This is yet another item that fits into the category “things I never in my life thought I’d ever think about.”
And when I discussed with a female colleague the subject of finding the best natural and safe nipple cream (or butter) for my wife, the woman responded, “that’s crazy — would you have your wife research the best jockstrap for you?”
She had a point. But, I had more time to research while my wife was busy with other soon-to-be-mom things (like napping!). Maybe your wife is similarly busy, and if you care about YOUR safety and well-being, it behooves you to keep your new mom happy and painless. There is significant value in following the axiom “happy wife – happy life.”
Toward that end, you will want to provide your wife with a well-performing nipple cream while she’s breastfeeding. Do not buy the cheap, mass-produced crap that everyone else buys. Why? Because whatever is on your wife’s nipples will wind up in your baby’s stomach. The cheap creams and ointments include ingredients that could be harmful to your newborn, causing short-term and/or long-term effects. Don’t get me wrong — I’m not a scare-mongerer and I’m not suggesting that the wrong nipple cream will stunt your baby’s growth. Rather, that there are ingredients in the mass-produced creams that COULD be harmful — lanolin in particular. For decades (centuries?), lanolin was the go-to salve for sore nipples as well as an important ingredient in shaving cream (I remember being told to use it to break in my baseball glove); it’s still a key ingredient in many skin creams and lip balms (such as Carmex). Pure lanolin is a waxy substance that is excreted from the glands of sheep that aids in waterproofing their wool coats. It’s a naturally occurring substance, but three issues put it in the “iffy” category for breastfeeding moms: 1) many sheep around the world are sprayed with, or exposed to pesticides; 2) lanolin can be an irritant to some people who are allergic; and, 3) lanolin is generally an external treatment, not necessarily meant for ingestion. Most likely, there are lanolin-based products that are effective and safe for using on a person’s skin — in fact, it’s frequently used in hospitals to treat wounds. However, remember that whatever is going on mother’s nipples is also likely to find its way into baby’s mouth. Are you OK with your breastfeeding infant swallowing something that isn’t meant to be swallowed, and could be both irritating and affected by pesticides?
Maybe I’m going overboard with the concern — millions upon millions of breastfeeding mothers have used lanolin-based nipple creams such as Lansinoh and Medela without worry. Did anything terrible happen to those babies? Who knows? For me, though, When I consider that a safe and all-natural cream can be just as effective (if not moreso) and can be cheaper, doesn’t it make sense to go that route?
Sure, an all-natural nipple cream, is going to cost a few dollars more, but considering the amount that’s needed over the course of a year, I feel those few extra dollars are worth the peace of mind (I feel differently when it comes to the contrast in cost of diapers).
First off, if you don’t have the inclination to spend 15 minutes making an all-natural nipple cream, I recommend these three that can be purchased through Amazon (these are affiliate links, and I appreciate your buying through them as they will help pay this website’s server fees):
Earth Mama Angel Baby Natural Nipple Butter
Ingredients: Olea europaea (organic olive) oil, Theobroma cacao (organic cocoa) seed butter, Butyrospermum parkii (organic shea) butter, Euphorbia cerifera (candelilla) wax, Mangifera indica (mango) butter, Calendula officinalis (organic calendula) flower extract
Motherlove Certified Organic Nipple Cream
Ingredients: Certified organic extra virgin olive oil, beeswax, shea butter, marshmallow root, and calendula flower
Milkies Nipple Nurture Balm
Ingredients: Marshmallow root, self heal (prunella), calendula, extra virgin olive oil, beeswax, and shea butter.
Now, here’s the easy recipe for safe and natural nipple cream / nipple butter:
Homemade Safe and Natural Nipple Cream (Butter) Recipe
1 tsp. beeswax
2 tsp. cocoa butter
3 tsp. coconut oil
Combine all ingredients into a mason jar and place in a saucepan filled with enough water to meet the height of the ingredients in the jar (or maybe a little lower). Cook over low heat until the ingredients melt, and then pour it into a small jar or tin. That’s it!
- You may want to keep an eye on the jar — if the water boils too rapidly, the jar could tip and then you have to start over again.
- The beeswax will take the longest to melt so you may want to start with that in the jar on its own.
- Use tongs and/or an oven mitt (I like and use these silicone mitts because they are waterproof and have a good grip on them) for removing the jar from the heat and pouring into a vessel.
- It’ll take a few hours to cool completely, but if you’re in a rush, pop the tin into the fridge.
What have you / your mom-to-be used? Do you have another homemade nipple butter recipe to share? Post in the commments.