Nipple Cream 2024 – Forbes Vetted – Forbes

Breastfeeding is a beautiful way many parents choose to feed their babies, and though many people have a wonderful breastfeeding experience, it’s also common to face hiccups along the way, especially in the early days. The best nipple cream can help soothe sore or cracked nipples, and it can be an indispensable tool that allows you to continue to breastfeed along with guidance from an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) or healthcare provider.
The best nipple cream is non-irritating for mom and baby, and helps breastfeeding go more smoothly.
When it comes to choosing a nipple cream, you want to pick something that won’t be irritating to you or your baby. According to Jacque Ordner, a certified lactation consultant and a registered nurse, some ingredients to look for are calendula for its antifungal, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory properties; marshmallow root for its anti-inflammatory properties; and coconut oil because it can inhibit the growth of bacteria.
The best nipple cream to for most postpartum moms is Earth Mama Organic Nipple Butter because it’s full of soothing ingredients. It also comes in a 2-ounce tub, so you’ll have plenty of product and won’t have to turn around and buy another one right away. But we have plenty of other recommendations for best nipple creams, if you’re looking for different formulas.
This high-quality nipple cream is packed with soothing ingredients like olive oil, beeswax, shea butter and calendula. It’s free from many of the things new parents are trying to avoid in a nipple cream, such as lanolin and petroleum. Though lanolin can work well for many people, some moms prefer nipple cream that doesn’t contain lanolin, which is derived from sheep’s wool. Many people tolerate lanolin well, but Jocelyn Gandelman, M.D., board-certified dermatologist at Schweiger Dermatology Group in NYC explains that some people can be sensitive to it. 
The cream is also USDA Certified Organic, Non-GMO Project Verified and Leaping Bunny Certified. It comes in a 2-ounce tub, which gives this cream some longevity as many others come in smaller containers. There is no need to wipe it off your skin before nursing. The cream can be used for other applications as well; put it on your dry lips or skin or try using it to help lubricate breast pump flanges.
If you’re looking for something a little bit more lightweight, try this USDA Certified Organic cream. It’s a lanolin-free nourishing cream that isn’t too greasy or sticky. To make it even easier to apply, try softening it between your fingers to help the cream go on smoothly. The cream contains a variety of soothing ingredients including coconut oil, shea butter and aloe. Because all of the ingredients are safe for your baby, you don’t need to wipe the cream off before nursing. 
It comes in a tube, making it easy to squeeze out the exact amount you need. You can also use this cream on other areas of your body such as your cuticles, elbows and heels. While the ingredients in this cream are generally safe, coconut oil can sometimes cause allergic reactions. “Occasionally moms or babies are allergic so if you are noticing any allergy symptoms that is a time to stop and seek care,” says Gandelman.
When I was in my early days of breastfeeding, this was my go-to nipple cream. The USDA Organic cream comes in a tub and doesn’t contain petroleum, petroleum by-products, lanolin, parabens, phthalates or synthetic fillers. It also has a pretty short ingredient list (five ingredients total) and contains nourishing ingredients recommended by the experts I spoke to, including marshmallow root and calendula. 
Like many other of the other best nipple creams on our list, it’s a versatile product that can also be used on pump flanges, lips and skin. All of the ingredients are safe for baby, so you don’t need to wash it off before breastfeeding. The cream is also Non-GMO and Certified Cruelty Free by Leaping Bunny. I like that it has a silky-smooth consistency. Though it doesn’t have any added fragrances, it does have a slightly herbal smell.
Nipple balms are typically thicker and more likely to be oil and wax-based than water-based. They’re designed to be thick and may not absorb into the skin as much as creams, Gandelman explained to me. This USDA Organic balm includes five ingredients: olive oil, beeswax, shea butter, calendula flower and marshmallow root. All of the ingredients are safe for your baby, so you don’t need to wipe it off before you nurse. The balm comes in a small tub and is free from lanolin, parabens, petroleum and synthetic fragrances. There is a slight smell to the balm from the natural ingredients. 
