7 Best Postpartum Pads, Tested by a Mom of a Newborn

Pads aren’t just for periods—they’re also a postpartum necessity.
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Updated April 11, 2024
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In a nutshell:
Based on hands-on product testing following the birth of the writer’s fourth child, we chose the Always Infinity Flexfoam Pads with Wings as the overall best postpartum pads. This product stood out because of its thin, flexible and form-fitting design paired with absorbent and breathable material.

You probably haven’t touched a pad since your pre-pregnancy days (or maybe even before that!)—but if you’re approaching your due date, they’re about to make a swift comeback in your life. Postpartum pads are a fourth-trimester essential, whether you deliver baby vaginally or via C-section.

As your body heals post-birth, expect to experience bleeding and discharge known as lochia. According to Gil Weiss, MD, an ob-gyn based in Chicago, lochia consists of blood, clots and tissue from the uterine lining. Postpartum pads absorb these fluids and prevent leakage, keeping you comfortable throughout the recovery process. As a mother of four who gave birth just one month before writing this article, I understand the importance of finding the right pad for your postpartum needs. From heavy-duty pads for post-birth to reusable options and pads infused with essential oils—I’ve tried them all and narrowed the list based on how the options actually performed during my own postpartum journey.

Ready to find the perfect addition to your favorite postpartum undies? Keep reading for expert-backed advice about what to expect post-delivery and my pick of the best postpartum pads for every stage of postpartum recovery.

How We Tested and Chose the Postpartum Pads

Image: Courtesy Jennifer W.

With so many pads on the market, all of which seemingly promise leak-proof protection and comfort, it can be difficult to know which products will actually perform well against postpartum bleeding. To help you find the best postpartum pads to aid in your recovery, The Bump team did extensive research to identify the best-selling and top-rated products available. From there, I put them to the test. Here’s a look at how The Bump team and I determined which postpartum pads performed best:

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  • I personally tested 10 pads following the arrival of my fourth child, who was born just one month before writing this article. I wore each product for at least 24 hours, while the reusable pads were put through a wash cycle and worn for an additional 24 hours. I also considered my previous experience with pads following the birth of my first three children.

  • I assessed each pad based on the following criteria: ease of use, effectiveness, comfort, features and value for money. I then scored the products out of 10—with 1 being the worst possible score and 10 being the best possible score. The seven products with the highest average score have been included in this roundup.

  • The Bump editors interviewed two ob-gyns to get tips on postpartum aftercare and what to look for in a pad.

  • To see how these sanitary products worked for a variety of new moms, we conducted exhaustive market research, scouring forums and message boards and reading user reviews to find out what parents across the country looked for in a postpartum pad.

Editorial integrity is at the heart of everything we publish. Read about how The Bump develops and reviews all articles, including product reviews.

Best Postpartum Pads

Overall best postpartum pads

What We Love
  • Flexible foam construction
  • Thin and breathable material
  • Wings for extra protection against leakage
Things To Consider
  • Not specifically designed for postpartum bleeding
  • Shorter in length than other postpartum pads

Always Infinity FlexFoam Pads with Wings weren’t specifically designed for postpartum use, so I was shocked by how well they performed for the majority of my recovery needs. Not only did they provide the necessary absorbency to provide leak-proof protection, their comfort level was unmatched and ultimately earned them the spot as the overall best postpartum pad.

The flexible foam construction allows the pad to conform to your body, while the breathable top layer helps wick away moisture to keep your skin dry (or as dry as possible during this time). I had average postpartum bleeding and once my initial bleeding slowed down, these pads were absorbent enough to handle the flow during both day and at night, even if it temporarily increased for a short period of time. They absorbed all moisture and didn't allow blood to pool on the pad. The pads also fit extremely well and did not bunch or inhibit movement. Together, these features contributed to the product being comfortable enough that I would sometimes forget I was wearing a pad at all—a much appreciated characteristic when wearing them for an extended period of time.

While these pads were a standout favorite to handle the majority of my needs, I found them to be too short to provide sufficient protection from leaks during the first few days when postpartum bleeding is at its heaviest. With that said, these pads were effective and my preferred option once my bleeding slowed down around day or four or five after giving birth.

Price was another winning factor for the Always Infinity FlexFoam Pads. A pack of 28 retails for around $9 ($0.32 per pad), which was one of the cheapest pads that I tested. Considering how comfortable and absorbent these pads were, I felt that the product provided exceptional value for the money.

Number per pack: 14/28/84 | Available sizes: 1 to 5

Our product tester says:
“These pads were thin, lightweight, flexible and overall the most comfortable and least noticeable pad to wear.”

