build-up of yeast. This may happen during pregnancy or due to a weakened immune system. For many women, a yeast infection tends to happen just before their menstrual period arrives and is connected to the change in hormone levels.
It is recommended to avoid fragrances, soaps and scented products in that area to avoid upsetting the Vagina’s natural PH balance.

Treating this kind of thrush usually involves a trip to the GP and a prescription of oral medication as well as a topical cream which should clear it up in a couple of days.

Tracey is a happy mammy to four-year-old Billy. She is a breastfeeder, gentle parent and has recently lost five stone so healthy family eating is her passion! You can find her at


Tracey Quinn

Proud mum of two who got married on Don't Tell The Bride and had an accidental home-birth (loves a good story). She's passionate about breastfeeding, positive thinking & all things cosy.

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