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Lanolin for the treatment of nipple pain in breastfeeding women: a randomized control trial
Maternal & Child Nutrition (2017)
  • Kimberley T Jackson, Western University
  • Cindy-Lee Dennis
Nipple pain and damage are commonly experienced by breastfeeding women and are associated with negative
breastfeeding outcomes. Healthcare providers often recommend the application of lanolin to treat painful/damaged nipples, yet no randomized controlled trial has evaluated the effectiveness of lanolin on nipple pain and breastfeeding outcomes. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of lanolin on nipple pain among breastfeeding women with damaged nipples. A randomized, single-blind, controlled trial was conducted at a tertiary care hospital in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Breastfeeding women (N=186) identified as having nipple
pain/damage were randomized to apply lanolin (intervention group ;n=93) or to receive usual postpartum care
(control group ;n=93).The primary outcome was nipple pain at 4 days post-randomization measured by the
Numeric Rating Scale. Additional outcomes included nipple pain measured by the Short Form McGill Pain
Questionnaire, breastfeeding duration/exclusivity, breastfeeding self-efficacy, and maternal satisfaction with lanolin treatment versus usual care. The results revealed no significant group differences in mean pain scores at 4 days post-randomization. Women in both groups experienced clinically relevant decreases in nipple pain by 7 days post-randomization. Significantly, more women in the lanolin group reported that they were satisfied with treatment compared with those receiving usual care. No significant group differences were found for other secondary out-comes. While more women were satisfied using lanolin, its application to sore/damaged nipples was ineffective for reducing nipple pain or improving breastfeeding outcomes.
Publication Date
Summer June 29, 2017
Citation Information
Kimberley T Jackson and Cindy-Lee Dennis. "Lanolin for the treatment of nipple pain in breastfeeding women: a randomized control trial" Maternal & Child Nutrition Vol. 13 Iss. 3 (2017) ISSN: 1740-8695
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