Are you breastfeeding and dealing with sore nipples? You are not alone! All moms know how important breastfeeding is to their baby, but they are often unaware of how painful it can be. When you are already sleeping and showering less and then you have to deal with sore nipples, it can be overwhelming.
But, moms rejoice! There is relief and you can continue breastfeeding. Don’t give up yet. Instead, listen to what moms from past generations and lactation consultations will tell you – find the best nipple cream for your budget and soothe those poor working breasts.
With all the different nipple creams on the market, you may feel unsure about which one to choose. Well, I am here to help! I have done the research for you. By the time you finish reading this article, you will know what to look for and what to avoid, as well as the best nipple creams on the market today.
The Best Nipple Creams (Updated)
Earth Angel Mama Baby Nipple Butter *Best Choice*
(*) Below, you'll find my detailed reviews, but you can also click the links above to see prices and read customer reviews.
The Pain of Breastfeeding
You might have daydreamed about how beautiful your breastfeeding experience would be. You may have imagined you would spend the time bonding with your little one. But, now you find yourself in tears because you are in so much pain. I am sorry. The pain of breastfeeding is no fun, but the end rewards are worth it.
However, sometimes we find comfort in knowing what we are going through is common. In this case, pain during breastfeeding is common, but if you ask for help, you can find ways to deal with the pain. For instance, using nipple creams or holding your baby at a different angle.
According to the experts at La Leche League International, “Studies have shown that 80 to 90 percent of breastfeeding women experience some nipple soreness, with 26 percent progressing to cracking and extreme nipple pain (Huml 1995). Sore nipples associated with breastfeeding are still a common problem.”
The experts from Kids Health explain, “If your baby is latched on properly, you may have 30 to 60 seconds of pain (from the nipple and areola being pulled into your baby's mouth), then the pain should ease. But if you continue to feel pain, stop feeding momentarily and reposition your baby on your breast. If the pain persists, something else might be going on.”
Some examples of other causes of pain from breastfeeding include mastitis, cramping, plugged milk ducts, or yeast/thrush infections of the breasts. If you are experiencing pain that is not simply due to cracked and sore nipples such as these issues, you need to seek medical help.
Why Nipple Creams are Essential
Nipple creams are essential for breastfeeding mothers as a form of prevention and protection. Nipple cream works to form a barrier on nipples. These creams soothe sore nipples and speed up healing to cracked nipples.
In the beginning, many moms experience sore, cracked, and even bleeding nipples. This pain is further exasperated by the next feeding or by anything touching the nipple (even clothing). This is where nipple cream helps to save the day. Once you put a small dab of nipple cream on your breast after feeding, you will find relief. At the same time, it will continue to work as a barrier preventing more pain and healing you before it is time to breastfeed again.
Some moms claim to find relief from sore nipples by using natural ingredients. For instance, some women use their own breast milk – even watery breast milk is breast milk! Others use coconut oil or olive oil.
They are Essential, but are Nipple Creams Safe?
The idea of putting something on your nipple which will then go directly into your baby’s mouth may cause some alarm. Unfortunately, there are some nipple creams that are not safe for you or your baby. For example, WebMD posted information about an FDA warning against the Mommy’s Bliss Nipple Cream.
Furthermore, one of the most popular ingredients in nipple creams, lanolin, is actually wool wax. Therefore, if you or your baby has a wool allergy, you will need to avoid nipple creams that are lanolin based. With that being said, lanolin is an extremely effective ingredient for treating sore nipples, so it is still a popular choice.
Additionally, there are other ingredients that are not the best for babies, such as creams that state they should be washed off before your baby feeds. This means the product is not considered baby safe.
Another thing you want to avoid in a nipple cream, even though you may want it, are any creams with an anesthetic. Anesthetics numb the spot (or the nipple). While you may desperately want the pain to cease, you do not want to numb your baby’s mouth. Plus, these just numb your nipple; they do not heal it.
What to Look for When Shopping
When I was researching, I paid attention to these four key features to determine which nipples creams are the best.
- Scent – Before you buy a nipple cream, you need to smell it. If you do not like the way it smells, do not buy it. There is a good chance your baby will not like the smell either. Breastfeeding is challenging enough without adding in a strong scent your baby will want to avoid.
- Safe Ingredients – As we discussed earlier, safety is a major concern in nipple creams because your baby will potentially be exposed to whatever ingredients are in the product through breastfeeding.
