Breastfeeding is the preferred method of feeding your newborn, but you might need a nipple cream if you have experienced any soreness or inflammation when you feed your baby. Breasts become tender and sensitive during the first few days after childbirth due to rapid hormonal changes. The friction and suction forces that occur as a baby suckles can irritate the nipple area, making it difficult for you to feed your child. Nipple creams can help relieve the annoyance and ease the pain, enabling you to continue breastfeeding your child.
You might wonder why nipple creams are such a big deal when you can use baby formula instead of breastfeeding. However, breast milk contains hundreds of ingredients that have yet to undergo thorough investigation, let alone included in baby formulas. Breastfeeding is still the ideal method of feeding your child, and sore nipples should not be a reason for stopping breastfeeding. This fact underscores the need to select the proper nipple cream for breastfeeding. Understanding how breastfeeding can lead to soreness and how nipple creams function can help you decide the best nipple cream for breastfeeding.
How Breastfeeding Leads To Sore Nipples
The nipple acts as a teat that your baby can use to latch on. Proper latching is important in breastfeeding, as a poor seal can cause your baby to ingest air and apply more suction to feed. The flexibility of the nipple helps ensure that latching occurs, but the repeated application of suction and the friction from the baby’s mouth can damage the nipple. Over time, this will lead to irritation, soreness, and sometimes even cracking and bleeding. The pain from a damaged nipple can be excruciating enough to discourage breastfeeding.
To make matters worse, the breast can become very sensitive to stimuli shortly after childbirth, discouraging breastfeeding when it matters the most. Aside from direct damage from breastfeeding, thrush, an infection that can cause intense irritation and can affect the feeding infant, it also causes sore nipples. Improper positioning of the infant during breastfeeding can force your nipple into unnatural positions, increasing the risk of injury. Without proper treatment, the soreness can progress to open wounds, increasing the pain and infection risk. With the application of sore nipple cream, the skin has a chance to heal and recover.
Lanolin-Based Nipple Creams
Nipple creams come in many varieties. “Nipple cream breastfeeding” and “nursing cream” are also alternate terms to call them. The best nipple creams for breastfeeding use lanolin as a base. Lanolin is a fatty substance produced by wooly mammals such as sheep. Animals that produce lanolin use the compound to coat their wool. It protects the individual wool fibers and increases the ability of their wool coat to resist water. Lanolin is compatible with human skin and helps it retain moisture by preventing water from evaporating from the skin. Hence, it is a common ingredient in many skin care products, and it is one of the best components in cracked nipples cream as even newborns can safely ingest this material.
Unfortunately, people with wool allergies can react negatively to lanolin, sometimes resulting in full-blown allergic reactions. In other cases, people sensitive to lanolin can experience additional irritation that worsens the problem. Even for people without wool allergies, their skin can become sensitized to lanolin. This indicates they should consider other safe and effective alternatives to this substance.
Alternative Ingredients For Breastfeeding Cream
A breastfeeding nipple cream that causes allergic reactions is indeed not suitable. Manufacturers have come up with substitute materials for breastfeeding cream. For instance, there are nipple cream products that use virgin coconut oils. Just make sure to stay clear from nipple creams that use scents, numbing agents, or harmful products. These will linger on the skin even after the cream is wiped off, potentially harming the baby. Taking note of these guidelines will help you find the best nipple cream for you.
Can you use nipple cream while breastfeeding?
Yes, you can use nipple cream while breastfeeding. Look for products that you need not wipe off before your child latches on.
What cream should I use for sore nipples while breastfeeding?
One of the best nipple creams to relieve soreness is the HPA Lanolin from Lansinoh. This product contains 100% refined lanolin, so it is safe for babies.
Do I have to wipe off nipple cream before breastfeeding?
No, wiping off nipple cream should not be necessary. That is especially true if you get pure lanolin.
Can I use coconut oil on nipples while breastfeeding?
Yes, you can use coconut oil on nipples while breastfeeding. It is an organic, affordable alternative to over-the-counter nipple creams.
How do I stop my nipples from hurting before breastfeeding?
Before your baby latches on, you can apply cold compress on your hurting nipples. You may also try using nipple shields to prevent anything from coming in contact with them.
Can I use Vaseline on my nipples while breastfeeding?
You should use Vaseline on your nipples after the breastfeeding session, not during. The reason is that the jelly will cover your sore nipples as they heal, so nothing should touch them.
What can I use instead of a nipple cream?
In case you don’t want to use nipple cream while breastfeeding, you can try organic olive oil or hindmilk instead. Another great alternative is manuka, honey.
Will my nipples heal while breastfeeding?
Yes, nipples will eventually heal while you are breastfeeding. Experts suggest this to moms with sore or cracked nipples since the breastmilk can help them improve.
Is all-purpose nipple ointment safe for babies?
Yes, all-purpose nipple ointment should be safe for babies. The skin can absorb it quickly, so the area may be almost arid before your child can latch on.
Does nipple cream help with pain?
Yes, nipple cream acts as a pain reliever for moms with sore nipples. You won’t need to stop nursing your baby when you use nipple cream.
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