The Best Nipple Creams to Use During Pregnancy

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Written by Shandra Williams

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Because pregnancy is a common phenomenon, people often think they know everything about it. However, until you’ve been pregnant, some things remain a mystery. For example, did you know that you should probably use nipple cream while pregnant and not just when breastfeeding?

Pregnant women often experience itchiness, flakiness, dryness, and cracking of their nipples long before they ever start breastfeeding. If that’s happening to you, you’re in luck. Amazon has several great nipple creams from which you can choose. 

Whether you’re looking for something to help reduce the dryness and cracking of your nipples or need something that’ll help numb them completely, there’s a product out there that should be able to help. Keep reading to find out more. 

1. Best Organic Cream

Earth Mama Organic Nipple Butter Breastfeeding Cream

Organic Nipple Butter Breastfeeding Cream by Earth Mama | Lanolin-free, Safe for Nursing & Dry Skin, Non-GMO Project Verified, 2-Fluid Ounce (2-Pack) (Packaging May Vary)

If you suffer from sensitive skin and need organic, lanolin-free nipple cream, this one by Earth Mama is a good option. Because it’s dermatologist- and clinically tested and used in NICUs, you can be confident that it’s safe for you and your developing baby. 

Your sensitive skin will also thank you for giving it something free of petroleum, parabens, and lanolin. A very clear-cut ingredients list outlines everything in the product. These ingredients are 100% organic and natural and include:

  • Olive fruit oil
  • Beeswax
  • Cocoa seed butter
  • Shea butter
  • Mango seed butter
  • Calendula flower extract

Many women comment how moisturized and hydrated their nipples feel after using the cream, and you can continue using it once you begin breastfeeding, as it won’t hurt your baby at all. 

The only downside to this product is that you’ll need to immerse the bottle in warm water before using it to make it smooth; otherwise, it tends to ball up into little clumps that are hard to use.

2. Best Cream for Dry, Cracked Nipples

Natura House Mommy Natural Soothing Nipple Cream

Natura House Mommy Natural Soothing Nipple Cream – For Use During and After Pregnancy – Mimosa, Marigold and Aloe Soothe Cracked Nipples, Made in Italy – Hypoallergenic, Dermatologist Tested, 1.69 oz.

Though this product is relatively new and doesn’t yet have many reviews on Amazon, I know at least three pregnant or recently pregnant moms who swear by it. Plus, the existing reviews are overwhelmingly favorable. 

It’s hypoallergenic and safe for those with sensitive skin, and its light scent and 96.8% natural ingredients are a hit with everyone. 

Because it contains both lanolin and aloe vera, it’s one of the best creams for rehydrating skin, soothing burning sensations, and healing dry, cracking nipples.

One of the downsides is that while you can still use it once you start breastfeeding, you can only use it after feedings; you need to clean your nipples before feeding your baby again. That’s an aggravation for moms who’re in a hurry and don’t want to further irritate their nipples by washing them more often than they have to do so. 

3. Best Cream for Numbing

Dr. Numb 5% Lidocaine Topical Anesthetic Numbing Cream

Dr. Numb 5% Lidocaine Topical Anesthetic Numbing Cream for Pain Relief, Maximum Strength with Vitamin E for Real Time Relieves of Local Discomfort, Itching, Pain, Soreness or Burning - 30g

When it comes to numbing agents, lidocaine is somewhere near the top of the list. Luckily, it’s safe for topical use by pregnant women (source: Journal of Dental Anesthesia and Pain Medicine).

Not only will this cream help numb your aching nipples so that you don’t have to worry about them, but it’ll also help relieve itching, dryness, soreness, and burning. You’ll also appreciate how fast it works, as you should be able to see results within 15 minutes of applying it. 

Because it’s a cream instead of an ointment, it’s smooth and silky and won’t leave your skin feeling greasy or unclean. It’s a bit expensive for such a small tube, but it lasts a while once you apply it, so you won’t run out as quickly as you think. 

Remember: You cannot continue using this cream once your baby starts breastfeeding. Even if you decide to wash it off before feeding, it can be problematic. 

At best, it can make your baby’s mouth go numb and unable to feed. At worst, it can cause severe problems and allergic reactions, so discontinue using this product before giving birth.

4. Best Cream for Itching

Camille Beckman Mom & Baby Balm

Camille Beckman, Mom & Baby Balm, All-in-One Natural Formula, 2.2 Ounce

Unfortunately, no nipple cream helps explicitly with itching. However, Camille Beckman’s Mom & Baby Balm is an all-in-one cream that does everything. It helps relieve itching and soreness, rehydrates skin, and heals cracking. 

