Whether you are looking to buy nursing pads or get creative and make some for yourself, it’s important to know what material is best and why. Some breast pads are circles, and others are in a teardrop shape. The key is to find out what you prefer.
Best fabric for the outside of nursing pads
The best fabric to use for nursing pads is something that is breathable and soft on the skin. Our top recommendation is bamboo cotton. Anything that is all textured or rough could potentially be very irritating to newly nursed nipples.
Here are some other recommendations from nursing women
- PUL – PUL Fabric is a type of laminated fabric. It is waterproof, so it is ideal for the outside nursing pads (and cloth diapers too)
- Cotton flannel and cotton/bamboo fleece
- Flannel and fleece combo – The flannel pulls it from your skin and the fleece repels the leakage
- Silk – It dries fast, is cooler and silk is known to have natural antibacterial properties
- Hemp fleece is also a great fabric both for absorbency and for the skin – It feels somewhat dry even when soaked, and it never retains odors like other materials can.
What goes on the inside of nursing pads?
The secret to the wonderful absorbency of reusable nursing pads is the middle layer of fabric – the most common option is actually microfiber diaper soaker fabric! This type of fabric quickly removes moisture so it is not recommended to be put directly next to the skin however when nestled between a couple of layers of natural fabric (like bamboo or cotton), it’s an excellent way to make nursing pads work so much better. You can buy microfiber terry soaker online!
Bamboo fleece is also another great option as is Zorb. Zorb can also be used as an outer layer fabric too.
Tips to making nursing pads
- Patterns and designs: There are plenty of free patterns and tutorials online to help you make your breast pads so look around and find one that is the easiest for your level of sewing expertise.
- Fabric scraps: To keep it an inexpensive exercise, consider using scraps of fabric. No one needs to know that you’ve got one color or pattern on one side and something else on the other.
- Recycle clothing: Whether you are looking for flannel or cotton, see if you have any old garments around the house to recycle.
- Pre wash: Make sure to pre-wash your fabrics since cotton/bamboo and microfiber will shrink differently.
- Size: Consider making them on the larger side. If you are wearing a thin shirt, you may be able to see the distinct outlines of the nursing pads if they are on the small side. If they are bigger and somewhat contoured, they shouldn’t be so obvious.