What are the best postpartum pads? The choice of sanitary towels can be overwhelming. Regardless of your delivery, you will bleed after birth. A good maternity pad will help absorb any loss and aid your recovery.
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So just how do you choose? We’ve done all the research to help you find the best postpartum pad for you. In this guide you find
- Types of Postpartum Pads
- Recommended Postpartum pads
- Buying Guide
- Benefits of postpartum pads
- Disadvantages of postpartum pads
- Postpartum Pad FAQ
Let’s get started.
Top 6 Best Postpartum Pads
Disposable Postpartum Pads
This is the most common type of postpartum pad. The design is the same as a regular sanitary pad but suitable for the heavy flow. They usually have a sticky side or wings to keep them firmly in place. These pads are single use only and discarded once soaked.
Benefits of Disposable Postpartum Pads
- Hygiene – single-use pads are often individually wrapped making them ideal for preventing infection.
- Convenient – thrown away after each use and need to maintain after using.
- Absorbent – a lot of development goes into making these pads super absorbent. You are less likely to have any leaks with disposable pads.
Disadvantages of Disposable Postpartum Pads
- Cost – You’ll need to buy these as long as you continue to bleed which can be between 2- 6 weeks after birth.
- Plastic – You may hate the feel of the plastic against your skin. Disposable pads are also bad for the environment as they contribute to landfill.
- Poor air flow – The reduced air flow can make it difficult for air to circulate and help heal. This can hold heat and moisture and make you more likely to get an infection.
- Friction – The weave or material of the plastic can rub against tender grazes or stitches. We recommend avoiding disposable if you have very sensitive skin.
Disposable postpartum pads and best for convenience and hygiene reasons. These are our best rated disposable maternity pads.
1. Natracare New Mother Maternity Pads
The best rated maternity pads are undoubtedly the Natracare New Mother Pads. A great performing pad as close to the hospital brand as you can buy yourself.
We love that this brand has tackled most problems caused by disposable maternity pads. They are plastic free, fragrance-free and chlorine free. This makes them less likely to cause irritation when using. Plus they are biodegradable if you are eco-conscious. They are thick and soft which you may prefer for a more cushioned feel. We found them a bit pricey for a pack of 10.
Pros: Plastic fee, eco-friendly, biodegradable, thick, soft, sticky back pad
Cons: expensive, bulky
2. Always Infinity Heavy Flow
The Always Infinity Heavy flow are a close second place. Not maternity pads but caught our eye as being highly recommended as a postpartum pad by other moms.
If you prefer a thin and discreet pad then this is the choice for you. Don’t let the size fool you, these are very absorbent and will handle a heavy flow. The material is a foam layer which is smooth and won’t catch your stitches. They are really flexible and easy to wear, no more feeling like you have a brick in your underwear. They are not the best option for sensitive skin, and can someone have issues with staying in place.
Pros: Thin, discreet, comfortable, really absorbent, individually wrapped
Cons: Temperamental sticky pads, can irritate sensitive skin, not very long
Reusable Postpartum Pads
As the name suggests you can reuse them after they are soaked. It’s similar to using a cloth nappy for a baby. These are often made from absorbent but breathable fabrics such as cotton or bamboo.
Benefits of Reusable Postpartum Pads
- Breathable – natural fabrics are great for air flow which enables healing and prevents infection.
- Comfort – The soft fabric makes them easy to have against your tender lady bits
- Durable – They can be used numerous times and even save money when your period returns.
- Eco-Friendly – A recyclable option and no adding to the landfill.
- Plastic-free – Suitable for sensitive skin with no irritating plastic feel or chemicals on your skin.
Disadvantages of Reusable Postpartum Pads
- Washing – You’ll need to keep on top of washing and drying so you always have a pad available to wear.
- Outlay – Reusable will save money but you’ll initially need to buy a good few sets to build a supply.
- Leaks – Some bad will have a PUL layer to prevent them leaking through, others may not. Regular changing is encouraged to prevent leaks.
Reusable postpartum pads are the best money saving, eco-friendly and skin friendly option. Check out our best rated reusable postpartum pads.
