At our meeting last week, it was mentioned that lanolin is no longer recommended for use as it could possibly promote bacteria growth and lead to thrush or other infection. We apologize for any confusion. La Leche League has not changed its policy on lanolin and it is still safe and effective to use.
After further research, we found the studies this information was based on to be inconclusive. “Does Lanolin Use Increase the Risk of Infection in Breastfeeding Women” (2014) sample size was small and unable to control for hand hygiene, which is important as lanolin is applied with the fingers. A larger study needs to be done with women who are enrolled before giving birth and then assigning these women to either a group that applies lanolin use after a feeding or another to no topical treatments and both followed for infection.
We did speak with a Lactation Consultant at Sewickley Hospital who confirmed our findings with the studies. We also spoke with La Leche League USA (the corporate office of LLL) who confirmed lanolin is safe to use.
The study “Are There Any Cures for Sore Nipples,” (2013) did mention some interesting alternatives, such as peppermint gel and coconut oil.
Lanolin is a safe, effective treatment for sore nipples. Most mothers need it only in the first few early days or week after their baby is born.
We apologize for any confusion as we strive to provide you with the most accurate, up-to-date information available on breastfeeding.
If you have any questions or would like to have a copy of the studies emailed to you, please contact us!