Friday 21 October 2011

Breast Pads, Nipple Cream and "The CODE"

Everyone who has had a baby and breastfed has heard of Lansinoh Nipple Cream, the one in the purple tube.  Since starting work in the public health field and working with breastfeeding mothers, I have had access to Lansinoh nipple cream and given it out to get mothers through those first few weeks of nipple tenderness.  After attending a few breastfeeding conferences I also had access to many nursing pad samples.  In 2007 I attended the ILCA conference in San Diego, CA while pregnant and was given an assortment of pillows, pumping attachments, nipple creams and breast pads.  I've had success with Lansinoh, Ameda and Medela disposable nursing pads, not so much with Simplisse.  Since 2007, all four of these companies have had changes of ownership or run into trouble with how they measure up to the "Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes", so I have tried a number of different breast pads to find something that is both code compliant and great.  Hygeia fits that bill but is not available in the UK.  I have tried both Sainsbury's and Tesco's generic breast pads with little success.  They are smaller, thicker and less absorbant.  At the beginning of Ellie's life when I was leaking the most, they ended up a soggy mess by the morning, with a big wet patch on my pj's or bed sheet URGH!

I also received a number of different nipple creams at the conference and tried them all.  I found that the easier they were to spread, the more useful they were.  Medela has the TenderCare nipple cream which is a lot easier to spread and acts more like a lotion than the sticky original Medela nipple cream or Lansinoh nipple cream.  The Simplisse nipple cream comes in a pump and looks like a white moisturiser and spreads really nicely too.  Again, this comes back to availability and CODE compliance.  I have found it hard to find anything other than Lansinoh nipple cream in the UK, and anything other than the large sized tube which is super hard to squeeze and is really big, enough for three or four Mums to share if I'm honest.

So, what are the choices?  Nature Babycare has come out with a biodegradable disposable breast pad which I am interested in stocking but can be found online.  Natracare also have a biodegradable product available which I hope to try very soon, and I'll let you know how it goes.  Ofcourse, you must be thinking why am I not using washable breast pads, and you should be.  I have always meant to try them, but right now I can only just keep up with my cloth diapers (and my mother spends too much energy complaining about how Ellie looks so uncomfortable in them and uses the Nature Babycare instead), one thing at a time I guess.

If you want to find out more about the CODE and how it relates to breastfeeding products, you can google it, search on Baby Milk Action, WABA, or some of the bloggers do a great job such as Blacktating.

Comments on pads that you have used and nipple creams that worked for you would be really great.


  1. I wonder if you could get a shipment from Motherlove. Their products are my absolute favorite.

  2. I've heard great things about their tea, but haven't seen them over here. I had stayed clear of other nipple creams in the US because there had been a recall. Can't remember which one they recalled but it wasn't MotherLove though. I like that you don't have to wash it off, but doesn't it contain any proteins that may be seen as foreign to the infant gut.

  3. I tried using the disposable breast pads in the beginning of my nursing journey but found them to be very uncomfortable. I read about a product called LilyPadz--have you heard of them? They are silicon, reusable pads. I found them to be fabulous--I could wear them overnight, the conformed to my breast (so were comfortable and didn't move) and were reusable (hooray!). My daughter just stopped nursing last week (at 2 years, 8 months), so I no longer have a need for these things but just thought I'd pass the info along. Cheers!

  4. I'm interested to hear about them because they had always worried me. I guess I was concerned that they would somehow tell my breasts to reduce their supply by the pressure created when they are on. It's great to hear that you breastfed for such a long time and had no problems with that. Maybe I'll give them a go. Did they really stay attached the whole time and not move about? Did your nipple get squished at all?