Hello everyone, I'm Amber Gunnet (or the other Amber).
I'm the resident doula and studio administrator here at Sugar Free (soon to be Naturally Newborn). If you haven’t yet read about me or the new doula services, you can see them here. I'm going to be writing on the blog often and I'm excited to share some of my thoughts with you all. I'll be adding in tips/tricks, product reviews and anything else that might assist you on your path into motherhood. Raising 5 babies has given me the advantage of using a wide variety of products, so I might as well spread that knowledge with you all. I'll be adding my own personal advice mixed in here and there as well.
Let’s start with boobs, cause why not? A large chunk of the first few months of newborn life is about boobs. I'll be expanding on this topic later, but this is a good place to start. Breastfeeding requires so much work and “stuff.” Sometimes choosing the best products while nursing and adjusting to being a new mommy can be overwhelming. One of those products is nursing pads. More often than not, new nursing mothers need to use breast pads to avoid leaking on their clothing or bedding. I imagine most moms, like myself, (unless you are super lucky) will encounter this little mishap. Leaking milk tends to happen in public, at night, or any other inconvenient time to be soaking through your shirt. So far, I don't believe there is a way to get your breasts to not leak. However, when you have the right products, it can make this just a little less stressful. I suggest carrying extra clothing, just in case :)
There are two types of pads; disposable and re-useable or “cloth”. There are also pros and cons to both. I recommend giving each a try and making your decision on which you prefer after.
My favorite cloth nursing pads are Bamboobies. They are cute, comfy, eco friendly and cost effective. You can wash and wear them again and again. You can give them to a friend when you're done or save them for another pregnancy. They are thin and discreet, but do absorb a good amount of leakage. I did find in the early months of nursing, because I was a heavy leaker, using their overnight pads worked best for me. If you are going with cloth pads, I would suggest at least 8-12 pairs so you aren't washing them non-stop. Chances are, you will be doing baby laundry quite often, so you can just toss them in with a small load if needed. (*tip-try not to use dryer sheets, as this will affect their absorbency). I will admit that even with them being washable and super soft, I did like to use disposable pads as well.
For disposable pads, I think I must have tried every single brand I could find on the shelves. I always went back to the same brand with each baby. Johnson's pads in the pink box won me over. I like that they are not individually wrapped. When your breasts are leaking because you forgot to put pads in again (mom brain) and you're in a hurry, who has time to unwrap two pads before you leak all over yourself? Not me. I didn't even bother using the sticky feature on the back to secure them in my bra. I just stuck them in and on I went with my day. They are circular shaped, the cloth feels soft and cottony and they have a little dip in the center for your nipple. Also, most important to me, they DID NOT itch! There is nothing worse than sore breasts that are also itchy and irritated from the paper/lining on the edges of pads. Every other brand I tried had the little bit of extra cloth on the edges that would crinkle up and move causing discomfort. I would suggest buying disposable pads in bulk once you find your personal favorite. It's not fun to run out and not be able to find your brand in store, being left using a different brand. I believe Johnson's is not currently one of the top brands easily found in stores. I went to Amazon to purchase mine, because it was the most convenient for me. Also, I buy everything on Amazon.
Another favorite product related to leaking milk, is the Milkies Milk Saver. This product is genius and so useful for moms that leak a lot while baby is nursing. You stick the soft cup inside your bra before you latch baby on the first side. While baby is suckling, it collects the milk on the side that would have just dripped into your pad and gone to waste. I would collect at least an ounce of milk each session. (Remember to switch sides each feeding). This is such a great way to create a freezer stash over time with little effort and zero extra pumping.
Breastfeeding a newborn is no easy task, but having comfortable pads, and saving your milk is sure to make it a little bit easier on you, I hope. If you don't find these pads to be your top picks, I encourage you to keep searching until you do find something you love, it really makes such a difference!
Your Naturally Newborn doula,