Nipple Moisturizers For Nursing Mothers

Creams, Lotions and Ointments That Can Safely Treat Sore Nipples

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Sore nipples are a common problem of breastfeeding. They are often the result of a poor latch, but they can develop for so many other reasons including thrush, mastitis, blebs, dermatitis, a new pregnancy, vasospasms, or even the improper use of a breast pump. If your nipples are sore, check your baby's latch and talk to your doctor to try to determine and treat the underlying issue.

Medical issues may require a prescription medication.

 Thrush is a yeast infection that appears on your nipples and in your baby's mouth. Your doctor will treat thrush with an antifungal medication. If you develop mastitis, a type of breast infection, you may or may not need an antibiotic. Dermatitis or other skin conditions of the breast are often resolved with the use of steroid creams or ointments.

Sore, cracked, bleeding nipples that are due to a dry climate or a poor latch, may not require the use of a prescription medication for healing.  An over-the-counter nipple cream, ointment, or lotion designed for nursing mothers could be helpful, but you should always consult your doctor for the best possible treatment options for your situation. Your doctor may recommend one of the soothing moisturizers below. These products can safely help to heal your sore, cracked, and bleeding nipples.

6 Soothing Nipple Moisturizers For Nursing Mothers

Your Own Breast Milk: Your own breast milk is a safe and readily available moisturizer that can be used to soothe your nipples.

All you have to do is gently rub a little bit of expressed breast milk around your nipples and let it air dry.

Dr. Jack Newman's All Purpose Nipple Ointment: This ointment created by Dr. Jack Newman is available by prescription only and is prepared at a pharmacy. It contains antibacterial and antifungal ingredients to treat infections, as well as a steroid to reduce inflammation.

Lansinoh's HPA Lanolin: Lansinoh's lanolin product contains only 100% pure refined lanolin. HPA Lanolin can be used to relieve the pain and discomfort caused by dry, sore, cracked nipples. There is no need to wash this lanolin off your breasts before you nurse because it is hypoallergenic and safe for your baby.

Medela PureLan 100 or Tender Care Lanolin: Purlan and Tender Care are also 100% pure lanolin products. They are all natural, hypoallergenic and do not contain any artificial additives or preservatives. Either of these lanolin creams can be used to heal and protect sore, dry or sensitive nipples. They do not have to be washed off before breastfeeding your baby.

Motherlove Nipple Cream: Motherlove's nipple cream is lanolin-free. It is made up of all natural, certified organic herbal ingredients to help soothe and heal sore nipples. This cream contains extra virgin olive oil, beeswax, shea butter, marshmallow root and calendula flower. It is non-toxic and safe for your baby so there is no need to wash it off before breastfeeding.

Earth Mama Natural Nipple Butter: This is another all natural, non-toxic product that does not contain lanolin. Earth Mama's Nipple Butter is made up of all certified organic ingredients including olive oil, cocoa butter, shea butter, candelilla wax, mango butter and calendula flower extract. It can be used to soothe and heal dry, cracked nipples and it does not need to be washed off before nursing.

There are many other types of creams, ointments, and lotions available in pharmacies, supermarkets, beauty supply stores, and online. Most of these products should be avoided. They will rarely help and can often make the soreness or irritation worse.


American Academy of Pediatrics. New Mother’s Guide To Breastfeeding. Bantam Books. New York. 2011.

Earth Mama Angel Baby. Natural Nipple Butter. Accessed January 12, 2014:

Lansinoh. HPA Lanolin. Accessed January 12, 2014:

Lawrence, Ruth A., MD, Lawrence, Robert M., MD. Breastfeeding A Guide For The Medical Profession Seventh Edition.  Mosby. 2011.

Medela. Breast and Nipple Problems. Accessed January 12, 2014:

Motherlove. Nipple Cream. Accessed January 12, 2014:

Newman, Jack, MD, Pitman, Theresa. The Ultimate Breastfeeding Book of Answers. Three Rivers Press. New York. 2006.

Riordan, J., Wambach, K. Breastfeeding and Human Lactation Fourth Edition. Jones and Bartlett Learning. 2010.

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