We know that breastfeeding has lots of benefits and is a great way to bond with your baby. However, one of the most challenging parts of breastfeeding is the nipple pain that goes with it.
According to the NHS, nipple pain is one of the main reasons women switch to bottle feeding. And it's no surprise to anyone who's tried breastfeeding - those red raw, cracked, bleeding nipples make you wince harder than you thought you'd ever wince (apart from during the actual birth, obviously).
The best way to soothe both sore nipples is a dedicated cream made especially for breastfeeding boobs. Not any old cream or lotion will do. Nipple cream can help to stop the pain and prevent any dryness, itchiness, cracked nipples, and bleeding caused by breastfeeding.
Most of these creams are based on lanolin, an oily substance that's secreted from sheep's skin, but there are also plant-based creams if you want to avoid animal products.
Here are the best nipple creams currently on the market, so you’ll know exactly which one you can count on for some nipple relief.
The best nipple creams:
Lansinoh Breastfeeding Salve is just 100% pure lanolin with no other ingredients and doesn’t have to be removed before breastfeeding. It has the texture of a very thick, oily balm, and is instantly soothing. It's no wonder so many mums swear by this purple tube when breastfeeding.
It's won LOADS of awards at the M&B Awards.
Tested by mum Saira Aslam for the Mother&Baby Awards 2018: "This is a no-nonsense, simple and safe cream for those first few weeks of breastfeeding, when cracks and sores are a problem and a hindrance to a pleasant breastfeeding experience. The small tube is great for having in different places around the house where I nurse and it’s great that it’s safe for baby, so it can be used as much as you wish to help healing."
Tested by Sophie Knight, mum to Eli: "This purple tube of lotion was an absolute life-saver during those first few painful days of breastfeeding; I don't think I'd have been able to continue without it."
Read our full review of Lansinoh Breastfeeding Salve here
Weleda is a much-loved brand because of its use of natural ingredients. The Nipple Balm is made with organic calendula, nourishing plant oils, and protective waxes. As one of the best nipple creams, it is very easy to apply and doesn’t need to be removed before feeding.
You can also find a Nursing Oil from Weleda, which can be used for regular breast massage.
Tested by mum Louise for the 2019 M&B Awards; she said: "It felt like more of a treat to use this product because of the lovely, premium packaging and the texture. It isn't embarrassing to leave it out for others to see or keep handy in your handbag as it is such nice packaging."
It was Shortlisted in the 2019 M&B Awards in the Best Product for Breastfeeding (excluding breast pumps) category.
Read our full review of Weleda Nipple balm here
Like Lansinoh Breastfeeding Salve, this is thick enough to soothe and protect even the most cracked and sore nipples. It doesn’t need to be removed before breastfeeding.
Tested by mum Jade for the 2020 M&B Awards: "Breastfeeding has caused my nipples to become quite sensitive and within a few days of using this balm, it relieved a lot of the discomfort. Due to the balm also being fairly small then it has allowed me to carry it in my bag, meaning I can also use it when on the go."
It won Silver in the 2020 M&B Awards Best New Mum/Maternity Skincare Product category.
Read our full review of Medela PureLan 100 here
This product contains all-natural ingredients and doesn’t need to be removed before breastfeeding. The formula contains not only lanolin but also caprylic/capric triglycerides, and oat beta glucan which make it a little thinner and not so “gloopy”. The downside is that it can leave an oily residue on clothes.
No Harm Nipple Balm from My Expert Midwife comes with two significant advantages: an airless pump ensuring excellent hygiene and using less of the product, as you only need to pump twice to get all the quantity you need.
Tested by mum Amy for the 2019 M&B Awards: "It gives instant relief when applied and also prevented cracked nipples occurring again. It is easy to apply and does not impact on feeding. The design is a dispenser which allows you to pump a small amount out to reduce wastage. Although it is more expensive, you get more applications out of it and there is less waste."
It was Shortlisted in the M&B Awards 2019 in the Best Product for Breastfeeding (excluding breast pumps) category.
Read our review of No Harm Nipple Balm here
This product is multi-award winning and famous for its long-lasting moisture and glossy effect. Made with 100% Pure Medical Grade Lanolin, you can use it not only during breastfeeding but also for almost anything you want to keep moisturized.
This cream is lanolin-free and contains all-natural ingredients like calendula flower extract and olive oil. This nipple butter is impressively versatile as you can use it not only for soothing boobs but also for dry heels, cradle cap, and chapped lips.
Multi-Mam Balm does not have to be removed before breastfeeding and protects the nipple before and during. It’s based on a selection of vegetable oils. This product also comes as in the form of a compress if you are looking for additional relief.
Motherlove Nipple Cream only uses certified organic ingredients: extra virgin olive oil, beeswax, shea butter, marshmallow root, and calendula flower. Because of this, it's safe for your baby to ingest, so you don't need to clean your nipples before breastfeeding after application. You can also use it as a nappy rash cream.
Green People Organic is well known due to using organic ingredients. In this rescue balm, you can find organic calendula and vitamin E to soothe sore, cracked nipples before and after breastfeeding. Other ingredients are organic shea butter, organic sunflower, sweet almond, and hemp seed oil.
Green People also make a Soothing Nipple Balm, which is scent-free and suitable for use before, during, and after breastfeeding. It’s also lanolin-free and ideal for ultra-sensitive skin.
Tested by mum Kasia Mallett for the M&B Awards 2017: "I really love this product. It smells lovely, is very easy to apply, makes my children's skin soft and has already, after only three days, helped with my youngest daughter's eczema and my son's dry skin. My eldest daughter, who is five, likes it so much that she has been inventing 'dry bits' to rub it into!"
It won Silver in the 2017 M&B Awards in the Best Baby Skincare Range/Product category.
Read our full review of Green People Organic Babies Mum & Baby Rescue Balm here
Philips Avent Moisturising Nipple Cream is safe for your baby and promises to moisturise and soften your skin. This product is made from aloe vera and medical-grade lanolin.
My Little Star New Mum Nipple Cream is perfect if you are on a limited budget. This product has lots of good reviews, it’s dermatologically tested, and paediatrician approved.
It was Shortlisted in the 2015 and 2016 M&B Awards.
Tested by mum Nikki Essex for the M&B Awards 2016: "I have been using this nipple cream after each feed and I found it to be quite a relief as it was very soothing. It's fragrance free so I'm happy that it's safe for baby. I don't think my baby has noticed any difference when I have used it. One top tip is that I put it in the fridge for a bit before each use and that made it an even bigger relief. Such a great price too."
Read our full review of My Little Star New Mum Nipple Cream here