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Do I Really Need Nursing Pads?



As an expectant mother, you have already been making many decisions on how you want to raise your baby. One of those decisions is whether or not to breastfeed. If you have decided that breastfeeding is for you, you will need to purchase nursing pads. For the first few days after your baby is born, you may be able to get by without them, but as your milk comes in you will need nursing pads.

What are nursing pads?

Nursing pads absorb milk that may leak between feedings that you wear inside your bra to keep it dry and keep milk away from your clothing. They come in different styles, shapes and sizes and can be disposable or reusable. No matter which style you choose to use, make sure they are contoured to fit snugly against your body. You may find nursing pads in the form of flat circles, but they will bunch when placed in your bra. Also, choose nursing pads that are soft and absorbent that allow your breasts to breathe – avoid those with waterproof or plastic liners that can trap moisture against your skin.

Why do I need nursing pads?

When you choose to breastfeed, you need to be prepared for your breasts to leak milk in between feedings or anytime you have gone a few hours between a feeding. It is also common for your milk to leak if you hear a baby crying or it is close to the time your baby would normally feed. Also, while your baby is nursing on one breast, the other will leak – this is because your let-down reflex happens in both breasts at the same time. It takes a little while for your milk to become regulated so expect to wear nursing pads for at least a few months.

As mentioned above, you don’t want to trap moisture against your skin. It is important to keep your nipples as dry as possible to avoid irritation or yeast infections. That means that even when you are using breast pads, they need to be changed frequently when they are wet.

Stay tuned as we continue to celebrate World Breastfeeding Week. Next, we will be talking about disposable nursing pads vs. reusable nursing pads.


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