Breastfeeding is definitely something that comes with its highs and lows. It's one of those things that you expect you'll instantly get the hang of, I mean mother nature n' all that, but it can take quite a lot of trial, error and luck to get it working for you and baby.
One of the challenges mothers face is leaking milk, which can be uncomfortable and embarrassing. This is where breast pads come in handy. Breast pads are a simple solution to this problem and are a must-have for new or expecting mothers.
In this blog post, we will discuss everything new or expecting mothers need to know about breast pads, including:
What are Breast Pads?
Breast pads are small pads that are placed inside a nursing bra or tank top to absorb any breast milk that leaks between feedings. They are designed to be comfortable and discreet, and are available in disposable or reusable forms.
If you are breastfeeding, breast pads are an essential item to have. They help to absorb any milk that leaks between feedings, keeping your clothing dry and preventing embarrassing leaks. Even if you do not experience a lot of leakage, it is still a good idea to wear breast pads to protect your clothing and keep you comfortable.
How much milk you leak, like the amount of milk you produce totally varies from person to person. Some mums leak loads and others less so. So the number of breast pads you use over a day will vary too.
What are Breast Pads Typically Made Of?
Breast pads are made of various materials, including cotton, bamboo, hemp, and synthetic fibers. Disposable breast pads are usually made of wood pulp or other absorbent materials, while reusable breast pads are made of washable fabrics. The material used in the breast pad will affect its absorbency, comfort, and durability.
Here are the features of our Reusable Breast Pads
How To Choose The Right Breast Pad
Choosing the right breast pads depends on your individual needs and preferences. Consider the following factors when choosing breast pads:
Material: Choose a material that is comfortable, absorbent, and breathable
Size: Make sure the pads fit properly and do not move around inside your bra
Thickness: Choose a thickness that provides enough absorbency without being too bulky - noting that reusable are normally thinner
Sustainability: Disposable options have more of an environmental impact
Price: Consider the price and choose pads that fit your budget
Looking for breast pads? Our reusable bamboo breast pads are included in our Breastfeeding Starter Pack, which also comes with nipple balm to ensure your breastfeeding experience is as comfortable as possible.
What is the Best Material for Breast Pads?
The best material for breast pads is one that is comfortable, absorbent, and breathable. Natural materials such as cotton, bamboo, and hemp are popular choices because they are soft and gentle on the skin. Synthetic materials such as polyester and nylon are also commonly used because they are absorbent and quick-drying, but they are less breathable. Our Reusable Breast Pads are made with bamboo and organic cotton fibre which are not only ultra-breathable but also hypoallergenic.
Which Nursing Pads Don't Stick to Nipples?
Reusable breast pads tend to come unwashed, so need to be washed a 4-5 times before use to avoid the little bits of fluff from sticking to your nipples, especially when you use nipple balm.
When Should You Wear Breast Pads?
You may be surprised to find out that you start to leak during pregnancy, especially in the third trimesters, so you may wish to start using breast pads then. Breast pads can be worn at any time, but they are particularly useful when you first start breastfeeding as your milk supply is regulating. After a snooze you can wake up with milk patches, so we'd recommend always wearing them, especially in those early days. If you are away from your baby for an extended period or if you do a bottle feed then you may well find your boobs leaking.
You will also notice that when you're feeding on one boob that the other boob starts to leak. This is totally normal. One thing you can do is to buy suction pump like the Haakaa pump to collect the milk. alternatively use a breast pad to absorb the milk instead.
How Long Should You Wear Breast Pads For?
You should wear breast pads for as long as you are breastfeeding and experiencing leakage. Some mothers may need to wear them for a few months, while others may need to wear them for longer. Once your milk supply stabilises and you no longer experience leakage, you can stop using breast pads. But definitely worth bringing them along with you if you are going away sans baby for a weekend - oh yessssssssss!
Is it okay to Wear Nursing Pads All Day?
Yes, it is safe to wear nursing pads all day, as long as you change them regularly. However, wearing breast pads for an extended period can lead to skin irritation, so it is important to change them every two to three hours or as soon as they become wet. Also if you're using a disposable pad they may be less breathable than a reusable breast pad as these tend to be made from hypoallergenic materials like bamboo.
How Many Breast Pads Do I Need Per Day?
The number of breast pads you need per day depends on how much milk you produce and how often you breastfeed. You may need to change your breast pads 3-6 times a day in the first few months. They're super handy to have around
It is always a good idea to have a few extra pads on hand in case of unexpected leaks.
Should You Change Breast Pads?
Yes, you should change breast pads regularly to prevent bacterial growth and infection. Wet breast pads can create a breeding ground for bacteria, which can cause irritation, infection, and odor. It is recommended that you change breast pads every two to three hours, or as soon as they become wet.
Can You Sleep with Breast Pads On?
