All breastfeeding mama’s have been there; you are out and about when suddenly you feel a tingle in your boobs and look down to see two wet patches on your shirt; your boobs have leaked again! While this is perfectly natural and normal, having a breastmilk splodge on your t-shirt can be awkward and embarrassing.
So, how can you stop this from happening? By wearing a nursing pad of course! These pads are designed to stop this exact scenario; they absorb any breast milk let down, keeping your tops and t-shirts dry.
Breast pads are available in a few options; silicon catching cups, disposable pads or reusable pads like our Bamboo breast pads.
What are the different types of breast pads?
1. Silicone catcher cups.
Silicone cups are great for proactive mamas’ who don’t want to miss a drop of their precious milk via letdown. However, these are designed to be changed every 3 hours so can be quite inconvenient for general
2. Disposable breast pads.
Usually made of a plastic blend, similar to a disposable sanitary pad, they have to be thrown away after each use. Most come with an adhesive so they stay in place really well in your bra.
3. Reusable breast pads.
These are a piece of soft, absorbent fabric that is placed into the bra and will absorb milk letdown. After use, you wash and reuse, creating less waste and saving you money in the long run.
Choosing reusable breast pads made from natural fibres such as bamboo is really important; these natural fibres provide better air circulation, which is necessary to aid in the sore nipple healing process.
Our tips on buying the best reusable breast pads:
We recommend choosing comfort over convenience; remember you are likely going to be wearing these pads next to your skin every day for months, so you want to make sure they are comfortable!
Did you know LittleLamb’s bamboo breast pads were rated ‘Best for Comfort’ by The Independent!
Choosing a more absorbent material will mean you can go longer between changes. The longer between changes means the less you’ll have to wash, which ultimately means you’ll need to buy less, saving you money.
Ensure you choose a breast pad that is large enough to comfortably cover a large area of your breast so it doesn’t bunch up inside your bra, and also doesn't leak!
LittleLamb was recently rated by Made for mums for having the best choice of sizes.
Are reusable breast pads worth it?
We think so! Not only will you be saving the environment by reusing your pads instead of throwing them in the bin, but you will save money as well. The cost of a box of 60 disposable nursing pads is around £5. While the amount you will need can vary greatly, you will have to keep purchasing pads, which will add up. Washable nursing pads are much more economical. You can expect to need between 5 and 10 pairs of nursing pads, purchasing from LittleLamb.com will cost you £14.97 for 5 pairs.
How many breast pads do i need?
If you’re in the early stages of breastfeeding, you may experience lots of let-down; it could just be that your body is adjusting its levels of oxytocin, the hormone responsible for your let-down. Leaks generally ease up once your supply is established, but they can happen anytime as long as you’re producing milk, so we recommend wearing a pair of breast pads for the duration of your breastfeeding journey.
So, we recommend purchasing 5 sets of breast pads to begin with. This allows you to have about one pair in the wash, three pairs available throughout the day, and one spare pair in the nappy bag in case of emergencies. However, everyone’s needs are different; it’ll depend on how much you leak and how often you want to wash the pads. (If you're a cloth bum family, you can throw them in with your nappy load every other day!)
How often should you change reusable breast pads?
Generally, you should change the breast pads every 3 to 4 hours, easiest at baby feeding time. The rich nutrients in breast milk and the heat of your body make Breast Pads an ideal breeding ground for bacteria, so we recommend being fastidious about changing them regularly.
Do you have to wear a bra at night while breastfeeding?
This is completely up to you and how comfortable you feel. If you usually go braless to sleep, you can still do this while breastfeeding. However, mums often have concerns about leaking a lot at night, so wearing a bra at night can help you relax and means you can wear your breast pads at night.
How do you wear reusable breast pads?
Reusable breast pads are placed into the bra, meaning they are held in place by the bra and provide a layer of waterproof protection. Reusable breast pads work with all types of bras, not just nursing bras.
How do you get the smell out of reusable nursing pads?
Sometimes your breast pads can start to smell, this is because they have excess bacteria stored in the fabric. However, no need to panic; the pads just need a little bit of TLC in the form of washing. Start by washing your pads in a regular wash. Make sure to use the right amount of detergent as per the manufacturer's instructions. Follow with one hot water cycle (60 degrees or higher) without detergent. Dry normally. If the problem persists, repeat this process.
How do you clean and care for reusable bamboo breast pads?
It is recommended to wash reusable breast pads in a mesh bag using warm water (40°C/105°F). Do not use bleach or fabric softener and lay flat to dry.
Breast pads can be washed with similar colour laundry.
Do washable breast pads work?
Yes, washable breast pads are an eco-friendly and natural way to catch the letdown from breastfeeding. They work with physics, using natural absorbent materials, rather than their disposable alternatives which use chemistry to absorb the letdown.
Washable breast pads can also save you money as you wash and reuse them again and again.
Are reusable nursing pads safe?
Yes, reusable nursing pads (also called reusable breast pads, or washable breast pads) are safe to use. Choose a pad made from natural materials such as bamboo for a chemical-free absorptive layer to protect you from leaks.
Do breasts need pads?
Only those breastfeeding need to wear breast pads; breast pads are used to absorb the letdown from breastfeeding breasts.