- Ease of Use – You want a nipple cream that is easy to use. This means you should avoid creams that leave you feeling greasy or ones that need to be cleaned off well. Instead, look for creams that absorbs into your skin.
- Cost – Ultimately, you should choose the best product for your budget. Fortunately, most nipple creams are affordable.
The Top Five Nipple Creams
It is endorsed by the breastfeeding gurus at La Leche League International, and it is hypoallergenic and safe for babies. Moms will love that it is a creamy lotion that does not have to be removed prior to breastfeeding. And, it is unscented. Another benefit is that the cream may be used on other parts of the body such as dry lips.
It can potentially stain your clothing, so you will need to make sure you wear a nursing bra or nursing pads when you use it. Also, it is thicker than other products. The main ingredient is lanolin, which is a wool based ingredient. Therefore, if you are vegan or have a wool allergy, this is not the cream for you.
Lansinoh breastfeeding salve is the most popular nipple cream on the market for good reason. It is extremely effective for offering breastfeeding mothers relief and healing. Plus, it is inexpensive. But, those who do not want to use lanolin should look the other direction.
This is a non-GMO and non-lanolin nipple cream, so it will work for the few with wool allergies or those who are practicing vegans. It is also safe for babies and does not need to be washed off before breastfeeding. It is designed for use on any type of sensitive skin. In addition to working on sore nipples, you can also use it on cracked heels or chapped lips.
The texture is grainier, so it does not feel like a smooth, creamy lotion. While the grains do absorb naturally into your skin, some moms may not like the feel. It does have a scent; however, it is from the natural cocoa extract, so it may be a scent you love.
Earth Angel Mama Baby Nipple Butter is the perfect choice for those who are vegan or with wool allergies. But, it is also an excellent product for anyone looking for a product with the most natural ingredients. Be sure to smell it before you purchase it to make sure the scent is not overpowering.
Made with certified organic materials, breastfeeding moms are big fans of Motherlove Nipple Cream. It is made with extra virgin olive oil, beeswax, shea butter, marshmallow root and calendula flower making it safe for mom and baby. It is a very light cream that you do not need to wash off before breastfeeding.
This product is a lot pricier, but still affordable. It also has a scent, so you will need to test your senses before you take it home and apply it. For texture, the thickness may make you feel like it does not create a strong barrier (but it does).
For those seeking an organic product, this is the nipple cream you want. It is more of an ointment than a thick cream for your nipples, but it is effective at forming a protective barrier. You pay more for the certified organic ingredients and the glass jar it comes in.
One of the more pricier options is Milkies Nipple Nurture Balm, which is made primarily of olive oil. Breastfeeding moms tend to like the smooth consistency of this nipple cream in comparison with others. Also, pumping moms are fans of this product to help with the pinch factor. Plus, it is safe for moms and babies.
It is more expensive than other brands and it is harder to find.
If you are willing to spend more, it is likely you will love this nipple balm. It is safe and effective. For those pumping and storing breastmilk, this is a great choice. It is also very effective. While it costs more, you only need to use a tiny tiny amount each time, so it will last.
This nipple cream is organic and lanolin free. It is safe for mom and baby, and moms do not need to wash it off before breastfeeding. Plus, you can use the non-greasy cream on other parts of your body with chapped skin. It also works well to heal and give relief to open sores on the nipples.
It has a scent that your baby may not love. You will need to do the sniff test before you buy the product.
For those with bleeding or cracked nipples, Green Goo Organics Nursing Comfort Cream may be the right product for you. It is effective for healing as well as creating a barrier. It is also organic and lanolin free. The downside is the smell.
And the Winner Is…
Personally, I want to get the best product at the best cost. Personally, Earth Angel Mama Baby Nipple Butter is the winner. I love that it works for everyone! No matter your food preferences or allergies, this product is safe for you to use. And, while there is a scent, it is a pleasant cocoa smell. Plus, it is effective and inexpensive. It will give you the relief you need at the right price.
To Wrap Up
You are doing a wonderful thing by choosing to give your baby the very best through breastfeeding. Do not give up when your nipples start to feel sore. Manufacturers and doctors do not want you to give up either, so they have created products to provide relief and healing.Each of the nipple creams we have listed in this article are effective at giving your sore nipples some comfort and easing the pain. They are also all safe for your baby. Ultimately, this is a matter of preference. Choose the texture, scent, and ingredients that you like the most. While you are ate it, make sure you find a nursing bra that is comfortable too!