Wednesday, May 9, 2007


As much as the next person, I love, LOVE investing in pretty, smelly bottles of overpriced crèmes, lotions and “remedies” for any perceived ailment I might have. (Currently, I am going through a “bodywash” phase and have a variety of them in my shower. They represent a United Nations of Prices ranging from Philosophy to Neutrogena to Evelyn/Crabtree to a Target store brand. Gulp.)

Anyway, one of the very first things I learned in breastfeeding is that it pays to experiment. Lanolin crème is pushed onto all new mothers and like the sheep I am, I dutifully applied it. Unfortunately, it did not help me in the least. Fortunately, I had my secret weapon in that one of my cousins is a lactation consultant. For my baby shower, she had given me a “breastfeeding care package” loaded with all sorts of goodies. I vaguely remembered seeing a package of Soothies, and tossing them aside with casual interest because I didn’t know what they were for. A week into Breastfeeding Hell, I was digging through the care package looking for something. I came across the Soothies, read the description and a light bulb came on. I slapped those suckers on and never looked back. In short, Soothies saved me, whereas lanolin provided little relief. The secret to the Soothies and lanolin concept is that this is an Either/Or situation. You do NOT use them together - you have to make a choice and go with one OR the other. All was not lost, though, in the realm of All Things Lanolin. For the first several weeks when taking a shower, I did use the Cetaphil Gentle Cleanser, which is lanolin based, on my chest area to minimize exposure to fragrance or anything that might be irritating.

In the vein of "alternatives", I did read with interest this study in the International Breastfeeding Journal of using peppermint water in lieu of expressed breast milk to help prevent nipple cracking (peppermint water is used by breastfeeding mothers in Iran). Normally, peppermint is associated with being an irritant if applied topically, so I was curious about this. I will definitely keep an eye out for more results on this.

(Totally Tangential: All the free samples of lanolin crème I received did not go to waste – lanolin is an EXCELLENT diaper rash prevention. I used the tubes for travel sizes for my diaper bag. Unfortunately, lanolin is WAY too expensive to actually purchase for regular use. While I’m on topic, Cetaphil Gentle Cleanser is another great diaper rash prevention. A tip I received from my sister, she recommended putting it on after each diaper change. No, you don’t rinse it, you leave it on and it forms a thin, non-greasy, non-smelly protective layer. I’ve used it on my son since he was born with excellent results.)

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