Most of us would have come across breast pads (aka nursing or breastfeeding pads) at some point, most likely at supermarkets or pharmacies, but what are they and do you need them?
Nipple leakage is very common among women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. Breast pads are intended to be placed inside your bra to soak up any breast milk or moisture leaking from the nipples, and helps to keep your skin and clothing dry. Breast pads have to be replaced regularly throughput the day and night for hygiene and to prevent irritation.
There are two types of nursing pads, disposable and reusable.
Pros and Cons of Disposable Breast Pads
- Tends to be more absorbent and can hold higher volume of leaked milk before feeling wet
- They can be extremely thin
- Cheaper per box to purchase
- Comes in variety of styles e.g. regular butterfly shape , honey comb inner layer, bamboo etc.
- Can be expensive long term as they are single use item
- More waste and not good for the environment
- Depending on the brand, they can roll up and not stay in place
- Multiple varieties can mean hard to choose the right one for you
Pros and Cons of Reusable Breast Pads
- Eco- friendly – better for the environment as they are made from material such as bamboo and cotton
- Reusable – They can be reused over and over again, which means less waste and you could save money in the long term
- Exciting to look at – They are usually made from printed fabric that are bright and colourful
- Soft – generally made from bamboo or cotton inner layer that feels soft on the skin
- Save money – It will only cost you the one time purchase as they are reusable
- Great for low flow and regular flow
Can be used for other purpose once no longer needed e.g. make up removal pads and cleaning
- More expensive initially
- If you experience over supply, you will likely have to change more regularly due to wetness
- Thicker than disposable ones
Products will differ between brands. Good quality reusable breast pads are made from natural fibres such as bamboo or cotton to ensure softness against the skin.
Breast pads are a must if you are experiencing nipple leakage. Depending on your needs, supply level and personal preference on which type will be the most suitable for you. Some women will use both, disposable breast pads in the early stages of breastfeeding as the body is still trying to regulate milk supply, and reusable breast pads once the body has adjusted with minimal leakage.