The best nipple creams

Sore, cracked nipples will be eased with the help of these soothing and protecting nipple creams

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Why do I need nipple cream?

Breastfeeding is great on so many levels, but let’s face it, it’s not always pain-free.  Many of us suffer from sore, painful, or cracked nipples especially in the first few weeks.

Sometimes the pain can become so uncomfortable that a few of us give up breastfeeding altogether.  According to the NHS it’s actually one of the main reasons we switch to bottle feeding.

However, if you don’t fancy moving to bottles, you can attend local breastfeeding support clinics, or contact organisations like La Leche League.  Most midwives will try to help your baby get a better position and latch on more effectively, which can go a long way to easing the pain.

Not everyone will get sore nipples, but it’s worth remembering that if you do feel tender, it gets better the longer you breastfeed.  You can check out this breastfeeding clinic FAQs  for more advice.

Thankfully, there are treatment creams available which can make life a little easier while your body adjusts to breastfeeding. And most don’t need to be removed while you feed, so it save you precious seconds and avoids the crying frenzy while you’re washing it off.

Whether based on lanolin – an oily substance found naturally on sheep’s wool – or created totally from plant products, here’s some nipple saviours to make breastfeeding more comfortable…

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1. Lansinoh HPA Lanolin Cream 40ml, £10.49

Remove before breastfeeding: No

The UK’s number 1 selling nipple cream, breastfeeding mums everywhere swear by the healing magic of this product. Like its closest competitor, Medela Purelan 100 Nipple Cream, Lansinoh HPA Lanolin Cream only contains 100 per cent pure lanolin, which helps to rehydrate damaged tissue from within.

Both are odour and taste free and hypoallergenic. In fact, the only real difference in the creams are packaging and price – Lansinoh is slightly more expensive and comes in 40ml and 10ml sizes, while Medela Purelan is available in 37ml or 7ml doses.

Our reviewer says: “Instant pain relief is hard to beat, and you don’t have to wipe this product off before breastfeeding. My baby didn’t seem to notice it at all, even though it made feeding much easier for me.”

Read our full review here

Available from: Boots, Amazon and Superdrug

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2. Medela Purelan 100 Nipple Cream 37ml, £6.99

Remove before breastfeeding: No

Awards: MadeForMums Awards 2019 Breast/bottlefeeding Accessory – Joint Bronze

Medela is best known for its market-leading breast pumps, like the electric Medela Swing, but it also hits the spot with this nifty nipple saviour, Medela Purelan 100 Nipple Cream, which scored a joint Bronze Award.

A challenger to the bestselling Lansinoh HPA Lanolin Cream, both creams only contain lanolin. It’s a thicker formula than other nipple creams in our round-up, and it does take some effort to get it out of the tube, but it melts away as soon as it touches skin and breastfeeding mums rave about its results.

The second cheapest on our list, a little goes a long way, making it a great value buy in comparison to other creams.

Available from: Amazon, John Lewis and Bella Baby

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3. My Expert Midwife No Harm Nipple Balm 30ml, £16.50

Remove before breastfeeding: No

Awards: MadeForMums Awards 2019 Breast/bottlefeeding Accessory – Joint Silver

Scooping Silver in our Awards, the My Expert Midwife No Harm Nipple Balm is ‘midwife developed, mum approved’, which is our kind of expertise. The ingredients are all natural and like other leading creams on our list it contains pure lanolin, but also coconut oil and sweet almond oil to help it glide onto skin (let’s face it, no one needs already-sore skin to drag).

Like the Bloom and Blossom Nip and Lip Soothing Balm and Organic Babies Mum & Baby Rescue Balm, it has other uses as a nappy rash cream and lip balm, but it does have the second highest price tag in our list.

What really sets it apart though is the pump dispenser, making it easy to apply one-handed – surely a must for any mum. Our judge Kara says: “An easy to use product and pump. Had no nipple issues using this through breastfeeding.”

Available from: My Expert Midwife and Amazon

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4. Weleda Nipple Balm 25ml, £7.95

Remove before breastfeeding: No

A pioneer in all things green, natural and cosmetic, Weleda’s Nipple Balm is a soothing, nourishing cream developed by midwives and pharmacists. It is made with organic calendula, plant oils and protective waxes, it’s fragrance-free and of course free of petroleum derivatives or artificial additives.

