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Your baby is so small, sweet, and cuddly — so how is it possible that their mouth can cause so much pain to your breasts?!

For many breastfeeding mothers, it comes as a surprise just how physically intense breastfeeding can be. While you may cherish the special bonding time with your little one, breastfeeding can be painful, especially in those first few weeks.

But before you throw in the towel and decide breastfeeding isn’t for you, why not give nipple cream a chance?

Nipple creams can help to soothe and heal the skin around your nipples. Because breastfeeding can lead to cracks, sores, itchiness, and even some blood in the early weeks as your body adapts to feeding your infant, any comfort can be much appreciated!

Some expecting mamas even use a nipple cream before their baby is born. If you experience dry or itchy skin on your breasts during pregnancy, nipple creams can help your skin stay moisturized and healthy.

Plus, some creams even pull double duty as lip balms, diaper creams, or skin moisturizers. Keeping a bottle in your purse or diaper bag means you’ll always have a remedy for parched skin on hand.

When considering which nipple cream is the best match, you’ll want to consider the following factors:

  • Ingredients. When comparing ingredient lists, plant-based and organic ingredients are generally considered a safe bet for both you and your baby. You’ll also want to avoid products with numbing ingredients, since these can impact a baby’s ability to suck.
  • Texture. Some nipple creams are thicker or have a grainy texture that makes them more difficult to apply and may not be as soothing on your breasts. Oiler nipple creams can also leave oil stains on your clothing and bras, which you may not appreciate.
  • Smell and taste. While most babies won’t avoid your breasts just because of a little nipple cream, some are pickier. To avoid potential problems, many moms choose a nipple cream that has minimal added fragrances and tastes.
  • Allergens. Like any other skin care product, what works for some people might not work for you and your baby. Be sure to read ingredient lists (claims that a product is “hypoallergenic” doesn’t cut it!) before purchasing — a sore chest plus an allergic reaction is a recipe for discomfort.

We picked these nipple creams based on their ingredients, effectiveness, and of course reviews from parents like you. Here are some nipple creams we found to stand out.

Price guide

  • $ = under $10
  • $$ = $10–$15

Best nipple cream for breastfeeding moms

Motherlove Nipple Cream

Price: $$

This option from Motherlove is a rich cream made with 100 percent USDA Certified Organic and cruelty-free ingredients. It contains marshmallow root and calendula flower, which get rave reviews from breastfeeding moms for soothing pain and quick healing.

Because this formula is plant based, you can safely apply before feeds for an added layer of protection. It’s also worth mentioning that Motherlove is a women-owned, family-run, Certified B Corporation!

Best herbal nipple cream

Earth Mama Organic Nipple Butter

Price: $$

No need to worry about your little one ingesting some of this USDA Certified Organic and non-GMO Project verified herbal nipple cream. Earth Mama Organic Nipple Butter gets rave reviews for its smooth texture, appealing smell, and natural ingredients.

Beyond just a nipple cream, fans of this products say it can also be used as a lip balm, diaper cream, and skin moisturizer. It does have a light scent, so keep that in mind if you’re fragrance averse.

Best lanolin nipple cream

Lansinoh Lanolin Nipple Cream

Price: $

Lactation consultants and hospitals love this 100 percent lanolin ointment as it’s free of filler or preservative ingredients. This cream is considered tasteless, so your little one shouldn’t mind having it on your breasts during feeding sessions.

A lot of nipple creams are lanolin-free these days as some parents are wary of their child having a wool allergy. Lanolin allergies are rare, however, and if you’re concerned you can always wipe it off before feeding.

If you do end up going with this tried and true cream, know that its greasy texture can also leave spots on your clothing, so it’s advised to use a nipple pad after applying.

Best nipple cream for sensitive skin

The Honest Company Calm Your Nip Balm

Price: $$

A smooth and thinner cream, this one gets points for being non-sticky and easy to apply. It’s also made with ingredients like organic shea butter and coconut oil, which are safe for babies to consume.

One problem you might run into is that this cream is not sold in as many different stores as some other nipple cream brands. Some parents also say that they didn’t like that this formula includes canola oil.

Best nipple cream for pumping moms

Bamboobies Boob-Ease Organic Pumping Lubricant

Price: $

If your breastfeeding journey includes lots of pumping, you may be interested in something that can make the process a little bit more comfortable. This coconut oil-based cream works as a lubricant to ease some of the friction your breasts may experience with pumping.

In addition to pumping, moms say this USDA Certified Organic cream also works well as a moisturizing nipple aid. Just note that since it’s made with coconut oil, it’s best to use a nipple pad to prevent clothing stains.

Best nipple cream for cracked nipples

Handmade Heroes Free the Nips Nursing Balm

Price: $

Looking for some hydrating relief for cracked nipples? According to moms, this eight-ingredient balm from Handmade Heroes delivers.

On the plus side, this non-sticky blend of natural ingredients like mango butter, shea butter, and cocoa butter help to moisturize painful, cracked nipples. On the negative side, none of the ingredients are organic and the container size is rather small, weighing in at just 2 ounces.

Best organic nipple cream

Bamboobies Boob-Ease Organic Nipple Balm

Price: $$

A non-greasy and non-sticky cream, this one is easy to apply and doesn’t have much scent. Similar to Motherlove Nipple Cream, this nipple balm uses marshmallow root and calendula to soothe pain and heal your breasts. Its organic ingredients are safe for your little one to consume, so you won’t have to worry about wiping it off before nursing.

Most folks are fans of this product, with a handful mentioning that they also use it for rashes, chapped lips, and even hangnails. On the negative side, one reviewer warns that if you have a calendula allergy, this product isn’t for you.

When it comes to nipple creams, simple may just be best! Make sure that the nipple cream you use has ingredients you’re comfortable with and a scent or flavor your baby approves of.

In addition to store bought nipple cream options, many women choose to use their own expressed breast milk as a nipple cream. Since breast milk is antimicrobial and healing to the skin, if you’d prefer to save some money and a trip to the store, your own breasts have a soothing option of their own!

If sore or cracked nipples persist, you may want to also check in with a lactation consultant who can make sure that your baby is latching well and no other problems exist.