Leaky boobs mean a wet mess, so a good stash of disposable or reusable breast pads is essential for new mums. 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 breast pads keep costs down, and have less of an environmental footprint.
With many products available in Australia, it can hard to know where to start when looking for the right breast pads. So to help you narrow down your search, we’ve listed some of the features you should look for when you’re on the hunt.
What to look for in breast pads
The right level of absorbency – The aim of breast pads is to catch milk leaks or letdown and stop your bra and clothing from getting soaked. Depending on what material the pads are made out of, some are more absorbent than others. Some breast pads come in day or night, with the night pads being more absorbent. With reusable breast pads, the night pads are usually made of a 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 – 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.
- 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 – 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.
19 disposable and reusable breast pads
To help you scout out the very best breast pads for your milk makers, we asked our Pregnancy and Baby Group members which ones they love, and why.
Here is a list of 19 top breast pads recommended by real mums:
1. Nature’s Child
Made from 100 per cent organic cotton, an upper layer of jersey cotton sits against the maternity bra. The thick cotton protects clothing, and the pads are available in different diameters depending on your bra cup size.
Packaged in a laundry bag for easy washing, these have a brushed cotton lining that’s gentle against the skin. The absorbent 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
Made from thermo-regulating bamboo, these flower-shaped pads are designed for comfort. 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 outer, these breast pads will steer moisture away from clothing a skin and keep it locked away.
5. Tommee Tippee
Thin, ultra-absorbent with a silky soft lining, these include a non-slip adhesive pad and are contoured to fit the breast shape.
6. Pea Pods
Soft against sore nipples and made from ultra-absorbent bamboo, the waterproof outer layer protects clothing. They also 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.
($29.95, 6 pairs): Made from super silky bamboo and organic cotton velour, these are designed for sensitive nipples. The breathable backing means they’re gentle on 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 designed to prevent 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.
10. Milkmaid Mumma
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.
Designed to help mums stay dry all day, with a leak-proof cover and two adhesive strips to keep them in place. The honeycomb lining spreads the milk evenly and traps it to prevent leaks.
“Pigeon brand. Never had a leak.” – Christina
12. Bamboo Basix
The three layers of the Bamboo Basix Breast Pads combine for soft, absorbent and waterproof protection against leaks.
“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
A gentle curve shape helps these pads go where they’re meant to, and the absorption zones have draining grooves and leakage barriers draw moisture away from the nipple instantly.
14. Little Miss Ellie Rose
Super adorable, these bamboo nursing pads are made with 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
Flexible and comfortable, the two adhesive tapes keep the pads in place. These are designed to be used day or night, without leaking.
Beautifully patterned, 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. The pads are designed so they can be worn longer and at night.
18. Rite Aid
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
19. 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.
This article is curated by our Editors and includes affiliates and/or paid inclusions. See our Disclosure Policy.
Know some more breast pads we should add to our list? Contact us and let us know.
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