Lanolin use while Breastfeeding
Drugs containing Lanolin: Alpha Keri, Lansinoh for Breast Feeding Mothers, Lanolor Cream, Lanolin Hydrous, Thera Derm, AlphaBath, Lansinoh for Healthy Feet, Tender Care, Soothe and Cool Free Medseptic Skin Protectant, Lan-O-Soothe
Lanolin Levels and Effects while Breastfeeding
Summary of Use during Lactation
Lanolin is a yellow fat obtained from sheep's wool. It has traditionally been used topically to treat sore, cracked nipples during breastfeeding. Highly purified modified lanolin (Lansinoh) has the pesticide and detergent residues removed and the natural free alcohols reduced to below 1.5% to improve safety and reduce the allergic potential. Although lanolin appears to be effective for the prevention and treatment of nipple pain from breastfeeding, studies, most of which used Lansinoh, have not found lanolin to be consistently different in efficacy from application of breastmilk, hydrogel dressings, peppermint gel, aloe vera or warm compresses. A metaanalysis concluded that application of nothing or breastmilk may be superior to lanolin, but good studies are lacking. One small nonblinded study found olive oil to be superior to lanolin for prevention of sore nipples.
Maternal Levels. Relevant published information was not found as of the revision date.
Infant Levels. Relevant published information was not found as of the revision date.
Effects in Breastfed Infants
Relevant published information was not found as of the revision date.
Effects on Lactation and Breastmilk
In a randomized, double-bind trial, lanolin was compared to an all-purpose nipple ointment containing mupirocin 1%, betamethasone 0.05%, and miconazole 2% for painful nipples while nursing in the first 2 weeks postpartum. The two treatments were equally effective in reducing nipple pain, nipple healing time, breastfeeding duration, breastfeeding exclusivity rate, mastitis and nipple symptoms, side effects or maternal satisfaction with treatment.
1. Mohammadzadeh A, Farhat A, Esmaeily H. The effect of breast milk and lanolin on sore nipples. Saudi Med J. 2005;26:1231-4. PMID: 16127520
2. Vieira F, Bachion MM, Mota DD, Munari DB. A systematic review of the interventions for nipple trauma in breastfeeding mothers. J Nurs Scholarsh. 2013;45:116-25. PMID: 23452043
3. Morland-Schultz K, Hill PD. Prevention of and therapies for nipple pain: a systematic review. J Obstet Gynecol Neonatal Nurs. 2005;34:428-37. PMID: 16020410
4. Sayyah Melli M, Rashidi M R, Nokhoodchi A et al. A randomized trial of peppermint gel, lanolin ointment, and placebo gel to prevent nipple crack in primiparous breastfeeding women. Med Sci Monit. 2007;13:CR406-11. PMID: 17767120
5. Abou-Dakn M, Fluhr JW, Mo G, Woeckel A. Positive effect of HPA lanolin versus expressed breastmilk on painful and damaged nipples during lactation. Skin Pharmacol Physiol. 2010;24:27-35. PMID: 20720454
6. Tafazoli M, Saeedi R, Gholami Robatsangi M, Mazloom R. [Aloevera gel vs. lanolin ointment in the treatment of nipple sore: A randomized clinical trial]. Tehran Univ Med J. 2010;67:699-704.
7. Donovan TJ, Buchanan K. Medications for increasing milk supply in mothers expressing breastmilk for their preterm hospitalised infants. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2012;3:CD005544. PMID: 22419310
8. Gungor AN, Oguz S, Vurur G, Gencer M, Uysal A, Hacivelioglu S et al. Comparison of olive oil and lanolin in the prevention of sore nipples in nursing mothers. Breastfeed Med. 2013;8:334-5. PMID: 23249138
9. Dennis CL, Schottle N, Hodnett E, McQueen K. An all-purpose nipple ointment versus lanolin in treating painful damaged nipples in breastfeeding women: A randomized controlled trial. Breastfeed Med. 2012;7:473-9. PMID: 22428572
CAS Registry Number
LactMed Record Number
Last Revision Date
Information presented in this database is not meant as a substitute for professional judgment. You should consult your healthcare provider for breastfeeding advice related to your particular situation. The U.S. government does not warrant or assume any liability or responsibility for the accuracy or completeness of the information on this Site.