After that blissful moment when your little bundle of joy comes into the world, and you are ready to build that beautiful bond by breastfeeding your little one, there are a few glitches that the new mom faces, and one of most common problems is leaking breasts. Be it a minor dismay or a major concern, this unexpected seepage of milk can often cause big embarrassment out in the public. Well, much to your joy, the latest inventions and techniques have sparked several brands to come out with creative solutions that put the modern mommy at ease. What are we talking about? Nursing pads, of course!
What Are Nursing Pads, You Ask?
Nursing pads, commonly termed as Breast Pads are useful breast-feeding accessories that are made of absorbent, removable liners (mainly of cotton or other composite material) that is usually placed in between the bra and your nipple to protect your clothing from getting stained owing to milk leakage. Although they may not be as adorbs as teeny onesies, or engaging as the new toy you bought for your little wonder or packed with uber-cool features like the brand-new stroller, these breast feeding accessories are of utmost importance if you don’t want to get caught damp-shirted in a crowd full of people.
Cause Of Breast Leakage
Milk leakage generally occurs during the initial months of breast feeding, when the hormonal changes within the body of a new mom produces more milk than the baby needs. Though with time, when the baby’s feeding times get regularized, the leakage of milk slowly goes down. But sometimes, this can even occur due to physical or emotional stress. Well, before getting on to select the perfect pair of nursing pad for yourself, lets know when one might need to wear a nursing pad.
- Final stage of pregnancy or initial period after delivery
- Going to be away from your baby for a few hours
- Production of breast milk more than the baby feeds on
- Return back to place of work after maternity leave
- Sore or cracked nipples due to over sucking or biting by the baby
Types Of Breast Pads
With the variety of options available in the market, these breast pads come in different shapes, sizes and materials. These include:
Disposable Nursing Pad
Just like the name suggests, these breast pads are meant for single time use and are usually fabricated using a plastic lining that prevents leakage of milk. Since they cannot be worn for a long time, they are quite expensive for long time usage. Although they are convenient, easy to use and contain an adhesive for proper placement, they are not eco-friendly and owing to the use of plastic, they can often increase moisture retention.
Reusable Nursing Pad
Unlike the disposable ones, these breast pads can be used multiple times and are machine washable. These are chiefly thicker than the disposable variety and are made of such fabric that doesn’t wear out easily and are quite breathable, and eco-friendly. Although they are quite cost-effective, one needs to keep a few extra pairs at hand to rotate between cleanings.
Silicone Nursing Pad
Be it an evening party gown or a swimming class, these silicone nursing pads are the ultimate choice for new moms. They are quite thin in nature and have an adhesive on one side that sticks tightly on the breast. Though they do not absorb leaked milk, they usually work by pressing the nipples tightly so that the milk doesn’t come out.
Hydrogel Nursing Pad
Fabricated with hydrogels within them, these breast pads are extremely beneficial for breast-feeding moms who have sore, bruised nipples. Just like a cold compression bag, these breast pads are kept inside the freezer and then placed over nipples before wearing a bra to provide relief from pain, inflammation and dryness.
How To Choose The Perfect Nursing Pad
Now, when you know the different varieties of breast pads that are available, you might want to choose a perfect pair that not only suits your body but also comes within your budget. Try opting for nursing pads that are soft, breathable, highly absorbent and made of 100% cotton. Avoid using plastic lining ones unless absolutely necessary since they trap moisture against the skin.
Whatever variety you select, do ensure that you change the nursing pads at regular intervals whenever they get wet as constant exposure to wetness may cause skin irritation and lead to sore nipples, growth of yeast and bacteria ultimately leading to mastitis and thrush.
Benefits Of Wearing A Nursing Pad
Last but not least let's chalk up some of the uses and benefits of these new-age breastfeeding accessories.
Soaks Milk Leakage
By preventing milk seepage, it protects the outerwear and avoids embarrassment due to wet spots.
Continuous breast-feeding and lactation can make the breast lose shape and tenderness which might not even look perfect with a supporting bra. Breast pads on the other hand provide additional support and improve appearance by holding the breasts in place.
Breastfeeding can often make your nipples sore, tender and bruised. Breast pads especially, the ones containing hydrogel reduces the friction between the bra and the nipple and effectively reduce pain and irritation and also fasten the healing process.