It’s safe for both you and your baby, so you can continue to use it once you start breastfeeding. Unlike many of the other creams on the list, this one comes in an easy-to-apply applicator tube that you can rub across your nipples as needed. It also smells great and has several other benefits:

  • Prevents stretch marks
  • Soothes sores
  • Helps with diaper rash (for your baby)
  • Retains skin elasticity

It’s also 100% natural and made with six simple, safe ingredients. Because it’s only 2.2 ounces (62.36 grams), you can carry it with you on airplanes. 

You can use it throughout your pregnancy, postpartum, and on your child. 

5. Best Lanolin-Based Cream

Lansinoh Lanolin Nipple Cream

Lansinoh Lanolin Nipple Cream for Breastfeeding, 1.41 Ounces

This 100% natural, lanolin-based cream is inexpensive, effective, and backed by tens of thousands of 5-star reviews on Amazon. It’s a thick, rich cream that helps hydrate your skin and relieve all the issues I’ve already mentioned. 

It’s safe for both you and your baby (as long as you don’t have any wool or lanolin allergies) and doesn’t have to be washed off before you breastfeed, which means less nipple washing and exposure to soap and water. 

Some of the best reviews of this cream include the following:

  • Works instantly
  • Lasts forever
  • Doesn’t just work on “surface pain” but on deeper aches, as well
  • Prevents cracks and bleeding
  • Provides incredible hydration
  • Convenient, travel-sized tubes
  • Reduces swelling
  • Soothes burning and itchiness

Plenty of people also sing its praises as a lip balm. 

The obvious downside, of course, is the potential for allergic reactions. As long as you don’t have any wool allergies and don’t have exceptionally sensitive skin, you should be able to use it without any problems. 

Can I Use Nipple Cream During Pregnancy? Is It Safe?

Using nipple creams while pregnant is safe as long as you aren’t allergic to any of their ingredients. Lidocaine-based creams that numb the nipples are also safe while pregnant, but you should never use them while breastfeeding, as they could cause problems for your baby. 

Just be sure you check the ingredients list on any cream you buy. If you’ve ever had an allergic reaction to one of its ingredients, don’t buy it. Additionally, look for products marketed as pregnancy- or breastfeeding-safe, as those products should be okay (source: Healthline).

Because nipple soreness, cracking, and irritation are so common while pregnant and breastfeeding, UC San Diego Health dedicated an entire page to helping women cope with this issue. In addition to using nipple creams, here are other things they suggest: 

  • Use mild soaps and warm water to wash your nipples. Avoid any soaps with harsh chemicals and added fragrances and dyes, which can worsen the problem. 
  • Go without a bra whenever possible and wear a loose-fitting one when impossible. 
  • Wear loose shirts.
  • Regularly hydrate your nipples (source: UC San Diego Health). 

Before we go any further, let’s talk about lanolin. Some people swear by it, while others say you should avoid it while pregnant. So, what’s the truth?

The truth is that most professionals advise women to use lanolin to soothe irritated nipples (sources: University of Florida Health, University of Illinois Health, Utah Department of Health, & Ohio Department of Natural Resources). 

Some people insist on not using lanolin because it has been linked to allergic reactions. People with wool allergies may also be allergic to lanolin. Additionally, people with naturally sensitive skin may have trouble with it.

However, if neither of those things applies to you, using lanolin-based products should be fine (source: The Journal of the Society of Cosmetic Chemists). 

pregnant woman keeping her hands on belly while looking at it
Photo of pretty pregnant woman keeping her hands on belly while looking at it

When Should I Start Using Nipple Cream During Pregnancy, and What For?

You can start using nipple creams as soon as you notice any discomfort or changes with your breasts. For some women, this can happen as early as the second week after conceiving (source: Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development). 

In the first week or two after conceiving, you may notice that your breasts are sore or tender. That may happen in the larger breast area or the nipples specifically. These changes usually intensify during the second trimester. Since nipple creams are safe for use while pregnant, you can use them whenever you experience issues. 

Not all breast-related issues concern the nipples, though. Here are some of the most common breast-related issues women experience while pregnant: 

  • Tenderness and pain
  • Nipple cracking
  • Itchy nipples or breasts
  • Nipple discharge
  • Enlarged breasts
  • Dark spots
  • Darkening of the areolas
  • Visible blue veins
  • Breast lumps
  • Bumpy areolas
  • Stretch marks (source: Medical News Today)

Nipple cream won’t help with some of these issues, but it can help ease the tenderness, pain, nipple cracking, and itching, so feel free to start using it as soon as you notice any of these symptoms. 

You may even want to use some form of hydrating cream before you notice these problems as it may help prevent some of them, such as the cracking. 

Final Thoughts

If you’re one of the many, many women who suffer from nipple problems before giving birth, just know that you aren’t alone and that there are products out there that can help.

Hopefully, you found one on this list that’s right for you, but if not, don’t quit looking! There’s no reason to keep suffering when there are products on the market that can help.