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Best immediate postpartum pads

What We Love
  • Highly absorbent
  • Organic cotton topsheet
  • Longer than average menstrual pads
Things To Consider
  • Bulky
  • High price point
  • Packaging can be difficult to open

Designed specifically for the fourth trimester, the Nyssa Extra-Long Organic Cotton Cover Postpartum Pads can be worn immediately after labor thanks to their superior coverage, absorbency and comfort.

Not only are the pads 16 inches long, they’re also 32 times more absorbent than typical menstrual pads. I found these pads to provide the much-needed protection to handle even the heaviest of my bleeding during the first few days postpartum. Although I experienced what I would consider average postpartum bleeding this time around (compared to my experiences with three prior vaginal deliveries) these pads quickly wicked away all the blood and discharge, and provided leak-proof protection no matter how I moved when standing or lying down.

Despite being longer, wider and thicker than average menstrual products, the pads were incredibly comfortable to wear in the early days of my recovery. The multiple layers of non-toxic, chlorine-free material felt soft against the skin and created a slight cushion that protected my stitches and made sitting more comfortable directly following delivery. However, they were bulkier and more noticeable under certain pants than typical menstrual products, so once bleeding slowed I preferred a thinner, less noticeable pad. With that said, I would recommend these pads to anyone during the earliest postpartum days when bleeding is at its heaviest. I would also highly recommend these pads to anyone with stitches, as they were the most comfortable pads to use.

Number per pack: 8/24 | Available sizes: Regular, overnight, postpartum

Our product tester says:
“These pads were extremely absorbent and were an excellent option for the first days postpartum when bleeding was at its heaviest.”

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Best overnight postpartum pads

What We Love
  • Leakproof side walls
  • Soft top layer
  • Six layers for maximum absorbency
Things To Consider
  • Bulkier than average pads

The Frida Mom Postpartum Catch-All Pads performed extremely well across the board, but the overall size and leak-proof side barriers are ultimately what earned this product the title of best overnight postpartum pads. They were longer and wider than my usual menstrual products and although they aren’t specifically marketed for nighttime, the size was comparable to other overnight products. The side walls also provided peace of mind during my early postpartum days, especially for longer stretches of wear including overnight use. No matter how I moved, I felt confident that I would be protected from leaks even when my bleeding was at its heaviest.

With six layers of material, these pads lived up to their promise of maximum absorbency and ultra-flow protection. They wicked away moisture and kept me feeling dry and comfortable. And despite being super-absorbent, the pads fit well and did not move around or feel uncomfortably bulky. What’s more? The layered pads provided a soft cushion which I found to be beneficial during the peak of my post-delivery soreness. To be specific, the top layer of material is extremely soft which was nice during postpartum, as not all pads (especially those designed with menstruation in mind) have a soft top layer.

Number per pack: 18 | Available sizes: One size (postpartum)

Our product tester says:
“These pads were especially beneficial at night when you are lying down and need additional coverage to prevent leaks. These pads are longer and wider than normal menstrual products and as a result are more effective during the early postpartum days and overnight.”

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Best organic postpartum pads

What We Love
  • Organic cotton topsheet
  • Double wings for protection against leaks
  • Extended back
Things To Consider
  • Not specifically designed for postpartum bleeding
  • High price point

Made with clean, non-toxic ingredients, the Rael Organic Cotton Overnight Pads were a favorite when it came to organic postpartum pads. The top sheet is made using OCS-certified and non-GMO cotton, while the absorbent core consists of chlorine-free natural wood pulp. Plus, all of Rael’s products are cruelty-free and are not tested on animals.

When it came to performance, these pads were quick to wick away moisture and I was impressed by their absorbency, despite their thin design. They were able to handle my postpartum bleeding even on days of heavier flow. The pads had an adhesive strip on the bottom, as well as double wings to help keep it in place. The adhesive on the second set of wings in the back did not seem to stick to underwear well. Despite that minor design flaw the pads still stayed in place.

Since they were designed as an overnight product, these pads were also longer and provided better coverage than many of my usual menstrual products. Despite extending farther in the front and back, they were thin enough that I found them to be comfortable and less noticeable than other products of that same length. The result? An effective solution for postpartum recovery without the chemicals and toxic ingredients commonly found in other pads.

For a disposable product, the pads are quite expensive. However, Rael pads are certified organic and are also chlorine and fragrance free. While this may not appeal to everyone, personally I would be willing to pay a higher price for a postpartum pad without the chemicals that are sometimes used in other menstrual products.

