Best Nipple Cream For Breastfeeding Mothers

Last Updated On: 

November 30, 2017

Any mother out there that’s chosen to breastfeed her baby knows first hand just how magical this experience can be, both for baby and mother alike. When it all comes down to it, there’s hardly anything out there in the world that could make you feel better than skin to skin contact like this with your little one.

breastfeeding nipple cream used for mothers with sensitive nipples during breastfeeding

However, for other mothers, all the magic that comes with this skin to skin contact between a mom and her baby is lost in the sea of excruciating nipple pain sometimes associated with breastfeeding.

If this sounds like something you’re currently going through and you’re worried that the only way the pain will go away is by you entirely giving breastfeeding up, then read along, as this isn’t entirely the case all the time. Sometimes, all that’s needed is a suitable nipple cream for breastfeeding mothers, and before you know it the pain is gone.

A Quick Glance At Our Top 5 Breastfeeding Nipple Cream Recommendations

Top Choice: Motherlove Certified Organic Salve Nipple Cream
Pick #2: Lansinoh Natural Lanolin Nipple Cream Breastfeeding Salve
Pick #3: Earth Mama Angel Baby Natural Nipple Butter Organic Breastfeeding Cream
Pick #4: Medela Tender Care Lanolin Tube
Pick #5: bamboobies Organic Lanolin-Free Nursing Balm Nipple Cream

*Note: Upon clicking on any of the links in this section, you will be redirected to the respective product listings on where you can learn about the product’s price, customer rating & customer reviews.

What Criteria Determines The Best Breastfeeding Nipple Cream?

100% Baby Safe: Any nipple cream brand and formula you choose to use should be 100% baby safe, meaning it should be completely free from any harmful ingredients that could negatively affect your little one.

This is why many mothers prefer to go with nipple cream formulas that only have natural ingredients on their ingredients list, as opposed to formulas made up from all sorts of alcohols and artificial ingredients that may be harmful to a little baby.

Not to mention some of the formulas out there that contain chemicals and pesticides – yikes!

Oh, and I haven’t even started talking about nipple creams manufactured from petroleum.

The way we prefer to do things to stay as safe as possible, and we advise you to do the same if you also hold your baby’s safety in highest regard, is to stay away from any nipple cream formula that instructs you to wash or wipe it off before breastfeeding your baby, as this formula will likely contain harmful ingredients that babies should not be coming in contact with.

Not only are these chemicals harmful to your baby, they’re also harmful to you and may cause you all sorts of skin problems and irritations with time.

Non Scented: Speaking about a 100% baby safe nipple cream, try to stay away from scented nipple creams in favor of unscented ones.

Believe it or not, scented nipple creams do exist. While some people argue that the scent attracts the baby to it and makes breastfeeding a more efficient process, I just don’t think it’s worth it with the risks involved.

Again, we’re trying to stick to the most natural nipple cream formulas we can find so that baby doesn’t consume any artificial ingredient, and scented nipple creams are certainly not natural.

Not to mention the fact that many babies are repelled by some of the strong scents in some creams, which ends up backfiring on the mother and makes breastfeeding an ever harder task now that the baby doesn’t want to even get close to the breast anymore.

No Numbing Effect: Some nipple creams being sold on the market don’t actually solve the root of your problem, they only provide a temporary effect so you can get through breastfeeding on a session by session basis.

And, this is something you have to know about, as this temporary solution is definitely NOT what you should be after.

What you want to do is treat the root cause that’s leading to the dryness of your nipples and cracks in them, not something that’s going to numb your nipples during a breastfeeding session just so you don’t feel pain for a limited time.

When you use a nipple cream that treats the root cause, you’ll be able to stop using it after some time and the nipple problems you used to experience won’t come back.

However, when you use a cream that numbs your nipples, the problem will actually be getting worse and worse with every breastfeeding session – it’s just that you won’t be feeling anything in that area at that specific time.

Plus, any numbing cream you use on your nipples may transfer over to your baby when they breastfeed from you, which in turn will lead to numbness in their mouth as well.

So, look for a cream that constantly works on reducing your nipples’ soreness, dryness and irritation.

No Allergens: This is going to be highly relative to you and your baby, which is why one nipple cream may be just the perfect choice for one breastfeeding mother, but a very bad choice for another.

You or your baby may have an allergy to one ingredient that may be present in one formula, which means this specific formula should be off limits and you should look for something else.

Meanwhile, if you go through a formula’s ingredients list and make sure that neither you or your baby are allergic to any of the ingredients mentioned on there, then you’re good to use it, give it a try and see if it helps you out.

Be very careful if you or your baby have allergies to wool, as many breastfeeding nipple creams out there are made from lanolin (a substance extracted from sheep’s wool).

Easily Applicable: The easier it is to apply the cream on your affected areas, the better.

This means that the less time you have to spend applying the cream and the easier it is for you to wash your hands after applying the cream, the better.

