The Best (and Worst!) Nursing Pads / Breast Pads

best breast pads

What Are Nursing Pads/ Breast Pads?

So nursing pads, also known as breast pads, are another one of the many products I never even knew existed before I became a mom. They are like sanitary napkins for your bra. Because – spoiler alert – it is very possible your breasts are going to leak during or immediately following pregnancy, and even throughout your breastfeeding experience.

Having worn breast pads for 16 straight months, I’ve tried a lot of types and brands in search of the best breast pads. Nursing pads come in a lot of varieties. Fundamentally, they are a product you can wear in your bra to absorb any leaked colostrum or milk. There are disposable and reusable pads, made of materials ranging from cotton to bamboo to fleece, and you can even make your own!

Do I Need Breast Pads?

Do you need nursing pads? Some women are lucky and won’t need them at all. I fell into the camp of needing them a lot! Although I like to be prepared, I didn’t want to buy nursing pads if I wasn’t going to need them. For a couple of days after my milk came in, I alternated between pieces of a maxi pad that I cut to fit my bra, and pieces of a receiving blanket that I cut to fit my bra.

Since I’m not a good DIYer, I eventually opted to buy both some reusable and disposable pads. I didn’t start off with many, but as I continued to have leaky boobs I wound up trying a lot of different breast pads.

Disposable or Reusable Pads?

I am going to argue in favor of reusable for both comfort and environmental reasons, but sometimes it is handy to have a few disposable pads on hand. In the early days I leaked so much that I would leak through my nighttime reusable pads, so I would switch them out with disposables until I had time to wash and dry them. If you go with reusable pads, be careful about keeping them clean. You’ll want to thoroughly wash and dry them frequently to avoid breast issues like thrush.

Here are the best and worst reusable and disposable nursing pads. You can click any image to view or buy on Amazon. These are affiliate links, but this is not a sponsored post. All opinions are 100% my own!

What are the Best (and Worst) Reusable / Washable Nursing Pads?

Bamboobies Washable Nursing Pads: Made of ultra soft natural bamboo fiber, these are very comfortable to wear. They won't show through your bra, either. Available in daytime and overnight (thicker) absorbencies. And the daytime pads are an adorable heart shape!
Eco Nursing Pads: Another bamboo option that is soft and comfortable. Very well priced compared to other options. The daytime pads are a nice flower shape. A small carry bag and mesh washing bag are also included.
Philips Avent Washable Nursing Pads: Extra soft cotton pads with a subtle lace detail on the bra-facing side (which helps them not slip around). Includes a drawstring bag for storage or washing. Very affordable pricing.
Momcabi Bamboo Nursing Pads: Organic bamboo pads, they are not contoured and have a somewhat slippery backing, so they do not easily stay in place in your bra.
Baybe Care Cotton Nursing Pads: These are soft but do not stay in place well because they are not contoured and tend to bunch up. They also do not have very high absorbency.

What are the Best (and Worst) Disposable Nursing Pads?

Lansinoh Disposable Nursing Pads: good absorbency, not bulky (won't show through your bra), very soft, and very good adhesive so they don't shift around or bunch up while you are wearing them.
Medela Disposable Nursing Pads: not too thick, soft, good absorbency, and two adhesive strips. They are also a unique shape so they fit well in your bra without showing through.
Ameda Disposable Nursing Pads: these pads are a good thickness, good absorbency, and good softness, but the plastic backing feels crinkly and the shape doesn't form to your breast quite as well as other brands.
Nuk Disposable Nursing Pads: only one adhesive strip means they do not stay in place well and can bunch up or slip around while you are wearing them. A bit thicker than other pads so they feel bulky and less comfortable.
Philips Avent Disposable Nursing Pads: Very soft and not too bulky. But with only one adhesive strip, they move around easily and can bunch up to show through your bra.

Can I Make My Own Nursing Pads?

Yes, you can! I’m really not great at most DIY projects, so I didn’t attempt this myself. Instead, my wonderful mom made me breast pads. There are a lot of great tutorials out there (just check pinterest!) and my mom followed this particular set of instructions. The key is to pick a pattern with shaping – it means a bit of extra sewing, but the pads will be perfectly contoured to fit comfortably.

So, which breast pads are your favorite? Leave a note in the comments below!

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