(I want to talk about nipple cream. So I’m going to be using the word “nipple” repeatedly here. If that makes you uncomfortable, then… well, I don’t apologise! I’m breastfeeding so I end up saying nipple a lot. I think I’ve stopped feeling self-conscious about the word!)
The baby gets both breastmilk and formula. Our routine is generally that she has breastmilk all day until about 6pm, then we switch to a bottle or two of formula from Daddy, then her last feed of the night is a breastfeed in bed.
Now that she’s over three months old, she can go a bit longer between feeds, but she still feeds for a long time. Half an hour is fairly normal, and it’s not unusual to feed for an hour or more. And it can get painful and sore!
I’m coping in a few different ways.
Honestly, the biggest one is being able to use formula occasionally to give myself a break. I know that not everyone wants to do this, but I have absolutely no problem with formula. I’m delighted it exists and that baby can have some when she needs it. If breastfeeding was an all or nothing deal, I’d have had to go to “nothing” pretty early on.
Despite having breaks, I do find that I get painful and cracked nipples.
I try and give my breasts a break from the nursing bra as often as I can. I wear soft vests and big cardigans or similar around the house most of the time. People told me that I should let them have as much air as possible at first, but I find that having something on me actually helps much more. At night, I wrap myself in a big fleecy throw so that there’s a bit of extra padding there.
And finally, nipple cream!
I started with the usual Lansinoh lanolin cream that everyone recommends. As I had pregnancy brain when I bought it, it didn’t occur to me that it was not remotely vegan, whereas I’m trying to ensure that all of the cosmetic and similar products I use are. I told myself that when I’d finished the first tube, I’d go for a vegan alternative.
In the end, I’m glad that I made that decision, as it turns out lanolin makes me quite itchy.
On the plus side, the Lansinoh is really moisturising, but as a negative, it makes me itch and it’s really quite hard when it comes out of the tube. I took to keeping it on the radiator before I used it!
So my next step was Earth Mama Organic Nipple Butter. This stuff is amazing! It’s not cheap, but I love it. It’s so soft and moisturising, not greasy, and smells beautiful too. It’s partly made of cocoa butter and you can really smell that – the baby loves the smell too!
It’s another one that you don’t have to wash off before feeding, which is fantastic. And because it’s much softer than the lanolin, I don’t need to keep it on the radiator, so I can have it with me when I’m feeding and put it back on after each feed.
I just wish it were cheaper! When I’ve finished this (teeny tiny!) tin, I might look into making some of my own. While I do need comfortable nipples, I’m not sure I need it to the tune of £18 per 2oz! I bet I could make something cheaper and similar.
What have been your favourites? Any good homemade recipes?