Many nipple cream manufacturers get this part entirely wrong, and it’s usually one of two cases for the most part.

The cream is either too hard, which makes it way too difficult for a mother to squeeze the cream out of the tube or take some out of a small jar, or the cream is too soft, which also makes it too hard to take some out to apply because if the liquid like texture it now has.

The best nipple cream should not be too hard and not be too soft, it should rather be somewhere in between.

Effective: If you’re currently using a certain brand of nipple cream and you’re getting very minimal results from it (if any results to begin with), then it’s obviously time for a change.

If you try several different formulas other than the one you’re currently using, though, and you notice that you’re also getting very minimal results from those as well, then you should probably seek professional medical advice at this point and talk to a doctor about what you’re experiencing.

Easily Washable: Ideally, it’s best if any nipple cream you use for yourself is easily washable off before a breastfeeding session.

Even if the manufacturing company states that their cream is 100% baby safe and no ingredients in the cream will harm a baby if they consume some of it, it’s still best for you to stay as safe as possible and wash (or wipe) the cream off before you breastfeed your little one.

Affordability: Because rubbing this cream is going to be an ongoing thing throughout your breastfeeding journey, it makes sense for you to tone down the money spend and look for affordable options that do what they’re supposed to do, and not overspend when there’s not much need to.

While you should definitely not be looking for the cheapest nipple cream out there just to save as much money as possible, as this will almost always be counter effective due to the low quality of the formula and the harmful ingredients often found in these products that are not baby safe.

On the other hand, there’s also no real reason why you should overspend on some of the more luxurious nipple cream brand formulas that have you pay more for their brand name than the actual ingredients in the formula itself.

We’ve taken all of this into consideration with our list of recommendations above and mentioned affordable products that have been proven to do their job very well.

When Should I Use Nipple Cream For Breastfeeding?

The following is a list of situations where if you ever find yourself in, nipple cream specifically designed for breastfeeding mothers may come in very handy for you.

Latching Problems: One of the main causes of nipple soreness and pain is a baby’s inability to properly latch while being breastfed.

So, until you manage to fix your baby’s latching problems and they start to properly adjust their mouth to your nipple to feed the right way, proper nipple cream application is a must to prevent pain and discomfort.

Dry & Cracked Nipples: If you often experience dryness around your nipples area, then you may or may not have also experienced nipple cracks as well, which comes as a result of this dryness.

If you do have nipple cracks, then you’ve experienced first hand how much that hurts, and the good news is that a high quality breastfeeding nipple cream could very well help with this dryness problem.

If you’ve not experienced cracked nipples yet but do notice some degree of dryness around that area, then you’ll also want to start applying nipple cream to that area to prevent any cracking from happening later, as that’s definitely not a feeling you’ll ever want to experience.

Dryness causes cracking and cracking oftentimes causes bleeding, whether you’re pumping breast milk into a bottle or directly breastfeeding your baby, so please don’t try to withstand the pain and continue breastfeeding throughout it, as that will cause nothing but physical damage and pain that becomes increasingly difficult to reverse with time.

Blisters: Problems like a baby’s poor latch can also cause blisters on a mother’s nipples, for which this type of cream also usually does a great job treating.

Exclusively Pumping: The problems mentioned above such as nipple cracking, soreness, pain and even bleeding are not exclusively experienced by mothers who breastfeed.

Mothers who choose to exclusively pump can also experience this physical pain and discomfort, for which a high quality nipple cream can also greatly help out.

Differentiating Discomfort And Abnormal Pain

Because of the sensitivity of this subject, the difference between some normal discomfort and very abnormal pain should be made very clear to all nursing mothers out there.

With the increase of a mother’s milk supply, some discomfort around the nipple area is considered to be a normal feeling.

However, you should seek professional help (or try a product like one of the best nipple creams for breastfeeding which we’ve recommended in the list above before) when the pain starts to get unbearable and you force yourself to finish your baby’s feeding session while being physically hurt.

Best Nipple Creams For Breastfeeding – A More Detailed Look Into Our Top 5 Recommendations

#1 Choice: Motherlove Certified Organic Salve Nipple Cream

What’s Good About It?

  • Does not need to be washed off before nursing your baby.
  • All ingredients are real (not artificial), natural and 100% baby safe.
  • Scentless, which further stresses the natural approach taken when designing this cream.
  • One of the best moisturizing nipple creams on the market, which is a critical criteria to have when dealing with dryness in that area.
  • Just the right level of thin you’d like to feel when using a cream like this, unlike other creams on the market feel excessively thick.
  • Some mothers apply this to their baby’s skin skin problems and sensitivities as well, such as chapped skin, chapped lips, diaper rashes and eczema, and notice good results.
  • Our top recommendation (and that of many moms) if you’re trying to stay away from lanolin based creams.
  • Stood the test of time with countless mothers, and always gets praised for its instant ability to heal.

What’s Not So Good About It?