The most similar in ingredients on our list to Mama Mio’s Keep Calm Nipple Balm, you get a fair amount more for your money with this healing balm. The addition of plant oils means it has a lovely smooth feel and mum’s have reported it sinks into skin really well and gets to work healing sore nipples right away.

Available from: Weleda, Amazon and Boots

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5. Mama Mio Keep Calm Nipple Balm 30ml, £12

Remove before breastfeeding: No

Blending medical grade lanolin, organic shea butter, organic coconut and olive oils and calendula, Mama Mio promises its natural, organic Keep Calm Nipple Balm formula will allow you more time to focus on bonding with your baby and less time worrying about the pain of breastfeeding, which sounds pretty perfect to us.

The price is mid-range compared to other nipple creams on our list and while many other balms in our round-up also have oils to make them silkier, some MFM mums reported this formula was slightly thicker, similar to a lanolin only product like Medela Purelan or Lansinoh HPA Lanolin Cream.

Available from: Mama Mio, JoJo Maman Bebe and John Lewis

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6. Organic Babies Mum & Baby Rescue Balm 100ml, £11.50

Remove before breastfeeding: No

One of only two products on our list that doesn’t include lanolin (the other is NESSA’s Nipple SOS balm), this rich cream is made from 91.9 per cent organic ingredients and is certified by the Soil Association and the Vegetarian Society.

Made by natural beauty brand, Green People, this Organic Babies Mum & Baby Rescue Balm has a similar ingredient list to Weleda’s Nipple Balm, although it’s significantly cheaper.

It includes shea butter, hemp, beeswax and calendula to nurture and protect sore, cracked nipples and it can also be used to soften the perineum area before birth. Although it is fragrance-free and mostly organic, some MFM mums have reported a slight smell like vegetable oil.

Available from: Green People, Amazon and Ocado

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7. Bloom and Blossom Nip and Lip Soothing Balm 20ml, £16

Remove before breastfeeding: No

Counting the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Winslet and Victoria Beckham as fans, UK brand Bloom and Blossom boasts a range of maternity products and this Nip and Lip Soothing Balm is one of the best-looking in our round-up – we’re rather partial to its stylish monochrome design.

Similar in ingredients to My Expert Midwife’s No Harm Nipple Balm, both contain lanolin and coconut oil and Bloom and Blossom’s also has passionflower extract – rich in vitamin E – and glycerine, to help retain water in the skin.

While this healing remedy does also double up as a conditioning lip treatment, it is the most expensive per ml on our list.

Available from: Bloom and Blossom, Next and lookfantastic

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8. NESSA Nipple SOS 30ml, £19

Remove before breastfeeding: No  

The newest nipple balm on the block, NESSA Nipple SOS is the only remedy on our list that’s 100 per cent vegan, with no lanolin or beeswax in its formulation. Packed full of moisture-boosting butters, it’s blended with tropical fruit oils to hydrate and nourish even the sorest of nipples. Its non-sticky, soothing formula is multi-purpose and works great as a nappy rash cream or lip balm.

Comparable to the Organic Babies Mum & Baby Rescue Balm on our round-up, which is free from lanolin, NESSA’s balm goes one step further for mums who want a fully natural, vegan option. It’s rather pricey, but with 1 per cent from every jar sold going to UK charity, Bliss, it’s just another reason to treat yourself (and your nipples).

Available from: NESSA and Mama Organica

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9. My Little Star New Mum Nipple Cream 75ml, 99p

Remove before breastfeeding: Yes

If it’s a good value nipple-rescuing option you’re after, you’ve hit the jackpot with this My Little Star New Mum Nipple Cream, which is the most competitively priced on our list by a significant amount. This moisturising cream is fragrance free, dermatologically tested, paediatrician approved and suitable for sensitive skin – not bad for less than a quid.

It doesn’t claim to be natural or organic like others, but many mums have claimed they’ve noticed a marked improvement in their nipples since using it.

While it may be slightly less nourishing than other richer balms in our round-up, and you do have to remove it before breastfeeding, you can’t go far wrong for the price.

Available from: Superdrug

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