“Nipple balms will last longer on the nipple, which may be helpful for creating a moisture barrier for dry nipples. However, care needs to be taken to avoid possible breakdown of the nipple,” explains Nicole Peluso, IBCLC and manager of lactation services and education for Aeroflow Breastpumps. If you choose to slather on a thick balm to soothe your nipples, keep an eye on your nipple and the surrounding skin for irritation.
If you’re looking for something simple, Lansinoh Nipple Cream has only one ingredient: 100% natural, ultra-purified lanolin. “Lanolin is a fatty substance secreted from sheep’s sebaceous glands,” explains Ordner. Peluso adds that lanolin works best for people who need a protective layer when they have abrasions or deep wounds. 
Gandelman recommends this cream for moms looking for a lanolin-based option. It’s one that I’ve used and liked as well. The hospital sent me home with it when I had my first baby, and I found that it did a great job of creating a nice thick protective layer. It’s safe to leave on while breastfeeding, and it never contains any petroleum, parabens, additives or preservatives. It’s also certified climate neutral (although it’s not vegan). The cream comes in a small tube, so it’s easy to keep a few wherever you need them: your diaper caddy, diaper bag and nightstand.
The Forbes Vetted team takes baby and kids gear seriously, and we have extensive experience researching and testing products. When it comes to breastfeeding, I have personally breastfed three kids and have used a variety of nipple creams and balms.
I also interviewed three health experts for this article: Jocelyn Gandelman, M.D., board-certified dermatologist at Schweiger Dermatology Group in NYC; Jacque Ordner, IBCLC, BSN, RN, RLC, Motif Medical Advisor; and Nicole Peluso, IBCLC and manager of lactation services and education for Aeroflow Breastpumps. We also stay up to date on the latest products and trends to ensure our lists stay up to date; this article was most recently updated in April 2024.
Before digging into the options on the market, I first interviewed the three medical experts listed above. After learning more about which ingredients are helpful and which to avoid, I narrowed down the list of best nipple creams. I considered reviews of various creams and balms, expert recommendations and my own experience using nipple creams.
I breastfed three babies including a set of twins, and I relied on nipple creams, especially in the beginning, to soothe soreness and to help ensure I had a smooth breastfeeding journey. I only chose creams that are safe for baby to ingest, and all of the picks except one are organic.
When searching for the best nipple cream, there are a few key elements to consider:
In general, you want to choose ingredients that are soothing and nourishing, and avoid ingredients that can dry out your skin. You’ll also want to be mindful of potential allergens. Ordner encourages patients to look for 100% natural and organic ingredients. As long as you aren’t allergic to lanolin or coconut oil, those are both good nipple cream ingredients. Other ingredients recommended by the experts I spoke to include calendula, marshmallow root, peppermint oil, oregano oil and olive oil.
Ingredients to avoid include fillers, parabens, phthalates, alcohols and artificial fragrances, according to Ordner. Additionally, Peluso recommends avoiding anesthetic agents such as benzocaine because they could numb your baby’s mouth or delay your milk ejection, vitamin E because it can cause skin reactions, flavors and anything unsafe for the baby to ingest.
Many nipple creams only contain ingredients that are safe if ingested by your baby, including all of the recommendations on this list. If you use a cream that contains any ingredients that are not safe for your baby, you’ll need to wash it off before nursing. “It is best to find a nipple cream that is safe so it does not need to be removed prior to breastfeeding, because needing to wipe your nipples multiple times a day can cause irritating chafing,” says Gandelman. If you find that your nipples are getting more irritated or that the cream is not helping, it’s best to consult with a healthcare provider or IBCLC.
Most nipple creams have a slightly oily and thick consistency, though the overall consistency can vary from one cream to the next. Balms tend to be thicker while creams tend to be thinner and more water-based.
Most nipple creams don’t have any added fragrance, but some can have a slight smell or taste resulting from the ingredients in the cream. If your baby seems to dislike the cream, try a different brand, opt for plain coconut oil or even try using your own breast milk.
To help make your breastfeeding experience as smooth as possible, you may want to also check out the best breast pumps, the best nursing clothes and the best nursing pillows.


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