According to a recent article in the Journal of Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, prophylactic application of emu oil improves areolar skin barrier function that can help prevent sore nipples. Appropriate areolar hydration serves as one of a number of protective strategies for the nipple and areola during breastfeeding. Emu oil is anti-inflammatory, enhances skin permeation, is moisturizing, and contains antioxidant properties. A study of 70 mothers investigated the dermal properties of an emu oil-based cream on areola skin hydration for 2 days post delivery. Emu oil was applied to the areola following each breastfeeding. Results showed a marked improvement in areolar hydration which contributes to improved skin integrity. Optimal skin integrity (along with proper positioning, latch, and sucking) seemed a helpful approach in preventing cracked nipples.

Have you ever seen an emu with dry nipples?

Zanardo V, Giarrizzo D, Maiolo L, Straface G. Efficacy of topical application of emu oil on areola skin barrier in breastfeeding women. Journal of Evidence-Based Complementary & Alternative Medicine 2015; [ahead of print] doi:10.1177/2156587215588653.