Relief is in reach with our best nipple cream for breastfeeding roundup
If you’re starting to feel like nursing isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be, this one is for you. Yeah, we know it was a terrible pun, but we really do understand that sometimes breastfeeding isn’t the blissful experience you expected. That doesn’t mean it’s all bad, or that you’re not enjoying feeding your babe. It’s all just to say that there are some less-than-glamorous aspects, too. One of the absolute most common? Cracked, sore, raw nipples. Yikes. It just sounds painful, right? We get it, though, and we’ve been there. And if you’ve shmeared all the breast milk on your nips and it hasn’t done the trick, one of the easiest remedies is—you guessed it—nipple cream.
What is nipple cream?
So what is nipple cream, though, exactly? Well, consider what your nips are being put through when you breastfeed or chestfeed. It’s easy to end up with dry, cracked, sore, itchy, bleeding (omg) nipples if your baby doesn’t latch properly, they have a tongue-tie, or you’re still adjusting to nursing in general, according to La Leche League International. Nipple cream is formulated to treat and relieve all that so you can carry on and enjoy the awesome parts of nursing (the bonding, the quiet, the taking breaks from loud gatherings when your inner introvert needs it…).
How does nipple cream work?
Nipple cream works by soothing and moisturizing the skin, plus protecting that sensitive tissue from future discomfort. As far as ingredients go, medical-grade purified lanolin, a wax secreted by sheep and other wool-bearing animals, is often the most popular. Definitely avoid it if you have a wool sensitivity, and turn to other products with olive oil, aloe, or shea butter. Coconut oil is another option (and smells delish!) but can be an allergen for baby, so test it first.
Are nipple creams safe for babies?
A big bonus of these formulas is that they’re often made from natural and/or safe ingredients which means you can use them at the same time as breastfeeding. You don’t have to stop to wipe many nipple creams off when your little one is ready to eat. Notice we said many nipple creams are baby-friendly, but not all, so be sure to read the packaging and follow the directions. Also, if your baby seems to dislike the taste or smell of the formula you’re using you can swap to a different cream.
Another bonus? You can use nipple cream for your lips, on dry elbows, cracked hands; there’s a good chance it’ll become a must-have even after your babe has weaned. Check out a few of our picks for the best nipple cream for breastfeeding below.
Lansinoh Lanolin Nipple Cream
A tried-and-true product, Lansinoh Nipple Cream is in new mom arsenals everywhere. It's lanolin is 100% natural and made without fragrance, taste, petroleum, or preservatives. You don't have to wipe it off before nursing and is also available in an organic option if that's your preference.
Motherlove Organic Lanolin-Free Nipple Cream
Looking to skip the lanolin? Motherlove Organic Lanolin-Free Nipple Cream is a great option. With an almost 5-star Amazon rating, Motherlove's potent combo of calendula flower and marshmallow root soothes sore nipples and also works great on lips and hands. It doesn't need to be removed before nursing, either.
Medela Purelan Lanolin Nipple Cream
Medela Purelan Lanolin Nipple Cream is made with ultra-pure, medical-grade lanolin that's super smooth and works fast. No need to wipe it off before nursing, either. As a bonus, it's ethically sourced from mulesing-free farms.
Earth Mama Organic Nipple Butter
Earth Mama Organic Nipple Butter is Non-GMO Project Verified and organic, so you don't need to wash it off before nursing. It's lanolin-free and not at all sticky (hence the "butter" part), plus it's also available in a vegan formula.
Newman's Nipple Cream (APNO)
APNO stands for All-Purpose Nipple Ointment and is only available by prescription. This is the next step in keeping your nipples happy and healthy if over-the-counter creams aren't working for you. It's created with an antibiotic, an anti-inflamatory, and an anti-fungal medication to really help when nothing else is doing the job. You'll need to talk to your doctor to get a prescription. Although considered "safe" to leave on while nursing, you'll want to avoid using it for more than 7-10 days. Definitely sit down with your healthcare provider to find out if APNO is right for you and how to use it properly (for both you and baby).
All the products listed are independently & personally selected by our shopping editors.
If you buy something from the links in this article, we may earn affiliate commission or compensation. Prices and availability reflect the time of publication.
All images courtesy of retailers unless otherwise indicated.