Whether you are pregnant or just started breastfeeding, you probably know that your breasts need extra care during this time. A Nursing Pad is often talked about when maternity and changes in the breasts are discussed. Here’s all you need to know about nursing pads.
What is a nursing pad?
A nursing pad is a small pad made from fabric and some other materials that are safe for the skin. This pad is placed over the breasts under a bra. They act as a protective layer over the nipples and absorb any leakages from the breasts.
How does a nursing pad help?
Using a nursing pad can help you feel more comfortable. Here’s how.
They absorb milk/fluid leaks and keep you dry.
They act as a layer between the maternity nursing bra and the sore nipples making you feel more comfortable.
The breast pads can give some additional support to breasts especially when the breast skin becomes loose during nursing.
When should you use a nursing pad?
Your breasts start undergoing physical changes right from the time you are pregnant. The noticeable changes start occurring around the second trimester and these changes continue when you start breastfeeding.
Some women might experience fluid leaking from the nipples during the final days of their pregnancy. When this happens, they can choose to use nursing pads to feel more comfortable.
Once you start nursing, there can be instances where the milk supply is more than the demand. When the breasts have excess milk which the baby is not feeding on, the milk leaks through the breasts. Milk can also leak out due to factors such as emotional triggers, stress, etc. When milk leaks, it can stain your bra and the outfit you are wearing. Also, leaving the skin on the breasts damp can lead to infections and rashes. And of course, it’s quite uncomfortable. Nursing pads can be the savior here.
The other thing to note during pregnancy and breastfeeding is nipple sensitivity. It can be extremely uncomfortable to have sensitive nipples rub against the fabric of the bra. When your newborn starts nursing, the nipples can sometimes get sore from the suckling. A nursing pad made from soft material can act as a barrier between the bra and the tender skin of the breasts.
To summarise, here are a few instances where you can or should use nursing pads.
During the final days of pregnancy if you are experiencing fluid leakage.
After giving birth when the supply hasn’t regulated.
When you are actively nursing but are expecting to miss the feeding schedule for reasons such as returning back to work.
If you are going to be away from your baby for more than 3 hours.
If you have an oversupply of milk.
If your nipples feel sore.
During the night when your baby stops feeding through the night.
During sexual activities.
When you are using a nipple cream for sore nipples and don’t want it to rub off on the bra.
What are the different types of nursing pads?
With increased awareness about hygiene and well-being during maternity, there are different types of nursing pads available. Below are two types of nursing pads.
Disposable Nursing Pads
Disposable nursing pads have a plastic lining to prevent milk leakages from staining the bra or your outfit. These are made for single use only. While they do the job of keeping you dry, they are not practical for regular use. It is expensive to use them regularly and also bad for the environment.
Reusable Nursing Pads
These pads are made from fabric and can be washed and reused multiple times. They are more economical in the long run and are also relatively more comfortable. Lovemère Bamboo Reusable Nursing Pads are made from fabric derived from organic bamboo. They are super soft against the skin and are very absorbent, too. They are also breathable and gentle on sore nipples.
How to use the nursing pads the right way?
Using nursing pads the right way is also equally important to get the most benefit out of them.
Place the nursing pad inside the bra. Make sure that the pad covers the nipple area completely. If the pad is displaced after wearing the outfit, re-align it.
You should change the nursing pads when they are damp. Also, even if there have been no leaks, change the nursing pads regularly because they will absorb sweat, too, and will need to be washed for hygiene reasons.
If you are using a disposable nursing pad, throw them into the garbage bin after a single use. If you are using reusable nursing pads, wash them in a mild detergent. Dry them completely before storing them or using them again.
Between changing nursing pads, also clean your breasts. Dry your breasts completely before using a new nursing pad.
Nursing pads are little things but they can be a convenient accessory. Using them the right way can help you take care of your breasts. And your breasts do need some extra care when they are working to produce breastmilk for your baby.
When you are pregnant or breastfeeding, every little thing that can bring a bit more comfort can help you cope better with the challenges.
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