Why do I need to buy breast pads?
Your breasts can start producing milk as early as the second trimester of pregnancy, and continue as long as two years after breastfeeding stops.
And that means that during this wonderful, and at times maddening roller coaster we call motherhood, our breasts can produce milk when we least expect it. When in a warm shower, or from one breast while your little one is feeding from the other, milk may come.
For most of us though, the impromptu leaking will normally stop in the first six to ten weeks after giving birth.
In the meantime, we have to try and tame our sprinkler imitating mammories and breast pads can be the solution. Just like nappies, you can choose from disposable or washable, and a range of prices and materials.
So we’ve picked some of our favourites to keep your clothes dry…
1 CupCake reusable nursing pads, £9.90 for two pairs – £2.47 each
Made from organic cotton and hemp, and fully washable and reusable, these soft breastpads are slim and discreet and have a waterproof mid layer.
These breastpads are award-winning, although, as they are cloth, they take a little time to dry and may not dry as flat as when they first came out of the box.
Available from: Cake Maternity
2 Johnson’s Baby disposable nursing pads, £3.98 for 30 – 13p each
The contoured shape and non-slip adhesive strip means these disposable breast pads shouldn’t pop out of your bra unexpectedly.
Our MFM reviewer gives them top marks for “comfort and effectiveness”, and was impressed the nipple indentation – perfect for sore nipples.
Available from: Mothercare, or Amazon
3 Lansinoh Ultra Thin disposable nursing pads, £4.55 for 60 – 7p each
From the company behind the leading brand of nipple cream, these disposable nursing pads have two adhesive strips to hold them in place in your bra, and are made with an absorbent polymer that traps milk and keeps it away from your skin.
They are individually wrapped, so you can pop a pair in your handbag or changing bag for taking out and about, and they’ve been given the thumbs up by our MFM mums on our forum.
Available from: Boots or John Lewis.
4 LittleLamb reusable bamboo breast pads, £12 for 10 – £1.20 each
Presented in their own mesh washing bag, these woven breast pads from family-run company LittleLamb are made from two layers of Oeko-tex certified bamboo, with one layer having an internally bonded waterproof backing.
They reach maximum absorbency after 12 washes, and come in two different sizes – 11cm diameter or 13cm diameter – as well as in either black or natural colours. Our MFM was impressed by the fact she’d been using hers for a year and they were “still going strong”.
Available from: LittleLamb
5 Close Pop-in reusable breast pads, £9.50 for 6 – £1.58 each
From the makers of the Caboo baby carrier, these reusable breastpads have a unique teardrop shape that fits the natural contours of your breasts, aiming to make them less visible.
They are made up of three layers: a fast-wicking polyester that claims to take away any wetness from the skin, the absorbent core is made of soya bean fabric, then there is a full layer of waterproof laminate.
Available from: Close or Jojo Maman Bebe.
6 Avent disposable night breast pads, £4.50 for 20 – 22p each
With a wider shape and thicker core, plus double adhesive strips to keep the pad in place at night, these pads will go a long way to keeping your mattress dry when you sleep.
The dedicated night time box also includes a couple of Avent’s day time nursing pads for you to try, which are available in boxes of 30, also priced at £4.50.
Available from: Ocado, Tesco, Asda
7 Ardo Day & Night Pads, £6.95 for 60 – 11p each
Breast pump manufacturer Ardo has created a soft and comfortable disposable pad that is virtually invisible to wear, thanks to its 3D design.
The slightly extended shape offers a good absorbency level and they are packaged individually for taking out and about.
Available from: Ardo
8 Boob silk washable breast pads, £15 for six – £2.50 each
Endorsed by the NCT, these breast pads are made from 100 per cent natural silk, so they should rest on sore and cracked nipples without irritating them.
Boob breast pads’ waterproof layers are absorbent and they can be easily washed and dried ready to re-use, despite being made of silk.
Available from: NCT Shop, Amazon
9 Boots Ultra Slim breast pads, £2.79 for 36 – 7p each
These large, slim breast pads are individually wrapped, reasonably priced, and the absorbency is good, with mums writing on MFM’s chat forum highlighting the fact that they soak up loads of milk.
Probably one of the largest breast pads available, these are useful for night-time as well, and the adhesive strip helps to keep the pads in place.
Available from: Boots
10 Naty by Nature Babycare nursing pads, £3.09 for 30 – 10p each
Made from 100 per cent natural and renewable materials, and completely chorine-free, the Naty by Nature Babycare breast pads aim to be the eco-conscious alternative.
Although they are disposable, these thick pads are packaged in one recyclable cardboard box, so green mums don’t need to worry about excess packaging.
Available from: Amazon