Baby Accessories

Best Nursing Pads: Disposable and Reusable Breast Pads for Nursing

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I’d like to think of myself as someone that is fairly organized and prepared. When I was expecting my first child, I read various articles and drafted several lists of what I was going to need in those first few months the baby was born. Everything from fitted sheets, cradle cap cream and even formula milk in case I needed it, appeared on that list as we don’t live near any shops but the one item that somehow slipped my mind was breast pads.

Perhaps I thought that I didn’t need them but boy, was I wrong. I needed to start wearing breast pads even before the baby was born! Needless to say, I had a good milk supply and had to beg my husband to take me to the nearest store in order to purchase some breast pads to avoid leaking or as I like to refer to it: embarrassment.

Much like maternity pads, breast pads are not really a topic I have heard new parents discuss (unlike bottles, pacifiers, swaddling techniques, diapers and yes, even the color of the baby’s stool!) so standing in front of a wide variety of products while pressed for time (leaking here), was quite intimidating. So I did what most people do, I grabbed the closest, cheapest box of breast pads I could find. But since then, I’ve had some time to do a little research and look at several other options as well.

Do I go the disposable or the reusable route?

Like anything else baby related, both items have their pro’s and con’s. The box I grabbed at first glance were disposable breast pads simply because at the time, they seemed much cheaper. Although reusable pads seem more expensive, I do believe that they can save you quite a bit of money in the long run, especially if you have ample milk supply and if you plan on having more kids but yes, acquiring enough reusable breast pads can be a costly exercise. They are also more eco-friendly than disposable pads which more often than not, contains plastic at the back and comes in plastic wrapping. This also makes airflow in disposable pads more difficult which keeps the breast warm and moist – a perfect breeding ground for bacteria such as thrush.

It has to be said however that the waterproof back usually keeps any moisture from leaking and embarrassing leaks in public are avoided. Disposable pads also usually comes with sticky tape at the back which makes it easier to hold into place but my experience has been that they don’t stay “sticky” for very long. They are very convenient seeing that you don’t have to wash them – simply take them out of the box and because they are likely to be individually wrapped, you can tuck a few in the diaper bag or your handbag in case you need them without having to worry about hygiene. Most disposable pads are also very thin which means they are easy to wear and hard to spot under your clothes whereas reusable pads can soak up more moisture but without the plastic, can cause you to have a leaking accident, especially in those early days.

Best Nursing Pad Recommendations

I’ve put a few disposable and reusable breast pads to the test using criteria such as comfort, convenience, price, how discreet they were and most importantly, their ability to keep your breasts from leaking. Here are my recommendations:

1. Lansinoh Disposable Nursing Pads

Often recommended by midwives and hospitals, these disposable breast pads really are worth every cent. They are individually wrapped, comfortable and super absorbent. The breast pad comes with two pieces of sticky tape at the back in order to hold them in place and gives a nice fit due to a slight bend on the sides of the pad. Even though the back of the pad is plastic for waterproofing, the pad does contain a special layer that turns liquid into gel, making it more absorbent. It’s also a very thin, discrete pad, so you can wear it with ease underneath your clothes. On the downside, should the breast pad become too saturated, the gel may break which causes quite a bit of mess.

2. Medela Disposable Nursing Pads

The disposable Medela nursing padsare rather absorbent and at the same time, very breathable which is a bonus during those hot summer days. Although they are fairly discreet, they do tend to feel a little bulky in comparison to the Lansinoh pads. They also have two sticky tapes which helps keep the pad in place. I have to admit though that I have read some reviews of consumers complaining that the pads stick to the nipples when wet, causing them to be slightly uncomfortable.

3. Bamboobies Disposable Nursing Pads

The Bamboobies Disposable nursing pads are manufactured form viscose bamboo, rendering the product more eco-friendly than the first two nursing pads that made the list. It also produces a more breathable material due to its unique design: It has a viscose top layer that is soft and contains natural antibacterial properties, while the inner core is designed for ultra-absorption. The pad also contains a “milk-proof ™” backing instead of using a standard plastic at the back. They have two sticky strips at the back in order to hold the pad in place and each pad is wrapped individually for your hygiene. Even though it wasn’t part of the criteria when assessing different breast pads, I also really enjoyed the cool and funky packaging. Somehow it made shopping for this mundane item a little more fun and sexier compared to other products.

4. CannyMum Reusable Nursing Pads*

I recommend CannyMum reusable nursing pads mostly due to their luxurious look and feel and great absorbency. They are slightly more expensive than other reusable breast pads but the bamboo fabric is nice and soft, turning them into a breast pad that you will actually want to wear! They are also available in three different colors (black, white and natural) which makes it possible to co-ordinate with your clothing and underwear. Sadly though, they are rather thick and will probably show through clothes but in all honesty, I didn’t leave the house much within those first three months and comfort was at the top of my priority list.

* These are only available in the U.K. currently.

5. Bamboobies Washable Nursing Pads

Okay, I’ll admit it – I’m in love with the packaging and shape of the Bamboobies washable nursing pads, which is probably why it made both the reusable and disposal breast pad list, but fortunately it is not the only reason.

Not only is the heart-shaped pad super cute and adorable but it is also functional, surprisingly fitting the breast well. These pads are also soft on the skin and absorbent – a very crucial criterion. They come in different colors but what really caught my attention was that they also offer daytime and night time pads, the night time pad being more absorbent which is nice considering that you often tend to leak more during night time due to extended periods of baby not feeding. I have to mention though that I’ve heard some moms complaining that certain nipple creams and ointments such as lanolin, prevents the pads from soaking up the moisture effectively.

6. Kiddo Care Organic Bamboo Nursing Pads

The Kiddo Care Organic Bamboo Nursing pads are reusable and perfect if you want to go organic where breast pads are concerned. In my personal opinion, I feel that they have been designed for women with slightly larger breasts. The pads are large and fold or wrinkle a little if you have smaller breasts such as myself. They are ultra-absorbent, probably due to its size but also the 3 layered leak proof design they’ve used and are made from good quality bamboo fabric.

Considering the quality of the pads, they should easily last you for more than one kid and I would highly recommend them if you are expecting your first child and plan on having more later on. They also come in a range of delightful pastel colors which, if you are anything like me, will brighten up your day. The only drawback as mentioned previously is that of the design fitting better for women with larger breasts but should you fall into that category, you will surely love this product.

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