Number per pack: 12/20 | Available sizes: Overnight and XL overnight

Our product tester says:
“I would recommend these pads specifically to someone looking for an organic or environmentally friendly option. They provide excellent leak protection during both day and night, yet are still thin, comfortable and less noticeable underneath clothes than many other overnight options.”

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Best reusable postpartum pads

What We Love
  • Machine-washable
  • Maintains shape
  • Long and thin
Things To Consider
  • Hook and eye closure can be difficult to attach
  • Moved slightly throughout the day
  • Initially more expensive than other options

As someone who had never used reusable menstrual pads before, I was surprised by how well the Knix Reusable Leakproof Pads performed during my postpartum recovery. At 13.7 inches long and 3.3 inches wide, the pads provided more coverage than average menstrual pads and were absorbent enough to withstand my postpartum bleeding (the brand claims they will absorb about the same as five to eight super-tampons).

Overall, I found these pads to be extremely comfortable and was happy with how they fit. The pads are made from four layers of material, but are still very lightweight and comfortable. The material was also extremely soft against my skin and didn’t irritate my stitches. The pads are held in place by wings which attach around the gusset of underwear using a single hook and eye clasp. While the pads performed extremely well at night, during the day the pad shifted backwards slightly, which caused leakage at the front. And although I found the clasp to be difficult to attach during the first several days following delivery, when I was still incredibly sore and somewhat limited with mobility due to my perineal stitches, this became less of a concern as healing progressed.

The pads were machine washable and required no additional pretreatment. I threw them in with a regular load of laundry and they came out looking and smelling brand new. I was impressed by how well they maintained their shape and did not bunch, wrinkle or shrink during the wash or dryer cycle, unlike other reusable brands that I tested. All in all, I would recommend these pads to someone looking for a reusable option. They maintained their shape and integrity after being washed and dried, which indicates they would be effective for long-term use. And, while they are expensive to buy in terms of cost-per-wear these pads offer serious bang for your buck.

Number per pack: 3 | Available sizes: Regular and overnight

Our product tester says:
“They were long and wide enough to provide proper leak protection the majority of the time. They maintained their shape and integrity after being washed and dried.”

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Best soothing postpartum pads

What We Love
  • Infused with essential oils
  • Cooling sensation
  • Organic cotton cover
Things To Consider
  • Shorter length
  • Not as absorbent as other pads
  • Scent may be off-putting to some

If you’re looking for a postpartum pad with a little something extra, The Honey Pot Company Organic Cotton Cover Post-Partum Pads provide just that. The pads are infused with a blend of three essential oils, each with their own attributes—lavender to soothe and calm, mint for a cooling sensation and aloe vera to moisturize and soothe. I could immediately feel the cooling sensation and was taken aback by how noticeable it actually was. It temporarily helped relieve soreness and discomfort following vaginal delivery, which I appreciated during my recovery.

Aside from the soothing effects of the essential oils, the organic cotton top sheet was soft and gentle against my skin. Meanwhile, the chlorine-free wood pulp middle layer helps absorb postpartum blood and discharge, although I didn't find these pads to be as quick to wick away moisture as some other options. At 13.9 inches long, the pads were also shorter than the other postpartum-specific products mentioned. However, they were comfortable and undetectable no matter what pants I was wearing, which was not the case for the other postpartum-specific pads. Overall, thanks to the cooling and soothing effects, I found these pads to be a good addition to my postpartum recovery toolkit.

Number per pack: 12 | Available sizes: One size

Our product tester says:
“The cooling sensation, which was immediate and very noticeable, provided additional comfort during postpartum, specifically during the earlier days when soreness is at its peak.”

Buy Now

Best postpartum ice pads

What We Love
  • Works as an ice- and maxi-pad
  • Wide style fully covers the perineal area
  • Soothes C-section incisions
Things To Consider
  • Bulky
  • High price point
  • Less absorbent than other pads

Swelling is a common occurrence after giving birth, which is why postpartum ice pads can come in handy. Whether recovering from a vaginal delivery or C-section, the Frida Mom Instant Ice Maxi Pads offer soothing relief to combat postpartum swelling and soreness, combining an ice pad and a maxi-pad in one product. Following my own child’s delivery, I found these pads to be especially beneficial in soothing my perineal area during the first few days postpartum.

It was easy to activate the cooling agent—I simply bent the pad in half, shook lightly and placed it into my underwear using the adhesive strip on the underside of the pad. Within seconds, I was able to feel the pad begin to cool. For the next 30 minutes to an hour, the pad provided ice cold relief which I found myself looking forward to during my recovery.

