What Is Lanolin, And Is It Safe To Use While Breastfeeding?

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Lanolin is a greasy chemical that is secreted by animals that bear wool. Lanolin is sometimes known as wool grease or wool fat. Lanolin helps to waterproof wool-bearing animals. Some types of sheep produce more lanolin than other types. Most of the time, when wool is processed, the lanolin is removed from the wool. Chemically, lanolin is made up of cholesterol and parts of certain types of fatty acids. Lanolin is used in many different products that are available on the market, including cosmetics, lubricants, and coatings that can help to prevent rust.

Lanolin is sometimes used while breastfeeding. This form of lanolin is hypoallergenic. It is also sometimes known as “medical grade” lanolin, to distinguish it from the other forms of lanolin. Breastfeeding mothers will sometimes use this medical grade lanolin on their cracked or sore nipples. In addition, this type of lanolin is sometimes used for other purposes. Some of these other purposes include helping with dry or itchy skin, diaper rash, minor cuts, and even chapped lips. When used for breastfeeding, it is thought that it is safe for both the mother and for her baby, and does not have to be washed off before breastfeeding begins.

There has been some concern about lanolin in the past. There have been rumors that lanolin can cause cancer, or that lanolin can interfere with your baby’s digestion. These claims have not, at least to this date, been proven to be necessarily true. Having said that, many women prefer to err on the side of caution. These women have turned to other solutions to help their sore or cracked nipples. Some of these solutions include things like herbal creams or lotions, or breast compresses.

If you have concerns about the safety of lanolin, or the safety of any other treatment for sore and cracked nipples while you are breastfeeding, you should speak with your health care provider.

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This entry was posted in Breastfeeding.


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