Both reusable and disposable nursing pads need to be changed regularly. Still, the question remains whether you should change them when you feel like you need to or whenever you feed your baby. The truth is there is no incontrovertible answer regarding this question.
There are a few factors you need to consider when it comes to the frequency with which you change your breast pads. In today’s article, we will tell you everything you need to know on this topic, plus our top two picks for the best breast pads on the market. Now, let’s get started!
Our Top 2 Picks for Breast Pads
We tried several brands and their products, and these are our absolute favorites. Let’s check them!
These are the number one selling disposable nursing pads in the US, and for a reason! The pack is super affordable and comes with 200 pieces. Each pad features one-way moisture technology for a comfortable and dry feeling.
The Lansinoh nursing pads are very discreet and have a contoured shape. The quilted honeycomb layer ensures there will be no leaks and the two adhesive strips keep the pad in place. The waterproof lining is also a great touch! Each nursing pad can absorb up to 20 times its weight, which provides you with confidence during day and night.
These nursing pads are suitable for moderate and low leakage. They are recommended by numerous mothers due to their optimized fit and absorbent polymer core that locks in moisture immediately. Each pad is very comfortable and thin, even though it has five layers of absorbency.
These Medela breast pads have hypoallergenic lining and a flexible leak-guard. Moreover, they have a waterproof back layer and are ideal for sensitive skin. The pack includes 120 pads that are very discrete and, most importantly, affordable (we all know that motherhood can be super expensive.)
Factors That Determine How Often You Have to Change Your Breast Pads
Now that you know our two favorite products, let’s take a look at the most important factors that determine how often you need to change your breast pads:
In general, the amount of liquid that breast pads can hold determines how often you have to change them. This is pretty logical; still, we have to mention it. Many people claim that disposable pads are better when it comes to absorbency. However, there are many mums that prefer washable pads and claim the opposite.
We personally prefer disposable pads. They are very convenient for they do not need washing and the best part is there are some very affordable products on the market. Disposable pads are usually made from cotton, bamboo, or polyester and are hypoallergenic. Before choosing your pads, though, you need to consider the level of absorbency they have, as that is the most important factor when it comes to the frequency of changing.
Milk let down is usually really high during the first couple of days after birth. Therefore, during that period, you will have to change your pads even more often (basically, as soon as you start feeling wet.) High-quality nursing pads, including the ones in our article, are meant to draw moisture away from your breasts. That way you remain as dry as possible. The moment you start feeling wet, the pads are full and can begin leaking any second.
In other words, what we are trying to say is that the amount of milk you are leaking will determine the frequency of changing. The moment your milk supply stabilizes, you won’t leak that much, and you may start changing your pads a couple of times a day.
Why Is Frequent Changing of the Breast Pads Important?
There are a few reasons (besides hygiene) why you should change your breast pads often:
It may sound gross, but when breast pads become damp, they create an environment that is favorable for yeast. Yeast, respectively, may cause a fungal infection that can be pretty dangerous. The best way to avoid this is to change your pads frequently and as soon as you feel they are wet.
If you prefer using reusable breast pads, you need to make sure you have laundered and dried them well. This will kill all the yeast and prevent thrush! Also, be careful with the washing powder you use, especially if your skin is sensitive.
- Nipple Irritation
All those of you who have experienced nipple irritation, or worse- nipple infection, know how hurtful it can be. Changing your breast pads the moment they get wet will prevent that. Wet breast pads can make your nipples sore and irritated when they rub against them.
Sore nipples, on the other hand, turn breastfeeding into a real nightmare. In addition, they are also susceptible to thrush or other infections. Changing your pads often will keep your nipples dry and safe!
So How Often Should you Change Nursing Pads?
Well, there is only one right answer to this question- as frequently as possible!
When breast pads get wet, they hide a huge risk of causing nipple irritation or even infection…and trust us, sore nipples are not something you want to experience! Change your pads the moment they get wet, and don’t forget to buy plenty of them!
FAQs on How Often to Change Breast Pads
Q1. How many nursing pads should I buy?
If you have heavily leaking, you will need to change your pads at least 5 times a day. Basically, the more you leak the more nursing pads you will need. That is why you should really think about whether you want disposable or reusable pads.
Q2. Should I wear nursing pads during the whole day?
Well, this also depends on how much you are leaking, but most mums prefer to do so. Another cost-effective option is putting folded handkerchiefs in your bra when being at home and using breast pads when in public.
If you are leaking heavily, you will have to wear pads during the whole day and also at night since milk let down increases during that period. Wearing breast pads ensures you won’t ruin your clothing and bedding.
We can’t really tell you how often to change your breast pads because this depends mainly on your own leaking and the absorbency levels of the products you use. However, we know for sure that you need to change them regularly and often changing is never a bad idea.
During the first two weeks after delivery, you may have to change the pads more than 6 times a day because your milk let down will be high. We decided to help you with your choice of breast pads, so we also included two suggestions for breast pads in our article that are of high-quality and will help you get through this hard period.