Breastfeeding mothers have much to think about whether they are feeding their first baby or their fifth! And while leaking breasts are an unavoidable part of breastfeeding in the early weeks or months, breast pads are the easy solution, protecting your clothes against milk stains and avoiding potentially embarrassing wet circles on your top!
How to prevent leakage?
Washable bamboo breast pads are an incredibly soft, reliable solution for breastfeeding mums. Leaking breasts are a common problem, especially in the early months of breastfeeding. Anyone who has ever felt their milk let down when in the supermarket (or been forced to clamp their arms against their chest in a business meeting!) will know it can be embarrassing. Washable breast pads are an affordable, environmentally friendly solution and made with bamboo fibre, known for its antibacterial qualities and incredible softness.
Bamboo is an obvious choice for breast pads, as its antibacterial qualities will reduce the risk of bacterial or fungal infections, including thrush. Washable bamboo breast pads have three layers of bamboo for extra absorbency and hidden microbfibre cotton inserts for increased durability. Some breast pads have the added extra benefit of a cream waterproof PUL backing for those that need a little more protection.
Some women will find they leak quite a lot in the early days, with it reducing as their supply settles down and feeding intervals increase. However, some women will find they continue to leak throughout their time breastfeeding. This does not have to be a problem, as good quality breast pads such as bamboo ones can provide excellent protection against leakage and potential embarrassment.
Without the protection of breast pads you may be left with a wet shirt every time your milk lets down. When you feed baby on one side, the other side will also let down and may leak into your bra and top. Wearing breast pads provides protection while feeding and for times when baby may be due for a feed (like when you’re caught at the shops or at work away from baby!)
Won’t I feel uncomfortable with that extra layer inside my bra?
You’ll feel more uncomfortable with a growing wet patch! Washable bamboo breast pads are made in China (where the bamboo is grown) and comprise of three layers of bamboo with microfibre cotton between the layers. The bamboo content makes them ultra-comfortable (great for sensitive nipples) and the antibacterial properties reduce the risk of infection.
It’s recommended that you change breast pads every three to four hours (or at feeding times). Breast milk is rich in nutrients and combined with the warmth of your body this makes pads an ideal breeding ground for bacterial or fungal infection. This is why the anti-bacterial qualities of bamboo are so perfectly suited to breast pads.
Easy care, great for the environment and for your body!
Washable pads can be thrown in with a regular load of washing (use a gentle washing detergent) and are convenient and affordable. If you are using cloth nappies for your baby, you will already know how easy it is to care for them - washable breast pads are no different! Disposable breast pads are more expensive and generally have a slightly papery feel to them. If they accidentally get thrown in the wash with your underwear they can ooze a sticky gel that can adhere to other clothes in your wash. The decision is ultimately a personal one, but the main benefits of washable pads are comfort, cost-savings and reduced environmental impact.
Bamboo is ideally suited to breast pads because of its anti-bacterial properties. Tests have shown that when left to incubate on bamboo fabric, bacteria is reduced by more than 70 per cent. (This is on the conservative end, too. One Chinese study rated it at 98 per cent effective). Bamboo also has natural deodorising qualities and is more absorbent than cotton. It is very breathable, meaning it helps the body stay cool in summer and warm in winter. Anyone who has ever worn bamboo clothing will know it’s incredibly soft against the skin and durable enough to withstand hundreds of washes.
Bamboo is the fastest growing plant on Earth – some species are known to grow up to four feet a day. This makes it a more eco-friendly option than timber plantations, which can take decades to mature, and has seen it become popular for flooring and furniture. As a fabric, bamboo plants require very little water compared to cotton (it takes up to 20,000 litres of water to produce 1kg of cotton). Its antibacterial properties mean bamboo plantations rarely require pesticides.
So why not give bamboo breast pads a try? Find an eBay store that offers free postage and you've nothing to lose. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at how comfortable they are and how much they can assist in your breastfeeding experience!