What Is The Best Nipple Cream For Breastfeeding?

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What is the best nipple cream? The choice of breastfeeding creams can be overwhelming if you’re new to breastfeeding or expressing.

best nipple cream

If you have sore or cracked nipples you may want to seek relief in the form of a nipple cream. These creams are specifically designed for nursing mothers to create a barrier on your nipples. A moisture barrier can prevent pain and speed the healing of sore nipples caused by problems such as poor positioning, attachment or breast pump suction.

Criteria for the Best Nipple Cream?

There are a lot of nipple creams out there, so how do we decide exactly what makes a nipple cream the ‘best’? This is our criteria for deciding.

1. Baby safe ingredients – anything that will inevitably go into your baby’s mouth should contain baby safe ingredients. Avoid any nipple creams which advise you to remove them before baby nurses. See end of article for ingredient table.
2. Performance – if it doesn’t do what it’s supposed to, then you might as well throw your money away.
3. Easy application – this cream is going on a sore and sensitive area it needs to apply well. Plus nobody wants a cream which leaves them in a greasy or sticky mess.
4. Scent – A cream can be worth its weight in gold, but if it smells awful you won’t want to use it. Strong scents can also cause baby to reject the breast
5. Price – you may be after a great value for money option or a luxury brand.

What to avoid

Don’t be swayed by the cheap price or gimmicks of breastfeeding cream, these are often made up of chemical fillers trying to compensate for their lack of quality ingredients.

1. Remove before use – this means the ingredients are not safe for babies to ingest. The rubbing action may also irritated and already sore nipples
2. Ingredient with alcohol – are very drying to the skin and can make nipples worse with prolonged use
3. Anesthetic agents – numbing the nipple is not advised as it can slow you’re let down reflex. It may also numb your baby’s mouth and affect its suckling action.
4. Certain Chemical ingredients – can cause irritation to the skin, avoid any creams containing petroleum, parabens or triethanolamine.

Remember what works for some may not work for you so remember to read through to research the best option for you. We’ve included a rating from the database website Skin Deep. This gives a safety rating of the ingredients in products for health and the environment (the lower the score the safer).

Lanolin Based Nipple Creams

You will find that most moms will swear by a lanolin based nipple cream. Older women particularly love lanolin based nipple creams as they were all the rage back in the 70’s and 80s. The reasoning behind the fan-moms is that lanolin is extremely effective at soothing broken skin, through a process known as moist wound healing. This allows a barrier protection to the nerve endings (which cause the pain) whilst allowing healing without scabs. Plus pure unscented lanolin is a natural product which does not need to be removed before nursing baby.

Sounds great right? Well there are a few drawbacks of using pure lanolin creams. Consider the following before choosing a lanolin based nipple cream.

  • Allergy – The first is that lanolin is another name for ‘wool wax’ or ‘wool grease’. If you or baby are allergic to wool products, then a lanolin cream is a no go. We want to soothe your nipples, not put you into anaphylactic shock!
  • Animal product – Essentially lanolin is made from sheep’s sweat. If you are vegan or against the use of animal products you’ll need to look for alternatives.
  • Pesticides – Lanolin is gather by scouring shaved wool. Before extracting the lanolin the fresh wool needs to be soaked in pesticides to remove any parasites which were in the sheep’s coat. This means any lanolin gathered after this process will contain some of the pesticides used in the process.

Remember that lanolin based creams usually scored really high on performance. If the above points don’t concern you consider our top two lanolin based nipple creams.

Lansinoh Lanolin Cream

Undoubtedly the bestselling nipple cream on the market. Lansinoh cream is easily available and under $7 it’s a great price for a well-known, reliable brand. If the use of pesticides is a concern to you, Lansinoh states that they ultra-refine the lanolin to remove as much pesticides and make it as pure as possible. Lanolin is the only ingredient in the product so there are no scents or preservatives to irritate you or baby.

The Lansinoh cream has a thick consistency which thins as it melts with body heat, just be careful not to get it onto good clothes as it may stain.

Skin Deep rating : 1/10 – lanolin allergy concern
Vegan friendly: No– contains lanolin

Medela Tender Care

Compared to the Lansinoh cream, Medela’s nipple cream offering has a few more active ingredients. These ingredients are derivatives of coconut oil (Capric Triglycerides) and immune boosting sugars (Oat Beta Glucan). Medela do not offer much information about how refined the lanolin is and therefore may be higher is pesticide content.

One of the most common complaints about this cream is that it appears to react with some peoples skin and cause a pungent smell. Others have reported no smell. The Medela PureLan 100 does not appear to have this problem. The main positive of the Medela nipple cream is that its consistency is very easy to apply as it is a lot thinner than the Lansinoh.

Skin Deep rating : 1/10 – lanolin allergy concern
Vegan Friendly: No – contains lanolin

Organic Nipple Creams

These creams will give you the best of both worlds as they provide the protection of lanolin cream but are pesticide free. The difficulty with the organic based creams are that they are more likely to contain more preservatives or additives. We’ve searched high and low to find the best of the best organic nipple creams.

Motherlove Nipple Cream

Made with 100% certified organic ingredients, this natural herbal salve will instantly soothe your sore nipples. This nipple cream is the best rated organic nipple brand on the market. It’s a bit on the expensive side for what you get (around $10/oz), but a little goes a long way. You can also double the cream up as a diaper cream for baby.

Skin Deep rating : 0/10 –no concerns
Vegan Friendly: No – contains beeswax

Earth Mama Angel Baby Natural Nipple Butter

If you’re looking for a certified cruelty free and vegan option, look no further than this nipple butter. Most other organic creams use beeswax as a softening agent, but this cream uses a variety of plant bases oils and waxes. It’s lovely and moisturizing, and soaks right into the skin quickly. It also has a pleasant chocolate scent to it, due to the natural cocoa extract, so no nasty chemicals. The cocoa extract may make your baby gassy if they are sensitive to foodstuffs.

