Leaky boobs mean a wet mess, so a good stash of disposable or reusable breast pads is essential for nursing new mums starting out on their breastfeeding journey. Add them to your hospital bag, pop a pack in the nursery and have some wherever you’re planning to feed – they mean no more sticky milk dribbles and less washing of your favourite nursing tops.
Modern breast pads are wonders of technology, made with super absorption and the aim of keeping mums dry and comfortable. Disposable nursing pads are simple to use, relatively cheap and convenient, while reusable styles keep costs down and have less of an environmental footprint.
With many products available in Australia, it’s hard to know where to start when looking for the right breast pad. So, to help you narrow down your search, we’ve listed some of the features you should look for when you’re researching the right product.
What to look for in breast pads
The right level of absorbency – Breast capture milk leaks or letdown and stop your bra and clothing from getting soaked. Some are ultra-absorbent, others not – it depends upon the materials the pads use. Some breast pads come in day or night options, with the night pads being more absorbent. With reusable breast pads, the night pads use thicker material.
Size and coverage for your breasts – Depending on the size of your breasts, the shape and circumference of the breast pad will play a role in catching leaks.
Gentle materials that don’t irritate the skin – Breast pads are made from several types of materials, each with its own benefits. Those with a stay-dry layer that goes against the skin are designed to wick moister away from the breast so you stay dry and comfortable, which is important for sensitive nipples.
- Bamboo: thermo-regulating, so they’re cool in summer, warm in winter and is naturally antibacterial.
- Brushed cotton: used in the lining for comfort.
- Cotton: for absorption and comfort.
Maximum comfort for daily wear – Keep your breastfeeding journey comfortable; if you have sensitive skin, take a look at the materials in the breast pads to ensure there’s nothing that will irritate your skin and nipples. Also the flexibility and shape of the pad, and how it contours to the breast.
OUR PICK OF THE CROP
21 breast pads available in Australia
With so many breast pads available in Australia, it’s hard to know where to start, so we asked the HUGE Mum’s Grapevine Facebook community which brands they love. In no particular order, here are the nursing pads they recommend.
Made from 100 per cent organic cotton, an upper layer of jersey cotton sits against the maternity bra. The thick cotton is ultra-absorbent to protect clothing, and the pads are available in different diameters depending on your bra cup size.
Packaged in a laundry bag for easy washing, these ultra-absorbent pads have a brushed cotton lining that’s gentle against the skin. The padding wicks moisture away from the skin and stores it in a leakproof liner.
“I’m using the Avent reusable pads. I got two boxes, so I have six pairs and I think and that’s enough for me. I change them every day and then they get washed when I have one pair left or if I’m on the last pair if its a nice day. They dry fast.” – Hannah
Breathable and thermo-regulating, New Beginnings Nursing Pads have a highly absorbent core and contoured shape for an even dispersion of leaks. We love that each pad features double adhesive tape and comes individually wrapped.
Equipped with a Blue Lock core, Lansinoh breast pads fit all breast sizes and hold up to twenty times their weight in liquid and moisture. The unique waterproof outer layer keeps your clothes dry and the non-slip tape keeps them where you want them.
Made from thermo-regulating bamboo, these eco-friendly flower-shaped pads are designed for comfort throughout your breastfeeding journey. Naturally hypoallergenic and gentle against the skin, the pack comes with two double-layers pads for night use.
“I use Hotmilk reusable pads, they work really well and can just be thrown in the wash with your clothes.” – Tess
Super soft, with a comfy bamboo upper, absorbent middle layer and a breathable, waterproof layer on the exterior, these breast pads will steer moisture away from clothing a skin and keep it locked away.
With a unique shape that doesn’t stick out of your bra, Tommee Tippee Made For Me breast pads feature five layers of absorbency to soak up any leaks in a jiffy. We love the stay-put patch that secures to bras and keeps everything in place.
Soft against sore nipples, Pea PodsBamboo Nursing Pads are made from ultra-absorbent bamboo with a waterproof outer layer that protects clothing. They come in a wash bag and can just be tossed in with a normal load of washing, using half-strength washing powder.
Discreet under clothing, with a contoured shape and adhesive strip to stop them disappearing into the wilderness! The outside is a one-way top sheet that traps moisture inside the pad.
Eco-friendly and made from super silky bamboo and organic cotton velour, Econaps Nursing Pads are designed for sensitive nipples. The breathable backing provides extra comfort against the skin, and they’re slim enough to be worn with tight clothing.
“I use Econaps Fabric ones they are good but they are more visible under shirts if you are wearing a thin bra. So when I’m at home in my crop the shape is visible. Under a maternity bra is fine though.” – Nancy-Lee
The special antibacterial fabric on these pads is prevents bacteria from breeding inside the cup and keep skin dry. Super absorbent micro-pearls hold onto liquid and stop it from seeping to the surface of the pad.
Three layers, including soft bamboo terry, combine for soft pads that are gentle against the skin. The bamboo gets softer with each wash but keeps wicking moisture away from the skin. The middle layer of microfibre is super absorbent and the outer layer is PUL fabric with a waterproof backing. These are also available in a minky fabric for night use.
“The Minky ones are good for the big let downs I wear them at night. I wear the usual bamboo ones in the day as the waterproofing protects your clothing.” – Melly
Designed to help nursing mums stay dry all day, Pigeon ComfyFeel Breast Pads are specially designed to absorb 20 times their weight in liquid. We love the slim, 3D shape that sits discreetly underneath clothing and stays put thanks to two sticky tabs.
“Pigeon brand. Never had a leak.” – Christina
The three layers of the Bamboo Basix Breast Pads combine for soft, absorbent and waterproof protection against leaks. We love that they’re eco-friendly and save money in the long run.
“I love Bamboo Basix Breast Pads. They can get so full and you don’t notice they are wet until you take them out at the next feed.” – Clarissa
With a gentle curve for staying put, Mamaway Instant Dry Disposable Breast Pads come individually wrapped for maximum safety and boast an ultra-thin design. We love the leak guard protection that keeps Mum dry around the clock.
Little Miss Ellie Rose
Super adorable and machine washable, these bamboo nursing pads use PUL waterproof fabric and incorporate four layers – printed cotton, PUL waterproof fabric, bamboo and flannelette.
“I can’t recommend them enough. I have about 12 pairs. Come out of the wash brand new every time if you’re interested in reusable.” – Amie
With a unique oval shape to fit breasts properly (and stay there), Medela Safe & Dry Disposable Breast Pads have an absorbent polymer core that locks in moisture. We love the ultra-soft hypoallergenic lining and flexible leak-guard that keeps dribbles contained.
Beautifully patterned and machine washable, the pads use a combination of double bamboo towelling and waterproof fabric for ultra absorbency and comfort.
The polymer core soaks up moisture and transforms it into a stable gel-like substance. These pads are a great choice for overnight wear.
Soft, breathable and moisture-proof, with double adhesive strips to keep them in place.
“The Rite Aid disposable ones have been great for the early days where you leak everywhere.” – Pia
Miss Mae Studio
Super soft, these breast pads just get softer with each wash. Made from double bamboo fleece for super absorbency, with a layer of waterproof fabric and cotton print on top.
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Know some more breast pads we should add to our list? Contact us and let us know.
Find more breastfeeding products in these roundups …
Read this: How to make your own soothing nipple balm
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