Safe Nipple Moisturizers for Breastfeeding Mothers

Creams, Lotions, and Ointments to Treat Sore Nipples

Woman holding moisturizer cream in her hand
Is it safe to use creams and ointments on your nipples if you're breastfeeding?. Michael Goldman/Getty Images

Sore nipples are a common problem of breastfeeding. They are often the result of a poor latch. But, they can also develop for other reasons including thrush, mastitis, blebs, dermatitis, a new pregnancy, vasospasms, or even using a breast pump incorrectly. If your nipples are sore, check your baby's latch and talk to your doctor to try to find out what's causing your pain and what you can do to treat it.

When You Might Need a Prescription Medication for Sore Nipples

If your sore nipples are from a medical issue, you may need 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 can be treated with steroid creams or ointments.

When You May Be Able to Treat Sore Nipples With a Nipple Moisturizer

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

#1. Your Breast Milk

Your 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.

#2. Dr. Jack Newman's All Purpose Nipple Ointment

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

#3. 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 breastfeed because it is hypoallergenic and safe for your baby.

#4. 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.

#5. Motherlove Nipple Cream

Motherlove's Nipple Cream is not a lanolin product.

It's lanolin-free. Instead, 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's non-toxic and safe for your baby, so there is no need to wash it off before you breastfeed.

#6. Earth Mama Natural Nipple Butter

Earth Mama's Natural Nipple Butter is another all natural, non-toxic product that does not contain lanolin. It's 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.

Other Types of Creams and Ointments

There are many other types of creams, ointments, and lotions available in pharmacies, supermarkets, beauty supply stores, and online. However, most of these products aren't helpful, and you should avoid them. Some creams can be dangerous for your baby to swallow, others can make your nipple soreness or irritation worse. It's best to ask your doctor for a recommendation or stick with the safe choices listed above. And, of course, if you have a reaction while you're using any type of product, stop using it and contact your doctor.  

 

Sources:

Earth Mama Angel Baby. Natural Nipple Butter. Accessed November 15, 2016: http://earthmamaangelbaby.com/products/natural-nipple-butter.html

Lansinoh. HPA Lanolin. Accessed November 15, 2016: https://www.lansinoh.com/products/hpa-lanolin

Lawrence, Ruth A., MD, Lawrence, Robert M., MD. Breastfeeding A Guide For The Medical Profession Eighth Edition. Elsevier Health Sciences. 2015.

Motherlove. Nipple Cream. Accessed November 15, 2016: https://www.motherlove.com/product/nipple-cream

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

Riordan, J., and Wambach, K. Breastfeeding and Human Lactation Fourth Edition. Jones and Bartlett Learning. 2014.

Continue Reading