How Many Nursing Pads Do I Need? The Inside Scoop

Published by 
Jess Miller
Last updated: 
March 29, 2024

When it comes to breastfeeding, we tend to only think about our baby's needs. But the entire nursing experience also affects mom in a myriad of ways. So, before you jump into motherhood, be sure to ask yourself, "How many nursing pads do I need?"

How Many Nursing Pads Do I Need?

Realistically, the answer to, "How many nursing pads do I need?" depends on a variety of factors.

Nursing pads are protective pads that cover your nipple and absorb leaking milk before it can get to your undergarments and shirt. Not only is this essential for staying dry in public, but it can also help keep you more comfortable throughout the breastfeeding months.

First, not all nursing pads are reusable. So, if you opt for disposable pads, you'll just need to keep buying more until you're done breastfeeding.

As for reusable nursing pads, the number you need will ultimately depend on how often you tend to leak and how often you plan to launder your pads.

For example, how many pads will a woman who leaks a couple of times per day and plans to wash their pads every three days need? Probably around 15.

Remember, no matter how often you leak and what laundry schedule you follow, you'll want to stock up on a few more nursing pads than you think you'll need. If you don't, there's a good chance you'll be caught without clean pads when you need them most.

Choosing the Best Nursing Pads for You

As we mentioned, you can choose from either reusable or disposable nursing pads for your own breastfeeding needs. However, this isn't the only decision you'll need to make when shopping for nursing necessities.

To find the best nursing pads for you, you'll need to decide on a few factors:

Convenience and portability

To start, deciding between reusable and disposable doesn't need to be a black-and-white choice. In fact, using a combination of both can be a great option for plenty of new mothers.

While reusable nursing pads are less wasteful, disposable pads are super easy to pack in a day bag or even for use in emergencies when you're caught off guard by leakage. At the same time, you can't just throw all reusable nursing pads in the wash — check each one carefully before buying.

Also, check to see if your chosen nursing pads use an adhesive strip to keep them in place. Yes, this feature adds convenience, but it can also irritate the sensitive skin on women's breasts.

So, while we encourage you to pick whichever type suits you best, you don't need to stick to just one.

The perfect fit

It's no secret that every woman's body is unique. When it comes to pregnancy and nursing, this holds especially true.

Although nursing pads sit over the nipples, women with larger breasts will probably need larger pads for added coverage. However, most companies just offer one size of their pads, so you might need to test out a few different options to find a size and shape that fits your body comfortably.

Simple or bold?

Some nursing pad companies adorn their products with vibrant colors and fun patterns.

When shopping for nursing accessories, you might be drawn to these options because they look unique and attractive. But when it comes to actually use them, take a moment to think about how these bright colors and patterns will look under your day-to-day outfits.

While some undergarments and shirts might hide these pads with ease, others might be a bit too sheer.

Invest in Yourself so You Can Focus on Baby

As a new mother, it's easy to set aside all of your personal needs in favor of prioritizing your baby. But remember, you're comfort and health are just as important as your new bundle of joy's.

By taking the time to answer, "How many nursing pads do I need?" and investing in ones that work for you, you're able to sit back and focus on caring for your baby when it matters most.

Have you used nursing pads with a past pregnancy? Which type was your favorite? Let us know in the comments below!

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