Breastfeeding comes with plenty of joys but equally as many challenges, one of the most common being leaky boobs. Leakage can happen for a variety of reasons—your milk just came in, you have an oversupply or you’ve been away from your baby—or no reason at all, leaving you uncomfortable and embarrassed (and with stained clothes to boot). Luckily, there’s an easy fix, and it comes in the form of nursing pads.
Yep, that’s right: After having a baby, you’ll most likely be wearing pads in your underwear and your bra (lucky you!). Nursing pads, also known as breast pads, are small inserts that go inside your bra (either regular or nursing) or tank top to soak up any escaping breast milk. They come in different shapes, sizes and types—and just like everything else in the world of baby products, the number of options can be overwhelming.
There are three primary types of nursing pads: disposable, reusable and silicone, and each come with their own set of pros and cons. Disposables are convenient but can be costly; reusables are more economical and eco-friendly but need to be washed; and silicone pads are pricey but can prevent leaks from happening in the first place. Deciding which route is best for you depends on personal preference. Once you do, here are 10 of the best nursing pads across the board.
Disposable Nursing Pads
If the prospect of doing yet another load of laundry fills you with dread, disposable nursing pads might be the way to go. Slip them in and toss them when you’re done—it doesn’t get easier than that.
Lansinoh Stay Dry Disposable Nursing Pads
In the world of nursing pads, Lansinoh reigns supreme (at least, according to the near five-star reviews from hundreds of mamas). Lansinoh nursing pads manage to be insanely absorbent while still being relatively thin, and two adhesive strips ensure they stay exactly where you want them (day or night). The pads are also some of the softest in the disposable game, which will have your sore nipples breathing a heavenly sigh of relief.
Buy it: $28 for 240 count, Amazon.com
Medela Nursing Pads
A nursing pad’s primary job is to absorb, and few do it better than Medela. The cotton and nylon makeup of these disposable nursing pads manages to keep even the heaviest leaker dry (day or night) without being bulky or unseemly under clothes. Plus, the contoured shape works for both small and large-chested women—and the brand is one of the most affordable on the market.
Buy it: $7 for 60 count, Amazon.com
NUK Ultra Thin Disposable Nursing Pads
Nuk’s claim to fame in the breast pad game is providing one of the thinnest, most discreet disposable nursing pads for breastfeeding moms. Granted, they won’t be a match for heavy leakers—but for those looking for some backup against unwanted let-down, these can’t be beat.
Buy it: $15 for 66 count, Amazon.com
Johnson’s Disposable Nursing Pads
It makes sense that the people responsible for keeping baby’s skin soft would also have a nursing pad that soothes mom’s skin too. Johnson’s nursing pads have a slightly domed shape to protect against nipple irritation, a lining that feels like a pillow for your breasts, and a breathable backing that protects against leaks. All in all, a solid disposable option.
Buy it: $9 for 60 count, Amazon.com
Reusable Nursing Pads
Pads you can clean and re-use can save you a bundle in the end; just make sure to stock up on several pairs, so you’re not left in the lurch when your pads are all soaked through.
Bamboobies Washable Nursing Pads
Itchy and uncomfortable these are not: Bamboobies nursing pads manage to feel like cashmere against your sore, sensitive skin—and just keep getting softer after every wash. Which brings us to our next major benefit: These washable nursing pads are not only eco- and wallet-friendly, but also low maintenance. Just toss in the washing machine and dryer, and they’re ready to go again and again.
Buy it: $35 for 6 pairs, Amazon.com
BabyBliss Washable Bamboo Nursing Pads
Bras aren’t one size fits all, but nursing pads typically are—which can make finding the right fit and coverage a struggle. BabyBliss takes care of that by offering three different sizes of reusable nursing pads: Medium (A cup), Large (B to D cup) and Extra Large (E cup and higher). BabyBliss pads also have a contoured shape (a rarity among washable nursing pads), making the fit that much better. Need further convincing? Nearly 3,000 women rave about them in reviews—and mama does know best.
Buy it: $14 for 14 count, Amazon.com
Milkies Milk-Saver On-the-Go
Instead of using nursing pads to absorb leaking breast milk and then toss it (either in the trash or the wash), what if you could collect that liquid gold with breast pads that save milk? That’s the idea behind the Milkies Milk-Saver On-the-Go pads, which discreetly slide into your bra or tank top and collect up to an ounce of breast milk at a time. The spout design makes it easy to then transfer into a breast milk bag or bottle, so that no ounce of precious liquid is wasted.
Buy it: $15, Amazon.com
These washable nursing pads have you covered (literally), no matter your level of leakage. The velvet flower-shaped pads are perfect for lighter leaks, while the round organic bamboo pads tackle heavy let-down with ease—but both feature a leak-proof backing and can be washed and dried in the convenient mesh bag. (No more hunting through the wash pile for rogue nursing pads.)
Buy it: $14 for 10 count, Amazon.com
Mother-Ease Reusable Cloth Nursing Pads
The washable nursing pads from Mother-Ease cover a lot of surface area (5 inches in diameter), making them a favorite among women with a larger chest. But women of all bust sizes appreciate Mother-Ease’s neutral coloring (no showing through clothes) and fabric choices (organic cotton, bamboo terry and stay-dry cotton)—none of which will stick to your already sensitive skin.
Buy it: $18 for 3 pairs, Amazon.com
A nursing pad that prevents leaky boobs sounds too good to be true—but thanks to LilyPadz, it’s a reality. Rather than absorbing any leaking breast milk, LilyPadz are made of medical-grade silicone that places pressure on the nipple to stop any leakage in the first place. You stay dry and your milk doesn’t get wasted—the ultimate win-win.
Buy it: $20, Amazon.com
Published October 2018
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