Most women who have been pregnant or breastfeeding at any time have been steered towards Lanolin for moisturizing their tired, cracked nipples. I did with my first two kids.. and I honestly didn’t know any different.
- Lanolin was in my hospital bag when I returned home…
- Lanolin was advertised in almost every baby magazine..
- And almost every new mom recommendation promotes Lanolin as a must for mammas who are breastfeeding.
It wasn’t until after my third that I started to question why I was using certain things – including something that I had always thought was pretty safe.
While the FDA has approved Lanolin in nipple creams (and in many other beauty products) it might not be all that safe for your baby. Of course, most people simply use because it’s readily available, popular and well known, but making your own or buying an organic natural product might be a better option.
Lanolin is a waxy substance that works as a coating on sheep’s fur. That coating keeps their fur moist and protect the sheep’s skin from harmful effects of the weather and elements. When the sheep is sheared, a waxy substance is left – that waxy substance comes from the sebaceous glands on the animal, and is produced as an effect of their hormones.
Lanolin is made up of everything from dirt, dust, pollen and more ~ because of this, it has to be purified to remove the bad stuff in order to get to the good stuff (this is called refining). Refining varies by company – some companies use more chemicals than other to achieve the final result: Lanolin. Lanolin is then used in many different beauty items, to include nipple creams.
The real problem with Lanolin
The problem with Lanolin is its toxicity – sheep that are farmed in the United States are not raised organically. Sheep eat a diet of alfalfa, which is grass – and contains GMO’s. GMO’s are endocrine disruptors.
Endocrine disruptors affect the lanolin that they excrete.
Many sheep are also being a diet supplemented with grains – and while grains are a popular food source, they are made from corn distilled from ethanol factories, which are GMO based. One of the most dangerous problems with lanolin is that sheep are often times sprayed with pesticides that will help them deal better with mites and pests. During refinement, the fur is treated again – leaving the fur to staggering levels of pesticides that far exceed even the regulated hospital use.
While we can’t have a perfect diet, and while we can’t alleviate all traces of GMOs and pesticides, babies that are constantly exposed to pesticides can suffer – their digestive system is too undeveloped to process out these harmful materials, thus, that poses a threat to their digestive system.
Alternative options to Lanolin include making your own Nipple Cream with organic coconut oil, shea butter and beeswax – making sure you wipe off any residual cream before feeding is also important.