One of the concerns many people have ,when they give birth, is the amount of waste they may produce during the process of bringing up baby. For many people, there will be disposable nappies and maternity pads, plus breast pads. Giving birth doesn’t have to mean you create a lot of waste, however. The best reusable breast pads, for example, can be used, washed and re-used time after time, saving you money as well as being kinder to the environment. In this guide we explain the benefits of reusable breast pads and what the best products out there have to offer, so read on to discover more – from a busy mum of seven!
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Why buy reusable breast pads?
Investing in reusable breast pads can save you time as well as money, and you get to help the environment at the same time. What’s not to love?
A time saver
Having your own supply means you’re just a quick wash away from a clean pair of pads when you need them, so if you buy enough at the beginning you may never have to worry about tracking some down at the shops – or ordering them online – again.
A money saver
The average price of the packs of nursing pads listed in this guide is under £13 (at the time of writing), and each pack contains an average of over six pairs of pads. If these last you for an average of nine months’ breastfeeding, a pack of pads would costs less than £1.50 per month.
The comfort factor
This may perhaps be a less obvious factor, but think about your own comfort. If you have used disposable breast pads in the past, you’ll know that many are just like smaller menstrual pads. They tend to be thicker than reusable pads, and made from fabric that just isn’t as soft. They may also have glue on the back to keep them in place, which can come unstuck during the course of the day, adhering to your skin instead. Reusable pads tend to made from softer, supple fabrics that are more absorbent, so the pads do not need to be as thick as their disposable equivalents.
Maybe this is the most obvious factor – and why many people think of reusable breast pads in the first place. Even using just one pair per day for nine months means you will throw away a whopping 548 pads – and you’ve had to pay for those too. By contrast, having a pack or two of reusable pads means you could throw away only around 10 pairs of pads. You shouldn’t need that many – after all, doesn’t anyone with a baby load the washing machine up regularly anyway?
What to look for when choosing reusable breast pads
Like any product, reusable breast pads vary, and some will offer different advantages to others. Here are a few key factors worth considering when making up your mind.
Shape is a key consideration when it comes to the comfort and practicality of nursing pads. Think about what sort of clothing you tend to wear, and imagine the shape of that pad beneath. Will it feel comfortable? Will it be virtually invisible, or is the outline likely to show?
We all know size matters. If you’ve been generously endowed in the breast department then you may need a slightly larger pad than someone with a smaller bust. How much fluid you will leak is also key, and larger pads may be helpful here.
Plain white, right? Yes, if you like, but it’s far from obligatory. Reusable nursing pads come in all sorts of shapes, sizes and colours, from pretty pastel flower-shaped pads to lacy black pads and those with a funky printed design.
It may surprise you to learn that most washable nursing pads are made from bamboo rather than cotton. Bamboo is a softer, more sustainable and naturally hypoallergenic fabric, and is also cheap to produce, making it an option that’s as gentle on your pocket as it is on your skin and the environment.
If brands matter to you, then there is a selection of breast pad products made by some of the biggest brands in the baby business.
Some packs of pads come with handy extras such as storage or laundry bags. These can prove invaluable to busy mums with new babies, so do check what comes with your pack of nursing pads.
The pick of the pads
We’ve sifted through the range of products available, so you don’t have to. Here are some of the very best reusable breast pads on the market…
The best basic pads
If a good supply of basic white reusable breast pads is just what you want, then a set of 14 white nursing pads ticks all the boxes. This set of seven pairs comes complete with storage and laundry bags, and the pads are made from super soft, absorbent bamboo fabric with a leakproof backing.
See the best basic white nursing pads set HERE
The gift boxed set of pads
A set of reusable breast pads makes a great gift, and even if the new mum has her own supply, this pretty boxed set is sure to please. 10 pads (five pairs) come in a lovely box, which can later be repurposed as a place to store special mementos and keepsakes from the baby’s first months. The pads have a lovely lacy effect finish, ideal for mums who want to look and feel a little more glamorous.
View a set of gift boxed nursing pads HERE
The big brand pads
When it comes to big brands, Lansinoh have you covered. Their pack of four nursing pads are teardrop-shaped for comfort, and each contains a special core that is ultra absorbent. The pack includes a useful wash bag. As there are two pairs per pack you may need more than one pack, but the price tag is attractive enough for this not to be an issue.
Find out more about Lansinoh reusable nursing pads HERE
The pads with size options
A pretty pastel set of these ‘BabyBliss’ reusable breast pads also makes a great gift, as they come complete with an organza bag – as well as a laundry bag. These pads come in a choice of three sizes, and there are 14 pads (seven pairs) in each pack. They look a little more interesting than plain white pads, yet the light colours mean they should be undetectable under all but the lightest white clothing. A pair of white pads is included anyway.
See the size options for these BabyBliss pads HERE
The selection pack of pads
These eco breast pads are ultra kind to skin and the environment, and there’s a nice selection of items in each pack. From flower shaped pads for light to medium flow to thicker, round pads for medium to heavy flow, each pad has a leakproof backing. An interesting mix of daisy-shaped and round pads is in each pack, in a range of colours including pastel yellow, pink and black.
View a selection pack of reusable nursing pads HERE
The all-rounder set of pads
You want a choice of colours, a laundry bag, storage bag and decent supply of pads – all in one pack? Then this set of 12 round pads gives you six pairs in a spectrum of colours, from white and pastels to charcoal. They’re made from soft bamboo fabric, and the two attractive storage bags included means you have one to keep at home and one to carry spare pads when out and about.
Discover a set of one dozen nursing pads HERE
The mega pack of pads
Never buy another pad again with this 20 washable breast pad set. Giving you 10 pairs of pads, this pack includes storage and laundry bags. The pads also come as a variety pack including seven colours. A middle microfibre layer helps to absorb leaks, while the shaping is designed to offer ultimate comfort.
Find out about this pack of 20 nursing pads HERE
The super stylish nursing pads
If you want the ‘Wow’ factor, then this pack of pads will not disappoint. Like the Lansinoh pads, these ones are teardrop shaped, and the fabrics are really pretty. A spotty laundry bag comes with them, as does a stylish storage bag that resembles an upmarket make-up bag. There’s a choice of colours and patterns, and each pack contains 14 pads (seven pairs). This special set would make a fabulous baby shower gift.
See the super stylish washable nursing pads set HERE
The best reusable nursing pads for you
From plain white round nursing pads to pretty patterned, teardrop-shaped pads, there’s perhaps a surprising amount of choice. Whether you want to keep them for yourself or intend to give them as a gift, what’s important is picking the best washable nursing pads to suit your needs. Good luck with making your selection!