Although this balm is more expensive than others, it comes with a 36 month use by date, even with no preservatives. That’s because means water is not an ingredient in the balm, making it difficult for bacteria, mold or yeast to develop.

Skin Deep rating: 0/10 –no concerns
Vegan Friendly: Yes

Milkies Nipple Nurture Balm

One of the main ingredients of this Nurture balm is olive oil, and it looks like a solid version too. Not only that but it has a light olive oil scent too. The great think is that the balm melts from a solid almost instantly as it reaches you finger. The soft consistency makes it so easy to apply, a fantastic feature for when you nipples are extra sore and sensitive.

Pumping moms also really rate this nipple balms to help ease the ‘pinch’ some moms experience when using a pump. The texture also help to create a vacuum between the breast and the shield. This creates a better pump suction and allows you to express more.

Skin Deep rating : no data available
Vegan Friendly: No – contains beeswax

Bamboobies Boobease

We love the name of this nipple balm, and it’s not just a gimmick, it actually works to prevent chapped nipples. With its Vaseline like texture, it’s smooth and rubs in well, providing an instant relief barrier. It’s made up of only 5 all natural organic ingredients which give it a slight olive oil scent.

This creamy is quite greasy. If you live if a really hot area, make sure you don’t leave it in extreme heat or it will turn to a thick liquid quickly. Also be careful to wear breast pads if you are wearing a nice top or bra as it has a tendency to stain, or leave greasy marks.

Skin Deep rating : no data available
Vegan Friendly: No – contains beeswax

Best of the Rest

These nipples creams, don’t quite meet all of the ‘best’ criteria. However, they are highly rated by other moms, so we through we should give them a mention.

Bella B Nipple Nurture Butter

With plant based ingredients this balm is 100% food safe and vegan. Made up of natural cocoa, avocado, shea and mango butter you can be sure this Bella B butter will soothe and moisturize even the most cracked nipples. Moms seems to love this balm as it’s always highly rated.

The reason it didn’t make out best list is due to the vitamin C and E additives which you may want to avoid.

Skin Deep rating : 1/10 – Concerns: Palmitate, Tocopherol
Vegan Friendly: Yes

Mustela Nursing Comfort Balm

This cream seems to be the savior for moms who have tried a lot of other nursing cream but found them ineffective. It is the most expressive of all the creams on our list, but it is highly rated.

Again the reason it hasn’t made our top list is due to the high additive and preservative content. These types of should be avoided as these will pass into baby’s mouth. However it is a choice between a short term use of cream and given up breastfeeding then it may be worth a go.

Skin Deep rating : 2/10 – Concerns: Peg-45/ dodecyl glycol copolymer, sorbic acid, sodium hydroxide, glycerin, citric acid, ceresin, panthenol, stearalkonium hectorite, butylene glycol , propylene carbonate tocopherol, isodecyl neopentanoate
Vegan Friendly: Yes

Coconut Oil

Not a specially formulated nipple cream, but if you want a one ingredient, natural, pesticide free option then consider coconut oil.  Use as a balm, with its smooth consistency it will melt onto you fingers and absorb quickly into your skin. You may already know that coconut oil has many uses including:

  • health
  • beauty
  • cooking

It goes to show how good this is for baby if adults are eating it too. You can get a large jar which will last you a long time, and cover lots of home uses. Just go look up Pinterest and see what you can do with coconut oil. Just remember this option isn’t suitable for moms or babies who have nut allergies. It should also be avoided if any family members have severe nut allergies.

Nipple Cream Ingredients List

Nipple CreamNameIngredients

Lansinoh Lanolin
Ultra-refined Lanolin

Medela Tender Care

Lanolin, Capric Triglycerides, Oat Beta Glucan

Motherlove Nipple Cream
organic extra virgin olive oil, organic beeswax, organic shea butter, organic marshmallow root, organic calendula flower

Earth Mama Angel Baby Nipple Butter
Olea europaea (organic olive) oil, Calendula officinalis (organic calendula) extract, Theobroma cacao (organic cocoa) butter, Butyrospermum parkii (organic shea) butter, (Euphorbia antisyphilitica (candelilla wax), Mangifera indica (mango) butter

Milkies Nipple Nurture Balm
marshmallow root, self heal, calendula, extra virgin olive oil, beeswax, and shea butter

Bamboobies Boobease
Extra virgin olive oil, beeswax, shea butter, marshmallow root, calendula flower

Bella B Nipple Nurture Butter
Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter) Fruit, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Soybean (Glycine Soja) Glycerides, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil (Organic), Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil Unsaponifiables, Butyrospermum Parkii (Organic Shea Butter), Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil (Organic), Ascorbyl Palmitate (Vitamin C), Tocopherol (Natural Vitamin E)

Mustela Nursing Comfort Balm
Water, glycerin, butyrospermum parkii (shea) butter, isodecyl neopentanoate, caprylic/capric triglyceride, methyl glucose dioleate, pentylene glycol, candelilla cera (euphorbia cerifera (candelilla) wax), ceresin, maris sal (sea salt), panthenol, peg-45/dodecul glycol copolymer, stearalkonium hectorite, xanthan gum, hydrolyzed soy protein, dextrin palmitate, bisabolol, sorbic acid, propylene carbonate, butylene glycol, helianthus annus (sunflower) seed oil, sodium hydroxide, hydrolyzed avocado protein, maltodextrin, tocopherol, lupinus albus seed extract, citric acid