The 7 Best Nipple Creams to Buy in 2018

Heal and protect your breasts through pregnancy and breastfeeding

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Nipples. You may not even have realized you had them before you got pregnant. Suddenly, they are the sorest part of your body. The pain gets even worse if you choose to breastfeed after you give birth. Until your body gets used to nursing, your nipples may become sore and chapped—in many cases, they even crack open, leading to bleeding (ouch!).

Even if you choose not to breastfeed, your nipples may be sore for weeks after you give birth as your pregnancy hormones leave your body. Fortunately, you don’t have to suffer without any relief. There are many wonderful nipple creams on the market that soothe and heal the skin in between feedings. Some need to be removed before breastfeeding so that your baby doesn’t ingest them. Others are composed of organic and natural ingredients that are safe for even the most sensitive of newborns to ingest.

Researching nipple creams, you will find that many have a base of lanolin, which is a substance derived from the wax secreted by the sebaceous glands of wool-bearing animals such as sheep. Lanolin protects sheep from climate and the environment. Because of its unique waterproofing and healing properties, lanolin is often used to soothe and protect sore nipples—its effectiveness can last for days. However, women with allergies to wool, or with skin sensitivities, often cannot use lanolin, and therefore turn to nipple creams that use olive or coconut oil as a base.

Here, we rounded up the top nipple creams for every type of situation, whether you are pregnant, nursing, pumping, recovering from birth, or any combination of conditions.

1

Best Overall: Lansinoh Lanolin Nipple Cream

Made up of 100 percent lanolin, Lansinoh Lanolin Nipple Cream is the #1 bestseller on Amazon in nipple therapy products. Developed by a breastfeeding mom, Lansinoh Lanolin Nipple Cream is also the #1 recommended nipple cream by lactation consultants and doctors in the United States. Purified so that it does not contain any impurities, trace pesticides, or detergents, the Lansinoh Lanolin Nipple Cream has also been treated to remove all free wool alcohols, which allows it to be used by women with wool allergies.

Safe for newborns to ingest while breastfeeding, mothers love it because its composition is similar to the oils that our own bodies produce.

Reviewers on Amazon rave that the nipple cream was a lifesaver, and provided relief from the unexpected pain of breastfeeding. Other reviewers note that while coconut oil and other natural products also provide relief, Lansinoh Lanolin Nipple Cream prevents cracks and bleeding much more effectively and quickly.

2

Best for Breastfeeding Moms: Bella B Nipple Nurture Butter

Although purified lanolin has been proven to be safe for newborns, not all mothers feel comfortable allowing their babies to ingest the substance. Fortunately, there are many other different types of bases that are organic and plant-based.

Bella B Nipple Nurture Butter is composed of a mixture of cocoa, shea, and mango butter, as well as olive and avocado oil, all of which are safe for a baby to ingest while breastfeeding. Formulated to have no discerning taste or smell, the Bella B Nipple Nurture Butter is palatable to even the most finicky newborns.

Reviewers on Amazon note that it healed and relieved their aching nipples, and didn’t hinder nursing. Others note that the Bella B Nipple Nurture Butter stains, so you should nipple pads after you apply it.

3

Best for Cracked Nipples: Motherlove Nipple Cream Certified Organic Salve

Yes, cracked nipples are as painful as they sound! If you have dry and cracked nipples you'll want a salve to help treat this condition fast. Motherlove Nipple Cream is 100 percent certified organic and cruelty-free salve made of extra virgin olive oil, beeswax, shea butter, marshmallow root, and calendula flower, which will soothe irritated nipples efficiently. Because this does not contain lanolin, it is safe to leave on your nipples before you breastfeed which will give you a layer of protection.

Many moms say this is the only cream that worked and they love how this melts into the skin upon application, with many complimenting the jelly-like consistency which they find far superior to the competition which can be flakey or hard to rub in.  

4

Best Natural: Earth Mama Organic Nipple Butter

Much like the Bella B Nipple Nurture Butter, the Earth Mama Organic Nipple Butter uses plant-based substances such as organic cocoa, shea and mango butter, as well as olive oil. In addition, it contains organic herbs with healing powers including calendula and candelilla. All of the products used are 100 percent organic and GMO-Free. As a result of its healing properties and general safety for ingestion, the Earth Mama Organic Nipple Butter is used in hospital NICUs.

Reviewers on Amazon note that Earth Mama Organic Nipple Butter smells great, applies easily, and quickly heals chapped and blistering needles. Other mamas note that it works well as a lubricant for pumping.

5

Best for Pumping: bamboobies Lanolin-Free Breast Pump Lubricant

A newborn’s mouth can do a number on a nursing mother’s nipples; a pumping machine is a whole other story. Pumping can often be brutally uncomfortable and do serious damage to already tender nipples. To heal wounds, and make pumping a less painful—if not entirely pleasurable—experience, there is the bamboobies Lanolin-Brest Pump Lubricant.

Designed to be applied either directly to the nipple, or to the flanges of the pump before a mother begins pumping, the nipple cream has a coconut oil base. It is also 100 percent certified organic, which means that new mothers shouldn’t worry if any of the nipple cream gets into their milk.

Over 75 percent of new mothers surveyed by bamboobies said that the Lanolin-Free Breast Pump Lubricant made pumping sessions easier and more comfortable. Reviewers on Amazon note that not only does the Breast Pump Lubricant ease pain, but it also increases the output of breast milk during pumping sessions. Others note that only a tiny bit of the cream should be applied to the nipples, rather than the whole breast—if applied too liberally, the Breast Pump Lubricant can hinder suction.​

6

Best for Pregnant Moms: Medela Tender Care Lanolin

The Medela Tender Care Lanolin has a lot of products that nursing mothers are not entirely comfortable with—lanolin being primary among them, but also Caprylic/Capric Triglycerides and Oat Beta Glucan, which are formulated in laboratories to help heal wounds. Fortunately, pregnant mothers don’t yet have to worry about what their babies will ingest—from the skin on their nipples, at least. And neither do women who choose not to breastfeed, for that matter. For them, the Medela Tender Care Lanolin, which soothes sore skin, is perfect.

Reviewers on Amazon love its smooth application. It’s worth note that many breastfeeding and pumping mothers also say that it provides considerable relief.

7

Best for Sensitive Skin: Honest Organic Nipple Balm

Guaranteed to have at least 95 percent organic ingredients, the Honest Organic Nipple Balm contains coconut, canola, and castor seed oil, as well as beeswax, shea butter, and Tamanu oil, which is derived from a tree grown in the South Pacific, and is known to have healing properties. What sets the Honest Organic Nipple Balm apart from other products is its application; while many nipple creams need to be softened before application, the Honest Nipple Balm is smooth and thin, making it easy to apply to chapped or bleeding skin.

Additionally, many reviewers on Amazon note that while they are sensitive to many smells, the Honest Organic Nipple Balm does not irritate them. Many other reviewers noted that they were ready to give up breastfeeding, even after trying other creams, because of the pain, but the Honest Organic Nipple Balm was so effective that it kept them nursing.