One of the most important things you can do both before delivery and during nursing is to liberally use Lansinoh, a pure lanolin product that is applied directly to your nipples. There are many breastfeeding products out there, but Lansinoh is different because it does not have to be washed off before the baby nurses. Not only does this make feeding easier, but constantly washing your already tender nipples will just cause them to become more dry, cracked and unpleasant.Before Delivery
To help moisturize your nipples, help them become more elastic and supple, and ease the transition into breastfeeding, apply Lansinoh once or twice per day for about three weeks before your due date. I have done this and believe it made a big difference in those early breastfeeding weeks. One important note: always wear breast pads when you apply Lansinoh, because it will stain your bra otherwise. You can get disposable breast pads or buy some really adorable reusable ones at places like Etsy.com.
Once you deliver, apply Lansinoh after every feeding, or if it feels like you need to. Sometimes it will last through a couple of feedings and sometimes you will feel like you need to apply it every time. In my opinion, using Lansinoh is the single best way to prevent cracked, dry nipples and make breastfeeding a whole lot easier while you and baby are getting used to the process.