Breast pads or nursing pads are one of those items that you may not even think about when preparing for your baby. But, you will notice the need if your breasts leak. My first breast pad was given to me in the hospital by a lactation consultant right after my first baby was born. I was pumping and needed something right away and no, I had not bought any beforehand.
I experimented with several types of pads and since using many kinds through two babies; I have put together my opinion of the best disposable and reusable breast pads.
In my case most of my leakage occurred at night and from engorgement. It usually happened when my baby started sleeping longer stretches and my breasts had not figured it out yet. I had oversupply and this was a frequent problem at night in the early months with both of my babies.
If your leakage is occurring at night you will probably want something heavier and you will not care as much about looks, such as if it can be seen through clothing or bulky. You will need something absorbent and comfortable for overnight use. For daytime use you may want something thinner and lighter that looks better under clothing.
I mainly used disposable pads at night since I could easily switch and throw it away when soaked, and I used thinner reusable pads during the day. You will need to experiment and find out what works best for you. Leakage usually decreases somewhat after the initial early weeks of breastfeeding.
I have tried several kinds of disposable pads including Medela, Ameda, Lansinoh and generic store brands. The generic store ones were my least favorite and I ended up giving them away.
Lansinoh is absolutely my favorite disposable nursing pad!
Pros to the Lansinoh pad include:
Two sticky pieces on the back to hold the pad in place and prevent sliding.
Breathable and soft but also absorbent. They wick the moisture away from you.
There is a slight bend to the pad, which seems to help hold it in place and be the least noticeable under clothing of all the disposables I have tried.
These are pretty thin and not very bulky. While the Ameda and Medela pads both did a good job, I found the Lansinoh to just feel less bulky and better underneath my clothes.
The back of the pad is waterproof to protect your clothing.
They are each individually wrapped. This may be a pro if you want to just throw a few in a bag and go, or it may be a con if you hate having to unwrap each pad for each use. At least the wrapping is recyclable!
The main con to these pads is that sometimes you can see them under clothing. I really do not believe this is a negative since any breast pad will be noticeable if you are wearing a very thin bra or clothing. As I said these are thinner than most, and really did not show for me.
Ameda Disposable Nursing Pads
The Ameda pad is a triangular shape and it fits nicely in a bra. It is very absorbent and comfortable but does not have a sticky background to help it stay in place. These are a good choice for overnight if you are not worried about it moving around much.
Medela Disposable Nursing Pads
The Medela nursing pad is round. It is very absorbent but the bulkiest feeling of these disposables to me. This would also work for overnight but I did not really like it under my clothing during the day. It does have the sticky backing to help it stay in place.
The price between these three types of nursing pads is very similar although the Lansinoh costs a tiny bit more.
There are many reusable pads on the market and I have tried a couple including Udder Covers Reusable Nursing Pads and Bamboobies Super Soft Washable Pads. From what I have researched Bamboobies is one of the best reusable pads and I would have to agree!
The problem with many reusable pads is that they can feel very bulky under your bra and they can move around depending on the pad. The Udder cover pads are just fine for overnight but they were way too bulky for daytime (for me).
My favorite reusable pad is the Bamboobies day time pad in a heart shape.
They are soft, washable, come in an adorable shape which actually fits in my bra really well, and they are very thin but still absorbent.
Some other nice features of the Bamboobies:
They are made in the US out of organic ingredients including bamboo and cotton.
They are sustainable and fair trade.
They are ultra soft but yet still waterproof.
And, of course you can wash them and reuse them!
Bamboobies also makes an overnight pad. I have not personally tried it but I am sure it is as amazing as all of their products.
The thin heart shape is perfect for daytime and out of the house use, unless you are dealing with very heavy leakage. I will admit I did not have that issue during the day so they worked great for me.
You can find Bamboobies here.
Udder Covers Reusable Nursing Pads
The Udder Covers Reusable Nursing Pads are nice and soft but for me a little too bulky. They work well though and could make a great overnight pad. They are 5-ply and 100% cotton. These felt more like a thick piece of cotton to me while the Bamboobies felt more silky on one side, and like velour on the other.
Mother-Ease Cloth Nursing Pads
One other reusable brand I want to mention is Mother-Ease Cloth Nursing Pads. I have not personally tried these because I did not know about them when I was in the leaking stage (or I would have!). They seem to be very loved by many breastfeeding mothers. Some features that make them stand out are the larger than normal shape, they are 5″ in diameter and they are very absorbent. They also are made out of bamboo and in the US. I love my Bamboobies but these seem like a great alternative if you need something larger or a different shape.
When it comes to nursing pads you may need to experiment a little. Whether these are needed for daytime or overnight use can also be a factor. My personal favorites are Lansinoh for disposable use during the day and overnight, and Bamboobies regular pads for daytime use.
Let me know, do you have a favorite breast pad that I missed?