Milky Minutes – Nipples, Butters, Balms and Ointments

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Your nipples are probably going to get sore at some point during your breastfeeding journey. That’s an irritating truth (pun intended).

I wrote a whole article about it, which you can read here

Sore Nipples

What I want to talk about now are the things you put on irritated nipples.

Many hospitals give every new mom some lanolin to put on her nipples. I don’t believe that this is appropriate. I haven’t seen any evidence that lanolin causes a problem. I just don’t think you should treat a problem before it occurs. If you never have soreness, don’t put anything on your nipples.

I’m a firm believer that, for most moms, if you had your baby out in the middle of the forest, you have what you need to breastfeed, breasts and a baby. I don’t want to simplify it or minimize the problems that moms can experience. But I also don’t want a mom to feel like she has to stock up on a bunch of stuff, “just in case,” either. She may not need all that stuff, or it may not be the best thing to use.

Anything that goes on your nipples needs to be okay for your baby to ingest. I am not saying that the things that are in the butters, balms, and ointments aren’t ever going to be okay to ingest. I just think that you should think about whether you want to be feeding your brand new baby a half a dozen different things all at once, like a lot of those preparations have.

Think about when you start your baby on solid foods. The recommendation is that you offer a single food and wait several days to see if there is any evidence of an allergic reaction. Limiting exposure is even more important for a brand new baby.

If you do put anything on your nipples, especially preparations that are a combo of ingredients, make sure that each individual ingredient is safe. Use anything sparingly. You want to avoid using things or using a large amount of anything that needs to be wiped off because that will irritate your nipples. The best thing to do is blot away the excess with a clean cloth.

Make sure it has been prepared for breastfeeding.

And, I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, if you are having a problem, check in with a lactation consultant.


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