The 5 Best Nipple Creams For Breastfeeding
As a breastfeeding mom, the last thing you should have to worry about is white-knuckling your way through a nursing session because of dry, irritated, or even bleeding nipples. That's why using one of the best nipple cream for breastfeeding is a great idea. In order to keep nipples as moisturized as possible and prevent future cracks and soreness, both natural coconut oil and creams made specifically for breastfeeding are wonderful options.
When shopping for a nipple cream, you'll likely encounter lanolin, since it's a common ingredient found in this category of products. Lanolin is an oil produced by sheep that keeps their skin and wool moisturized and is used as a natural emollient in nipple creams. Lanolin is considered safe for babies and does not need to be wiped off before breastfeeding. However, if you're allergic to wool or prefer to avoid lanolin for other reasons, be sure to opt for a non-lanolin or vegan nipple cream instead.
For moms who pump, using a nipple cream can also be beneficial, since plastic pump parts are known to chafe and cause sensitivity with frequent use. However, there's no need to search out a cream specifically for pumping. The moisturizing and soothing ingredients in nipple creams are equally beneficial, whether you're nursing, pumping, or doing a combination of the two.
See below for more info about the best nipple creams for breastfeeding — I've rounded up picks from Amazon for every need, including a tin to throw in a diaper bag and a vegan option.
We only recommend products we love and that we think you will, too. We may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was written by our Commerce team.
1. The Overall Best Lanolin-Based Nipple Cream
Made from 100% natural lanolin without any other additives or fillers, this Lansinoh lanolin-based nipple cream is a widely revered, clinically tested pick that soothes, heals, and moisturizes. It's so popular, in fact, that more than 3,000 Amazon reviewers have given glowing review. In addition, the cream is scentless, tasteless, and doesn't interfere with or need to be washed off before breastfeeding.
Helpful review: “I bought this when I started breastfeeding my son and it was heaven-sent for the pain that came along with it. It helped heal my cracked, blistered nipples and helped tremendously with the soreness. It is very thick so it is a little difficult to spread on but it is totally worth it. If you are a new mom and plan to breastfeed, this is a must-have!”
2. The Overall Best Organic & Lanolin-Free Cream
If you would prefer to use a nipple cream that doesn't have lanolin in it, this Earth Mama organic nipple butter cream is the way to go. It's free of petroleum and parabens, and some moms find it less sticky than lanolin-based options. Earth Mama's cream is made with USDA-certified organic ingredients, like olive oil, beeswax, and shea and cocoa butters, and doesn't require that you wash it off before nursing. Note that, since it does contain beeswax, it's not technically vegan.
Helpful review: “We started out using lanolin at the hospital. Oh man, was I sore. The lanolin helps but it is uncomfortable to spread as it's very sticky. Also because it's sticky it makes sore nipples more sore when they rub anything. Tried this cream as soon as we got home....it's so much better! Very smooth application, no tugging. My nipples are still sore but that's to be expected. I can tell this cream is helping. It smells like cocoa.”
3. A Compact Balm That’s Perfect For Throwing In Your Diaper Bag
For feeding your baby on the go, this Badger organic nursing balm is a compact, no-mess option that can be kept in a purse or diaper bag and use before or after breastfeeding without having to wash it off. It is free of lanolin, artificial chemicals and perfumes and contains just five moisturizing ingredients: sunflower, beeswax, coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil, and carnauba wax. It's also cruelty-free and certified organic.
Helpful review: "This nursing balm worked better on my nipples that were sore from breastfeeding than the lanolin cream the doctors gave me in the hospital. I highly recommend this product!"
4. The Best Vegan Nipple Cream
Unlike other nipple creams that rely on lanolin, beeswax, and other animal products, this Earth Mama vegan nipple butter cream is made with 100% vegan ingredients. The formula is also organic and features olive oil, shea butter, and cocoa butter to help keep nipples hydrated. Like the other creams on this list, it does not need to be washed off before nursing.
Helpful review: "Best nipple cream out there. This stuff is awesome and the best lube for pumping! Very very hydrating for nursing! It’s not sticky and feels light on the nipples."
5. A Cooking Oil That’s Safe For Nursing (& Has Other Postnatal Benefits, Too)
Some lactation consultants and doulas swear by using coconut oil as a nipple cream, like this Viva Naturals extra-virgin oil that's USDA-certified organic. According to studies, coconut oil has natural antimicrobial and antifungal properties, and it doesn't need to be washed off before breastfeeding. Plus, it has a wide range of uses. Besides using it to soothe nipples, coconut oil can also double as a moisturizer or diaper cream, or simply as a cooking or baking oil. Keep in mind that it might be a good idea to scoop it out with a spoon to avoid cross-contamination if you plan to use it for more than just breastfeeding.
Helpful review: “Awesome stuff. It is a solid in the jar but it melts into your fingers easily (not the case with other coconut oil brands I have tried). I am using this as a nipple cream and diaper cream for my baby and I and she likes the taste and it feels amazing.”
Abel Anzaku, Abbas. (2017). Antimicrobial Activity of Coconut Oil and its Derivative (Lauric Acid) on Some Selected Clinical Isolates. International Journal of Medical Science and Clinical Inventions https://www.researchgate.net/publication/319421441_Antimicrobial_Activity_of_Coconut_Oil_and_its_Derivative_Lauric_Acid_on_Some_Selected_Clinical_Isolates