Breastfeeding your baby is an adorable and incredible experience that is not just meant to fulfil your baby’s nutritional needs but also to help you bond. And if you decide to breastfeed your baby exclusively, you will spend a lot of time day and night doing so. So many accessories are meant to help a lactating mother and make the journey smooth and easy. Breast pads are one such accessory that makes it to the buying list even before the baby is born. This article will explore topics such as different types of breast pads, which one to choose, how to choose and why to use breast pads. But first, let us understand what breast pads are!
What Are Breast Pads
Popularly known as nursing pads, breast pads are round pads that are used to create a layer between your breasts and the bra. While breast pads can also be used by someone who is not lactating or breastfeeding for a different purpose, here we are referring to the nursing pads. The main aim of using breast pads by breastfeeding mothers is to let them soak any extra milk that comes out of the breast if they are full.
Types Of Breast Pads
Depending upon your need, you can choose from various breast pads available on the market. Here is a list of the most popular types of breast pads:
- Disposable Breast Pads – The one-time use breast pads are ideal for the initial days after your delivery. If you do not have the energy or the arrangement to wash clothes at a regular interval, disposable breast pads can be your choice. Even when you are travelling, disposable breast pads can come to your rescue. But in the longer run, they can turn out to be expensive and thus should be kept as a backup option instead of a regular option.
- Reusable Breast Pads – People with a more sustainable, conscious and eco-friendly mindset need more earth-friendly products. Washable and reusable breast pads like SuperBottoms reversible nursing pads are the ones for them. These breast pads can be washed and used for years and thus present a more sustainable and much cheaper solution in the longer run. Moreover, they solve not just the purpose of soaking the leaking milk during the breastfeeding period but also can be used as shaping pads later.
- Silicone Breast Pads – Silicone material cannot soak or absorb milk. Thus, these breast pads are not meant to soak the leakage; instead, they are intended to prevent it from happening. It has a sticky inner that can directly stick to the nipples. This is not a healthy solution for a more extended period. But silicone breast pads can be a temporary solution if you are going swimming or attending a function and have to wear a fancy pair of clothing.
- Hydrogel Breast Pads – Like silicone pads, hydrogel pads are not meant to soak the leakage. The primary purpose of these breast pads is to soothe or heal sore nipples. Sore and cracked nipples are very common during breastfeeding, but they need instant attention if they are painful and bleeding. You can put hydrogel pads in the refrigerator and use them as breast pads to help relieve the pain and soreness of your nipples after breastfeeding.
How To Choose Best Breast Pads
Which of the breast pads mentioned above you want to go for will mainly depend on the purpose and whether you want disposable or washable ones. But before you decide, keep the following in mind:
- The comfort of the material and the thickness of the breast pads.
- How absorbent is the pad vs the amount of leakage you experience.
- The coverage of the pad as compared to your breast size.
- How well is the pad contoured and shaped to adjust according to your breast size and shape.
5 Reasons Why Use Breast Pads
And now, coming to why it is essential to use breast pads as a lactating mother – here are the top 5 reasons to always keep a few extra with you while at home or on the go.
- They Soak The Leakage – The primary purpose of breast pads – is to soak the leakage. Leaky breasts are a common phenomenon, even before the baby arrives. There is nothing to be ashamed of or embarrassed about leaky breasts, as it is very natural to happen to any expecting or new mom. But, sometimes, when you are in public, leaky breasts can become a bit of a situation to handle if it is more than expected and starts to spoil your clothes. So, again, breast pads help you by soaking the leakage.
- They Save Your Skin From Infection – If your breast pads are clean, properly washed and stored in a hygienic condition, they can save your skin from infections that leaky breasts can cause. In addition, the constant dampness and chafing can cause irritation, soreness and infection in your nipples. Using absorbent breast pads can save you from such painful conditions.
- They Refine The Breast Appearance – Sensitive nipples can show even from under the clothes. Breast pads not only help you absorb the leaked milk but can provide an extra layer and buffer to give your breast and nipples the required shape so that it doesn’t look awkward without any cover-up.
- They Soothe The Tenderness – Pads such as the hydrogel ones help in soothing the soreness and tenderness of the breasts caused by latching issues or breastfeeding in general.
- They Save Your Clothes From Milk Stains – If you are out, leaky breasts can leave a stain on your clothes that you might not be able to wash or clean immediately. A layer of protection in the form of breast pads is always the best idea to save your fancy and expensive clothes from having hard-to-remove stains.
While sore nipples and leaky breasts are nothing to worry about, if you experience bleeding in your nipples or extreme shooting pain, it is better to consult with your gynaecologist and ensure that no infection needs attention. Happy Breastfeeding!