The pads are longer and wider than most menstrual products on the market. However, they were also bulkier than traditional pads and didn't provide the same absorbency as many of these products. While I didn’t experience any leakage, I only wore them for approximately two hours at a time, as the cooling effect was strongest during the first hour, but still provided some relief through the second hour. Once the cooling effect subsided, I preferred to switch to a less bulky pad until my soreness returned, at which point I quickly reached for another Frida Mom Instant Ice Maxi Pad.

Number per pack: 8 | Available sizes: One size (postpartum)

Our product tester says:
“These pads were a favorable alternative to the makeshift ice packs that both hospitals I have delivered at provided (bag of ice wrapped in a washcloth to absorb the blood and discharge). Not only did the pads provide much-needed relief, they stayed in place and made it easier to get comfortable in the initial days following birth.”

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Do You Need Postpartum Pads?

“Postpartum bleeding typically lasts four to six weeks after delivery,” says Sherry Ross, MD, an ob-gyn and women’s sexual health expert. You can expect three types of postpartum bleeding, or lochia: rubra (bright red blood which lasts three to four days), serosa (pinkish-brown blood which lasts four to 10 days) and alba (whitish-yellow discharge that lasts up to 28 days). And since tampons aren’t an option while the vagina is healing, new moms typically use postpartum pads to collect the bleeding and discharge that follows birth, Ross explains.

So what’s the difference between a pad for periods and a pad for postpartum bleeding? In some cases, there aren’t any; you could stick with your go-to menstrual pads if they work for you. On the other hand, some have been specifically designed with lochia in mind. These options tend to be longer and wider in the back, and are also more absorbent, says Weiss. Likewise, he adds, good pads for postpartum are often made with soft, cushioned materials that are gentle against the perineal area, where new moms may be experiencing swelling or pain.

If you’re not a fan of pads, or are looking for a more sustainable option, consider purchasing a few pairs of disposable underwear or period panties to absorb leakage. Some brands even offer reusable underwear options specifically designed for the postpartum period.

What to Consider When Buying Postpartum Pads

Lochia can be messy—very messy, says Ross, which makes picking the best postnatal pads all the more important. Keep the following features in mind to find the best postpartum pads for your needs:

  • Size and style. Just like menstrual pads, postpartum pads come in all shapes and sizes. Different options offer different levels of absorbency, so be sure to pick one that aligns with how heavy your flow is. Others also have wings to provide extra anti-leakage barriers, says Ross. For protection as you sleep, opt for postpartum maxi pads that are made for nighttime usage. During the initial days following birth, it’s often best to opt for a longer pad to reduce the risk of leakage.

  • Quantity. When stocking up on these postpartum essentials, you may be wondering how many you’ll need to get you through the next week (or even the next day). Weiss recommends changing pads every four hours—especially in the beginning—which equates to roughly six pads a day. New moms can expect to use pads after labor for an average of four weeks, Weiss adds. In other words, that translates to a total of 168 pads after pregnancy—however, you may need more or less, depending on your unique recovery process. And, remember, as time goes on, the amount of bleeding will change, so you might not need the same level of absorbency throughout.

  • Material. The perineal area is sensitive post-birth; you may even be experiencing hemorrhoids or recovering from vaginal tearing from delivery. To make yourself as comfortable as can be, Ross suggests choosing a pad made from cotton or one that has cooling agents.

  • Ice pads. Looking for more targeted relief? Instead of purchasing standard period pads, consider postpartum pads that contain additional features. Take ice pads, for instance. These unique designs can be placed in the fridge or contain cooling agents, resulting in a cold compress that doubles as an absorbent pad. They can soothe vulva, vagina and perineal swelling and pain post-delivery, says Ross. However, keep in mind that they’ll have to be changed more frequently than typical pads.

About the writer:

Jennifer Wirth is a freelance writer and editor based in Indiana. As a mother of four (ages 13, 5, 3 and a newborn), she enjoys writing about all things related to pregnancy, postpartum and parenting. She also regularly focuses on beauty, health and wellness topics and has written for a number of large publications, including Forbes Health, Shop TODAY and Yahoo. When she’s not writing or testing the newest baby products, you can most likely find Wirth snuggling her newborn or cheering for her kids at one of their many sporting events.


Gil Weiss, MD, is an ob-gyn who works throughout The Loop in Chicago and Northbrook, Illinois. He’s a graduate of the University of Toronto in Canada, and attended medical school at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa, Israel. He completed his residency at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Sherry Ross, MD, is an ob-gyn and women’s sexual health expert. She’s also the author of She-ology: The Definitive Guide to Women’s Intimate Health. Period. Ross received her medical degree from New York Medical College.

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