  • Doesn’t feel like it’s exactly the cleanest of creams to work with, as it does have some “oily” feel to it that makes it a bit harder to wash off than other creams.
  • If you’re looking for a nipple cream with a specific scent (even though we don’t recommend you do, because going scentless is better), then this is not the cream for you.

#2 Choice: Lansinoh Natural Lanolin Nipple Cream Breastfeeding Salve

What’s Good About It?

  • If you have low milk supply, the good news is that some mothers have noticed and reported improvement in lactation when using this cream.
  • Barely any noticeable smell to it at all, which means less chances of your baby not wanting to come near it.
  • A lot of mothers also make use of this cream as lotion on their babies, because its manufactured from ingredients that are 100% baby safe.
  • One of the least greasy creams, as it’s pretty easy to wash off after you’re done applying it, and it’s not known to leave much stains on clothes or nursing pads (unlike other creams).

What’s Not So Good About It?

  • Some breastfeeding mothers have complained about this cream being thicker than they would have liked. Others also mentioned it feels a little bit more stiff than other creams they’ve tried. So, in terms of texture, we believe our #1 choice above is better.
  • One wish many nursing mothers who use this nipple cream have is if the tube is designed to be a little bit bigger in size. As it stands, it’s a little bit on the small side, and many mothers find it more convenient for them if it were a little bit bigger.

#3 Choice: Earth Mama Angel Baby Natural Nipple Butter Organic Breastfeeding Cream

What’s Good About It?

  • One of the least sticky nipple creams on the market. If you easily get annoyed from sticky fingers other creams leave you with, definitely consider this option.
  • If you happen to be a vegan, you’ll love that this is a completely organic, non-GMO nipple cream. This is an excellent choice to consider if you’re trying to stay away from lanolin based nipple creams that make use of sheep’s wool in the manufacturing process.
  • Because of all the all organic ingredients found in this formula, you’re not just limited to applying it on your nipples before and after a breastfeeding session. You can also apply it on your lips, hands, elbows and cheeks, or those of your baby.
  • Soothes stiff nipples in a fast amount of time and doesn’t need as much time as other creams require for you to start noticing a change.
  • Lasts significantly longer than other nipple creams, because you don’t have to apply a lot to notice results. It’s not unusual for a 2 oz unit to last you a good 2 to 3 months.

What’s Not So Good About It?

  • You have to be careful where you store it. Storing it in hot places can get it to turn pretty soft, and storing it in cold places can get it to turn pretty hard. So, make sure you store it in places where the temperature is moderate.
  • Because of some ingredients in this formula such as cocoa butter, some nursing moms find they have to warm the cream first and then apply it. Some mothers choose to do this with their fingers, while others have reportedly succeeded by using a microwave.
  • Not a scented nipple cream, but definitely has a mild unusual smell to it when compared to other unscented nipple creams on the market.

#4 Choice: Medela Tender Care Lanolin Tube

What’s Good About It?

  • One of the frequent lanolin based nipple cream product recommendations that many lactation consultants make to their clients.
  • Also frequently given out as samples by hospitals to breastfeeding mothers after they give birth to their newborns, so you know for a fact it’s a high quality cream when hospitals associate themselves with it.
  • The cream feels better to work with overall than others. It feels less sticky and less thick than some of the other lanolin based nipple creams on the market, including our #2 pick from Lansinoh.
  • Many nursing mothers also report they see good results when using this product as a hand cream when their hands start to become too dry, as well as foot cream when their feet start to crack and dry as well.

What’s Not So Good About It?

  • Thin nipple cream is a very good thing, but too much of a good thing can easily become a bad thing. Some nursing mothers have noticed that this formula is a little too thin for their liking. If thinner is better for you though, or you’ve tried a product like our #2 pick from Lansinoh and found it to be way too thick for your liking, then give this formula a try as it may turn out to be a positive point instead of a negative point for you.
  • This cream tends to leave more stains on clothes and nursing pads than other creams in this list. With that being said, nursing moms who use this have also reported that it’s relatively easy to remove these stains from clothes with a simple wash.

#5 Choice: bamboobies Organic Lanolin-Free Nursing Balm Nipple Cream

What’s Good About It?

  • Mothers who exclusively pump instead of directly breastfeeding their babies often report that this cream worked best for them. So, if you’re an exclusive pumper or you pump more than you directly breastfeed your baby, definitely give this option a consideration.
  • Glides very softly and easily, which has gone down very well with mothers who are sick and tired of stiff paste that does the exact opposite. If you don’t like how thick some lanolin based nipple creams are, you’ll definitely like how this one feels.

What’s Not So Good About It?

  • Tends to have a weird smell to it, similar to olive oil. It may put some mothers or babies off if they’re really sensitive to the smell, but it’s usually negligible and barely noticeable for most.
  • You’ll be best off making use of breast pads with it, or else you’ll run the risk of having yellow stains on your clothes.

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