Thrush and Yeast Infections 

What is the difference between thrush and a yeast infection?  

Women commonly refer to an infection in the vaginal area as a yeast infection. Thrush is also a type of fungal yeast infection that can be passed between mother and baby, commonly during breastfeeding. In this case, thrush is usually found on the mother’s breast or nipple and on the baby’s bottom or mouth. Thrush is a common problem that occurs with breastfeeding and should be treated simultaneously in mom and baby. 

Signs of an infection 

The symptoms of thrush and yeast infections are similar—a white curd-like substance on the infected area.  

Thrush can be painful when it infects the breast. The nipple may be red and flaky with a rash. In babies, you will see the white curd substance inside the lips, cheeks and on the tongue.  

Signs of a yeast infection include the same white curds as thrush, but visible on the vagina, accompanied by itching, discomfort and possibly a foul smell.  

Treatment for infections 

Both thrush and yeast infections should be treated by a health-care provider. For yeast infections in the vaginal area, consult your Women’s Care gynecologist or ob-gyn. For thrush, consult your ob-gyn for mom, as well as your pediatrician for baby. An antifungal medication may need to be prescribed.  

If you think you may have signs of an infection, be sure to contact your Women’s Care provider.