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Most mothers may not think about what type of nursing bra pad they need until they start leaking. It could be at the dinner table with friends or when the baby wakes and starts to cry. Suddenly the front of your shirt becomes a see-through blouse, as you try to use your arms to cover up. You could be at work running a little late for a pumping session and discover that the front of your blouse has two prominent wet spots, and you are frantically trying to see if you have anything that you can use to cover yourself. Often moms don’t realize they need a nursing bra pad or think about what kind they should use until a scenario like those above happen.
These pads can be called by different names; Nursing bra pad, bra pad, and breast pad are all the same thing. There are different kinds of nursing bra pads: disposable, reusable, and silicone with many options for each type. But which kind should you use?
Disposable nursing bra pads are convenient because you just use them and throw away. They are inexpensive and easy to find. Most of them have an adhesive backing to keep the pad in place inside the bra. They are also quite absorbent with a plastic backing to keep from leaking onto the bra. There are several brands of disposable bra pads including those from breastpump manufacturers like Medela and Ameda. One disadvantage to disposable bra pads is they sometimes make you feel clammy because they don’t breathe as well due to that plastic backing. They can also feel bulky, scratchy, and uncomfortable inside the bra, depending on your breast size. The bulkiness sometimes can be noticeable under clothes.
A popular disposable bra pad is the Lansinoh Stay Dry Disposable Nursing Pads which is a thinner pad. It is less noticeable under clothing but is very absorbent and more breathable.
Lansinoh also makes the Lansinoh Ultra-Soft Disposable Nursing Pads especially for moms with extra sore breasts and nipples.
Reusable nursing bra pads are more expensive to use at first, but they can save money over time, especially if you plan on breastfeeding long-term. Moms like them because they are breathable, softer, and more comfortable than disposables. With less waste they are more eco-friendly and many are made out of sustainable materials. They are more prone to leaks and can move around while wearing them but that depends on how much leakage you have and how it fits in your bra. There are many different kinds from simple round cloth pads to cup shaped ones with a lace backing to prevent slippage. Our most popular reusable pads for many mothers are the Bamboobies reusable pads and the Healthy Horizons Shapely Lace Bra Pads.
The Bamboobies pads are made out of organic sustainable materials such as cotton and bamboo. They are thin and soft so are less bulky inside the bra. The heart shaped pads help contour to the bra so they stay in place.
The Healthy Horizons Shapely Lace Bra Pads are made of cotton, felt, polyester and rayon (featured on the top photo and to the left). These contoured pads are very absorbent and comfortable and the lace outlining helps keep the pads in place. The pads are very popular with our moms because they are soft and bring a more natural shape to the breast. Only available at Healthy Horizons.
Less common are the silicon nursing bra pads that work by applying pressure to hold leaks. This type is usually better for women who leak less with established milk supplies. They are good for swimming and for wearing clothing that needs a very discreet pad. They are expensive relative to other pads and most women may find they are best for occasional use, but they may be handy in situations where a traditional nursing pad would not work.
For many women, a combination of both disposables and reusable pads works best. You can use reusable pads daily, especially if you are pumping at work. Then have a couple of individually wrapped disposable pads in your pumping bag on hand for emergencies. Having a few disposables on hand is also handy in case you haven’t washed your reusable pads. If you are a heavy leaker at night, disposables at night may also be a better option while you wear reusable pads during the day. If you are swimming or have an outfit that needs a very discreet pad, a silicon pad may work best in that situation. Try out different kinds of pads to find what combination works best for you!
Visit Healthy Horizons for our selection of the most popular nursing bra pads; we have the Lansinoh Stay Dry Disposable Nursing Pads and the Lansinoh Ultra-Soft Disposable Nursing Pads, the Bamboobies line of reusable pads, and our popular reusable Healthy Horizons Shapely Lace Bra Pads.