Monday, June 30, 2014

Reusable, Washable Nursing Pads Comparison

I made the decision before my boy was born to use reusable breast pads. I did buy one pack of disposable ones - by Lasinoh - but I still have some left cause I prefer the washable kind. However, I didn't know which ones to get or how many I would need. So in the last 3 months, I've ended up with 3 different brands and I thought that it could be helpful to others were I to compare them. They are Bamboobies, Breast Pads from BreastPads.com, and TL Care Organic Cotton Nursing Pads.

The two pads on the left are Bamboobies, the watermelon print is Breast Pads, and the bottom right is the Organic Cotton Nursing Pad.

 Bamboobies


Bamboobies are pretty popular and come in their own unique shape. Their regular pads are shaped like a heart and have a minky, almost furry/fuzzy texture on one side (cotton and bamboo velour) and a silky fabric on the other side.

These are the pads I started out with. I really liked them at first (I didn't have anything to compare them to yet, either). They're soft and thin, you can't really tell they're there. They cover a large area too.

However, they're a bit large and often get bunched up and make me look lumpy. Perhaps this is just a problem for me - I'm on the smaller side. Pre-pregnancy, I was always between a barely-B cup and a full B-cup. Breastfeeding, I'm now a D cup. But the bamboobies practically cover my entire breast - far more than just the nipple.

Also, I haven't really noticed that they are that absorbent. When I leak, it seems the milk just spreads out on the surface instead of being absorbed into the center layer. This just means that my breast is just sitting against moist fabric.

When the milk starts drying, it causes that furry, velour fabric to become adhered to my nipple. A little annoying and uncomfortable when it comes time to feed baby. I pull my top down and the breast pad is stuck to me and I have to peel it off...

Because it seems to stay damp for a while, it smells a bit. Nothing super bad - just smells damp and a little like milk.

They also have an "overnight" style, which is supposed to be more absorbent. It is the same thickness, just a circle instead of a heart and has a larger surface area. And the backside is blue, not pink.

They have held up really well to being washed and reused though! Still look like they're straight out of the package.

A combo pack of 3 regular and 1 overnight will set you back about $25 - pretty steep at $6.25 per pair. 



Breast Pads


Breast Pads is one of the brands owned by Mothers Lounge, which also runs Udder Covers, Seven Slings, and more. These lines often have coupon codes which allow you to get the product for free - you just pay for shipping and handling (which can be about $13).

Breast Pads comes in a variety of fun patterns - the only nursing pads I've seen to come in prints yet. Each style comes in a pack of 2 pairs (4 pads total) - and I was able to get 5 packs for free, just paying shipping and handling. (That's 10 pairs for $13, or $1.30 per pair).

Upon opening the package, they do not look as nice of quality as the Bamboobies or TL Care Organic pads. There were little loose threads stuck to the edges where the stitching was and the fabric wasn't as soft.  I just plucked all the loose threads off- not a big issue.

They're larger than the TL Care pads but smaller than Bamboobies' Overnight pads. They're thicker than Bamboobies though and more absorbent too. I haven't had any issues with them sticking to me or staying damp and smelling. There have been a few times though, when laying down, that instead of milk being absorbed into the fabric, it seems to run off of it instead and just trickles down my chest.

The print is only on one side, by the way. The backside is plain white.

Upon washing, they did get quite a bit softer. The colors seemed to fade a tad and there seems to be a touch of wear to them.

They do get bunched up a little - but not as much as the Bamboobies. They don't make me look as lumpy.



TL Care Organic Cotton Nursing Pads

I ordered these from Amazon - and a pack of 6 pairs set me back $6, which makes them the cheapest of the three, at only $1 per pair.

They are also the smallest in diameter, but the thickest. They're very soft and comfortable as well as absorbent. No problem with them sticking to me, staying damp, or not catching the leaked milk.

I can easily go bra-less with these! Haha! They cover the nipple sufficiently and "round" me out cause they're so thick and plush, it's like I'm practically wearing a padded bra. The edges aren't visible through my shirt, and I'm not lumpy either.

After some washings, they're a little bit worn - and some even came out of the dryer lopsided. They were really starting to look beat-up, which is why I ordered the Breast Pads. I figured if I'm going to be breastfeeding for the next couple years (or more if I have more kids, which I plan to!) then I will need a lot more pads and will need them to last.


Conclusion

I would recommend either the Breast Pads or TL Care. They are much more budget-friendly than the Bamboobies and just as nice quality, if not better.

Hopefully, this has helped someone make the decision about which nursing pads to get. Of course, you can go the disposable route... but why? I think these are more comfortable, they're cheaper, and they're better for the environment. (Seriously, I was shocked to see how much packaging there was with the Lasinoh disposable pads. Each pad is individually wrapped - not as a pair - and then on each pad are 2 pieces of paper covering the adhesive that sticks to your shirt. That's 4 things to throw away per breast - so 8 total - and you have to change them at least once a day. Seems excessive to me).
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