Yes, you can sleep with breast pads on. In fact, it is recommended that you wear breast pads at night to prevent leaking and keep your sheets and pajamas dry. Choose a thinner and more breathable pad for nighttime use to ensure maximum comfort.
Reusable vs. Disposable Breast Pads
One of the decisions you will need to make when choosing breast pads is whether to use disposable or reusable ones. Here are the key differences between reusable and disposable breast pads:
Cost: One of the biggest differences between reusable and disposable breast pads is the cost. While reusable breast pads may be more expensive upfront, they can be reused multiple times, which can save you money in the long run. On the other hand, disposable breast pads are cheaper initially but need to be replaced frequently, which can add up in cost over time.
Environmental Impact: Disposable breast pads can have a significant impact on the environment, as they create more waste than reusable pads. Reusable breast pads, on the other hand, are more eco-friendly, as they can be washed and reused multiple times.
Comfort: Reusable breast pads are typically made from softer materials, such as cotton or bamboo, which can be more comfortable and breathable for your skin. Disposable breast pads, on the other hand, may be made from synthetic materials that can be less breathable and cause irritation, plus they tend to be a lot more bulky
Absorbency: Disposable breast pads are typically more absorbent than reusable breast pads, which can be a benefit for heavy leakers. However, some reusable breast pads are also highly absorbent and can be a good option for those who prefer natural materials.
Convenience: Disposable breast pads are more convenient as they can be easily thrown away after use, while reusable breast pads require washing and drying before they can be used again. This may be a consideration for busy mothers who prefer a low-maintenance option.
Ultimately, the decision between reusable and disposable breast pads comes down to personal preference and individual circumstances. If you are looking for a more eco-friendly and cost-effective option, reusable breast pads may be the way to go. If you prefer a more convenient and highly absorbent option, disposable breast pads may be the better choice.
How To Wash Reusable Breast Pads
Washing reusable breast pads is a simple process, and it is important to do it correctly to maintain their absorbency and ensure they are clean and hygienic for your baby.
Tips for Washing Reusable Breast Pads:
Wash the breast pads frequently to prevent bacterial growth and unpleasant odors.
Avoid using fabric softeners or dryer sheets, as they can leave a residue on the breast pads and reduce their absorbency.
If you are using a natural stain remover, make sure it is safe for use on baby items and rinse the breast pads thoroughly before washing.
Consider washing your breast pads in a laundry bag to prevent them from getting lost in the washing machine.
Step 1: Rinse
After removing the breast pads from your bra, rinse them under cold water to remove any excess milk and prevent it from staining. Do not use hot water, as it can set the stains and make them more difficult to remove.
Step 2: Pre-Soak
If the breast pads are heavily soiled, pre-soak them in cold water for a few hours before washing. You can also add a natural stain remover or laundry detergent to the water to help remove any stubborn stains.
Step 3: Wash
Wash the breast pads in your washing machine using a gentle cycle and cold water. Use a natural laundry detergent that is free from fragrances and other harsh chemicals that can irritate your skin and your baby's skin.
Step 4: Dry
After washing, lay the breast pads flat to dry in a well-ventilated area. Avoid using the dryer, as the high heat can damage the fabric and reduce their absorbency.
How Long Do Reusable Breast Pads Last For?
The lifespan of reusable breast pads can vary depending on factors such as frequency of use, washing method, and materials. Generally, well-made and properly cared for reusable breast pads can last for several months to a year or more. It is important to regularly check the condition of the pads and replace them if they become damaged, lose their shape, or no longer effectively absorb leakage.
Which is Better, Disposable or Reusable Breast Pads?
Both disposable and reusable breast pads have their advantages and disadvantages. Disposable breast pads are convenient and easy to use, while reusable pads are more cost-effective and environmentally friendly. Ultimately, the choice between disposable and reusable breast pads depends on your personal preference and needs.
Can Breast Pads Cause Mastitis?
Breast pads do not cause mastitis, but they can contribute to its development if they are not changed regularly. Mastitis is an infection of the breast tissue that can occur when milk is not drained properly from the breast. Wearing wet breast pads for an extended period can create a breeding ground for bacteria, which can lead to infection. To prevent mastitis, it is important to change breast pads regularly and ensure that your breasts are properly drained during feedings. If you are suffering with mastitis, our hot and cold breastfeeding therapy packs offer warm and cooling pain relief for swollen and sore breasts.
In conclusion, Breast pads are a simple and effective solution to the problem of milk leakage during breastfeeding. They are available in disposable and reusable forms and can be worn at any time to keep you comfortable and dry. When choosing breast pads, consider factors such as material, size, shape, thickness, adhesive, and price to find the right pads for your needs. Remember to change your breast pads regularly to prevent bacterial growth and infection, and enjoy the beautiful experience of breastfeeding without the worry of leaks.