Best Nursing Pads of 2020
Best Nursing Pads
March 15, 2021

Best Nursing Pads

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Experiencing milk leakage while breastfeeding? Nursing pads are your friend. Best Nursing Pads

As natural and healthy as nursing is, it can also be a little messy. Whether you’re breastfeeding, pumping or a combo of both, you’re bound to experience some milk leakage whenever you’re not actively nursing.

Why does milk leakage happen? You can leak breast milk when you hear a baby crying (even one that isn’t your own!) or when your breasts are overfull because you haven’t nursed or pumped in a while. It’s also common to leak from one breast while you’re feeding your baby on the other (pro tip: you can collect milk on the side you’re not nursing on by using a hands-free suction pump like the one we feature at the end of this article). It can happen at night, at work, in the grocery store…and having wet spots on your shirt is not flattering, but fear not—nursing pads have got you covered (literally).

Nursing pads slip right into whatever bra you’re wearing, whether it’s a nursing bra with a strap clip, a sports bra, a hands-free pumping bra or even a regular bra. The pads are made from absorbent fabric, usually either cotton or bamboo, to soak up any excess liquid from your breasts, and they’re soft on sensitive skin, which is really important when you have raw, aching nipples.

There are two different types of nursing pads available: disposable and reusable. Disposables are convenient, and they often have a thin plastic backing to further insure against milk soaking through to your clothes. Reusables, however, are softer, better for the environment and provide a cost savings over time. If you choose reusables, though, we recommend keeping a box of disposables around, too. They’re great backups to have in your bag or for when you haven’t had a chance to do laundry.

Since nursing pads vary in shape and absorbency, try experimenting with a couple of different types and brands to find the ones that fit you best. Here are our top picks to help get you started.

Best Disposable Nursing Pads

If you’re going to try only one disposable, you should buy a box of these Lansinoh pads. They are incredibly soft for a disposable, and they do a great job of wicking away moisture to keep you dry—even when the pad has soaked up a lot of milk—because no one wants to hang out with damp nursing pads in their bra. The super absorbent core can hold up to 20 times its own weight, meaning fewer pad changes throughout the day, too.

Best Nursing Pads for Large Breasts

The disposable pads from Medela are shaped differently from other nursing pads. While most are flat circles, these are slightly cupped with a more oblong shape, making them a great fit for larger breasts. They’re ultra absorbent, which is good news if you tend to have heavier leaking, and the sticky strips on the back adhere the pads to your bra to help them stay in place all day. Keep in mind: Though the packaging says these pads are discreet under clothing, they’ll show through an unpadded bra.

Best Thin Disposable Nursing Pad

Wearing bulkier pads is fine with sweaters, padded bras or for overnight, but slender and discreet nursing pads are better if you’re wearing a thinner bra or shirt. These ones by Nuk are invisible under your clothes and perfect for when you only need them to catch a few drops. The only downside? They’re not a good option if your breast milk leakage is on the heavier side.

Best Reusable Nursing Pads

Sore and tender nipples rejoice: bamboobies feel like velvet against your skin and get softer with every wash. Even though the pads have a slim profile, they can handle a lot of leakage. After using them, just toss the pads into the washing machine on a warm setting (you can also dry them in the dryer). This set includes one pair of ultra-thin regular pads and one pair of super-absorbent overnight pads.

Best Organic Nursing Pads

Looking for nursing pads that are soft, absorbent and organic? Nursing parents love Kindred Bravely for nursing bras, maternity clothes and these 100% organic bamboo nursing pads. Bamboo is more absorbent than cotton, and these pads are hypoallergenic, too!

Best Contoured Reusable Nursing Pads

Unlike most reusable nursing pads, BabyBliss ones have a contoured shape that cups the breast and avoids bunching up. They’re also made from hypoallergenic bamboo cotton and come in three sizes: Medium to fit A cups, Large to fit B to D cups and X-Large to fit E cups and up. This set comes with 14 pads and a mesh laundry bag to contain the pads in the washing machine and dryer.

Best Breast Milk Collection Cup

Minor breast milk leaks can be solved with the absorbency of nursing pads, but if you’re prone to heavier leaks, losing all that liquid gold into pads can be frustrating. Instead of nursing pads, try a suction breast pump like this one from Elvie. Using the power of only suction via silicone, it attaches to your breast to catch all of your leaked breast milk, and it operates totally hands-free! This is also a perfect option if you tend to leak out of the non-nursing breast while breastfeeding. Just place it inside your bra, press the center to suction it to your skin and let it do it’s thing while you go about your day. It can collect up to one oz. of milk from a single breast over three hours, which can really add up to help you build a freezer stash.

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