Nursing Pads, or breast pads, are used to absorb leaking breast milk. Whether you opt for reusable or disposable breast pads, you’ll definitely need some protection. All nursing pads, reusable or disposable, are designed to slip inside your bra or nursing top and cover your nipple.
Do I need breast pads even if I am not breastfeeding?
Even if you are not breastfeeding you may still need nursing pads until your breasts stop producing milk. If you are still expressing, your breasts may still continue to leak therefore you will need some protection.
How many pads will I need?
Some women leak a lot whilst others very little or not at all. Just after your baby is born, you most likely will not need any at all. This is because your milk won’t come in for a couple of days. After that point, as for how many breast pads you’ll need will really depend on how much you leak.
How often should I change my breast pad?
It is recommended that you should change the breast pads for a fresh clean pad every few hours even if they are not full or completely wet. Over a 24 hour period this means at a minimum you’ll need about 6 sets of breast pads.
Leaving a pad on too long can lead to leaking or a breast infection. This frequency of course is a personal choice. Once your body figures itself out you may only need two or three sets a day. Everyone is different though. Use this as a guide to start off with and adjust as necessary.
Disposable nursing pads
If you choose to use disposable breast pads you can purchase them in bulk which is going to be the most cost effective solution. As the name suggests, these pads are single use only and designed to be thrown away after use. There are some great benefits to using disposable breast pads.
Lansinoh pads are one of the most popular options and in a pack of 200 you’ll have plenty of supply when you need it.
Reusable breast pads
You can always buy washable, reusable soft cloth breast pads. Depending on the brand you opt for and whether you like cotton, bamboo or another soft fabric, many nursing mothers claim that their breasts stay dryer longer and therefore there is less need to change the pads multiple times a day.
If this is your preference, take a look at our guide on reusable nursing pads and how many we recommend you buy.
How do I choose the best nursing pads?
Regardless of the type of breast pad you decide to buy there are a few features you should consider.
- Comfort – Most importantly is comfort. These little pads will be with you almost all day, everyday so they are going to have to be comfortable and almost invisible.
- Absorbent – There’s nothing worse than a cheap (or worse still, expensive) set of pads that simply do not soak up your milk. Wet patches on your top is not a good look!
- Thin enough to not be seen – Some pads are so thick that they stand out like a sore thumb. You’re going to want to find yourself a set that is thin enough to be discreet but not too thin that they don’t absorb anything.
- Cost – If you are buying disposables, go for bulk boxes so that you can save yourself money. If you prefer cloth pads, consider spending money on a good reliable brand that ticks all the boxes above.
It’s always best to list your most important features when looking for a product like this. What works for you may not work for others.
How many breast pads do you use per day and do you prefer disposable or reusable?