While nursing can be the ultimate bonding experience between you and your baby, breastfeeding can feel like a totally unnatural experience if you don’t get ahead of the challenges. Many nursing moms experience itchy, dry, chapped, cracked nipples as mom and baby work their way towards a proper latch and comfortable feeding positions. Until that’s sorted, you’re going to want one of the best nipple creams on hand for soothing relief, stat.
Made with either lanolin or a beeswax base, nipple creams heal, protect and moisturize skin that’s been ravaged by a newborn who’s still figuring out how to feed. You can either smooth on a dab before or after feedings or pumping sessions to prevent or deal with damage. Bonus: many of them can be used beyond breastfeeding as beauty salves that combat dry cuticles, heels, lips, elbows and so forth.
Anything you use on your nipples while breastfeeding, you should feel comfortable allowing your baby to ingest. Each of the nipple creams ahead are all-natural and free of parabens, dyes and fragrances so there’s no need to wash them off before nursing.
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1. Medela Tender Care Lanolin Nipple Cream
Lanolin is the oily stuff sheep secrete to keep their wool soft — it’s also a popular ingredient in lip balms and nipple creams, including this super emollient one from Medela. The company known for its high-quality breast pumps also makes this hypoallergenic lanolin-based nipple cream that glides on mess-free. Just a dab is all you need to apply each time after you breastfeed or pump for immediate soothing relief.
2. Lansinoh Lanolin Nipple Cream
This thick, rich nipple cream contains one ingredient and one ingredient only: lanolin, which has undergone Lansinoh’s proprietary purification process that removes impurities with no additives. The ointment creates a protective barrier on the surface of skin that simultaneously heals and prevents moisture loss. Once your child passes the nursing phase, you can even continue to use this product in your own beauty routine to moisturize lips, heels, cuticles and cracked hands.
3. Earth Mama Organics Organic Nipple Butter
While many nipple creams are made with sheep-derived lanolin, Earth Mama Organics provides a botanically-derived alternative for those looking for a more animal-friendly option. The 100 percent USDA Certified Organic product features a base of ethically sourced beeswax that’s been enhanced with moisturizing shea and cocoa butters, as well as organic herbs such as soothing calendula extract. It’s also free of petroleum and parabens, and can even sub in as a rash-reducing diaper cream in a pinch.
4. Motherlove Nipple Cream
This women-owned, family-run company produces its nipple cream in a solar-powered, zero-waste facility. Another lanolin-free option, Mother Love instead relies on a mixture of beeswax, olive oil and shea butter fortified with soothing marshmallow root and calendula for its unscented formula. The product is both USDA Certified Organic and Certified Cruelty Free by Leaping Bunny so natural mamas can rest assured it’s as ethically produced as it is effective.
5. Era Organics Mommy Balm
This nipple cream is packed with food-grade ingredients including sunflower oil, cocoa butter, apricot oil, arrowroot powder, chamomile extract and calendula oil. It’s also free of lanolin, as well as parabens, alcohol, mineral oil, petroleum and fragrances, so you can truly rest assured that you and your baby are only getting the good stuff. As a bonus, it’s made by a family-owned company so your purchase supports a small business.