When I first started nursing and got sore nipples (including one cracked nipple due to a shallow latch and Baby’s super-strong suck), my midwife recommended lanolin.
My husband ran out at 11 o’clock at night to the closest 24-hour store that carried it. He bought it. He brought it home. I opened it.
It was thick, gooey, and just a tiny bit gross. I gunked this stuff onto my sore nipples and off to nurse I went.
Now, keep in mind, this was two days postpartum, meaning I was nursing a 2-day-old newborn. We were just getting to know each other. I was still learning to nurse.
I was also in the midst of the postpartum hormone craziness, and all I desperately wanted was to nurse my baby with ease.
Instead, the first time I tried to nurse her with this stuff on she HATED it. She literally wouldn’t latch on. She was so confused by the icky, sticky substance that had suddenly coated my nipples that she refused to nurse (even though the package says, “there’s no need to remove before breastfeeding”).
So I wiped it off. She still refused. Then I tried to wash it off.
What a pain. Think oil and water.
We’re not supposed to use soap on our nipples because it strips away the natural, lubricating oils produced by our bodies, but it’s like I couldn’t get this stuff off without a load of soap and one of those steel wool scrubbing pads we use in the kitchen to clean our pans.
At this point, Baby was starving so she started crying. I’m scrubbing away at sore nipples, so I’m already crying. My husband has gone two days without sleep and now both his girls are crying, so he’s about to start crying.
It was madness.
On day 3, we went to see a lactation consultant about the latch, the soreness, and the cracked nipple. Within 30 minutes Baby and I were nursing almost pain-free, I’d been introduced to Motherlove Nipple Cream, and after the first application, I could already feel my cracked nipple healing.
Big, big bonus – Baby hardly noticed the nipple cream so I didn’t have to wash it off!
It’s lighter than lanolin, but still thick enough to facilitate healing, so I could nurse without wiping it off…AND, my cracked nipple healed in just a couple of days even while nursing every 1.5 – 2 hours. Yay for olive oil and herbs!
I’ve been nursing for over thirteen months now and I’m just finishing up my second jar. This stuff is amazing!
(Oh, and by the way, at one point I was given Earth Mama Angel Baby’s nipple butter as a gift…the texture of Motherlove Nipple Cream is way better).
So there you have it. The best kept secret for sore nipples!
If you love lanolin, stick with it. If you want something lighter, easier to use, and something that won’t stain clothes or nursing pads, do yourself a favor and buy yourself a bottle now. Your nipples will love you for it!