Sore nipples, low milk supply and other common problems, plus simple ways to overcome them.
If you think you have Candida, contact your doctor, who will likely suggest an antifungal cream or medication. You can pass the infection to your baby; this will cause thrush in his mouth, so you’ll want to treat him as well, even if he doesn’t appear to have the infection, Harvey says. Thrush can look like white patches on the tongue or insides of the cheeks.
Breast friends: nipple creams
With prices in the $10 to $15 range, the biggest factor to consider when choosing a nipple cream isn’t so much cost, but whether you want a product with or without lanolin, a gooey substance that comes from sheep’s wool. While many experts say few ingredients do a better job at coating and protecting sore nipples, some moms would rather not use animal products or are hesitant because they have a wool allergy. (Manufacturers say their lanolin goes through a rigorous purification process that renders it hypoallergenic and safe for babies and moms, even those with allergies.)
Beyond that, read labels and steer clear of products that have to be washed off before breastfeeding, as this can further irritate the skin, says Barbara Emanuel, executive director of La Leche League International. “Moms need to make sure they are informed,” she says. “Be aware of additives you might have sensitivities to.” With that in mind, here are several mom-tested products we like:
Belli Pure Comfort Nursing Cream From a line of skin-care products created by an M.D., Belli’s nipple cream contains nothing but ultra-purified lanolin. $10, belliskincare.com.
Earth Mama Angel Baby Natural Nipple Butter Featuring organic olive oil infused with calendula (an herb traditionally used for wound healing), as well as shea, mango and cocoa butters, this is a favorite among vegan moms. $15, earthmamaangelbaby.com.
Lansinoh HPA Lanolin The iconic brand that’s been around for 25 years, Lansinoh’s nipple cream is made from ultra-purified lanolin and is endorsed by La Leche League. $12, lansinoh.com.
Medela Tender Care Lanolin Ultra-purified lanolin, along with small amounts of coconut oil and oat-derived beta-glucan, make this cream easy to spread. $10, medelabreastfeedingus.com.
Motherlove Nipple Cream Certified organic by the USDA, Motherlove’s Nipple Cream is made from olive oil, beeswax, shea butter, calendula and marshmallow root. $10, motherlove.com.
Simplisse Lanolin-Free Nipple Cream Contains aloe vera; sweet almond, apricot kernel and grapeseed oils; zinc; vitamin C; and lactoferrin. $15, simplisse.com.
Be a latch master! Learning the right latch can help prevent many problems. We've got step-by-step instructions and photos as fitpregnancy.com/breastfeeding/latch.