3. Heart Felt Bamboo Reusable Cloth Menstrual Pad
The bestselling reusable option id the Heart Felt Bamboo Pads. Long and thick pads, available in a number of cute designs.
The soft bamboo material is perfect for your tender perineum. They are smooth and long, providing comfortable and no risk of stitches getting caught. Bamboo is naturally anit0bacterial but also allows airflow to aid your healing process. They also contain a charcoal layer for extra absorbency.
Pros: very soft, suitable for heavy flow, machine washable
Cons: Can slip out of place, bulky
4. Dutchess Cloth Menstrual Pads
The Dutchess Cloth Menstrual Pads are a close runner up for reusable. Perfect for quick washing by throwing them in the machine.
These are perfect if you are expecting a prolonged heavy flow. At almost 10 inches long they are a great size for larger ladies. If you’re paranoid about any smells, the charcoal layer will take care of that for you. You can also fold them up so they are way more discreet than a disposable to carry around.
Pros: soft, comfortable, no odor, easy clean, cute designs
Cons: expensive, snap clip can cause movement
Not used for blood loss, but to help you recover from a vaginal delivery. Add to your underwear to relieve perineal pain or hemorrhoids after baby. They come in various forms of medicated or thermal pads to provide instant relief. They are intended to be used for a short period of time.
5. Pariday Tendher
The Pariday Tendher pads can be used to provide a cool or heat relief for pain. Very easy to use and care a reusable option.
For a quick and natural relief option these pads are the best. You do need to pre-cool or warm them, but you’ll be glad you did. The plastic sleeve layer means you can reuse them. They fit easily into your underwear and cover a good length along your vagina and bottom. They are really comfortable to wear and made from a safe vegetable gel layer.
Pros: soft, flexible, non-toxic, natural pain relief
6. Tucks Med Pads
Theses Tucks Med Pads are perfect cooling relief for vaginal deliveries. Moms love the give a cool and soothing relief they give to sensitive, itchy areas.
These are designed as wipes but can be placed in your underwear for postpartum use. They are pH-balanced, hypo-allergenic, dye-free, and biodegradable when flushed. Witch hazel is well known for its healing properties and a natural way to recover. Perfect for relieving any swelling from an episiotomy or tear. Stock up on these before your baby arrives and you’ll be grateful you did.
Pros: very soothing, inexpensive, hypoallergenic, easy to use, flushable
Cons: contains alcohol
Postpartum Pad Basics
The material will affect how comfortable the pads are to wear. It will also affect how well any blood loss is absorbed or keeps you leak free. A good pad will allow air flow to aid healing and reduce irritation.
Your pad should provide good coverage for a heavy flow. A longer pad is less likely to leak. The thickness of the pad is down to your personal preference. Thicker pads offer more cushioning and thin pads don’t cause as much friction.
That pad should have a feature for it to stay in place. Disposable pads usually have sticky backs or wings to hold them in place. Reusable pads often have a snap clip to hold them onto your underwear.
This is important for preventing infection, especially if you have vaginal stitches. Disposable pads ideally should be individually wrapped. Reusable pads are slightly less hygienic therefore you should store them in a clean, dry area until used.
You pad should be able to keep smells to a minimum. You should not use scented pads as they can cause irritation. Charcoal is a good feature to look for with disposable pads, as it absorbs smells.
Sanitary towels can add up quickly. You will either need to spend little and often or a lot as a once off. Expect to pay $6-$30 depending on which type you choose.
Benefits of postpartum pads
- Manages heavy flow – Your bleeding after pregnancy will be similar to a heavy period for up to a week. You will need a pad which can handle the flow without leaking.
- Designed for stitches – The material should not have a weave which can easily catch stitches. Maternity pads are smooth so they do not scratch or irritate.
- Cushioning – Thick maternity pads give an extra layer of cushioning for your tender perineum. Some mom may find this bulky and awkward to wear.
- Monitor Blood Loss – It’s important to see how heavily you are bleeding or if there are any clots. Maternity pads will catch any leftover members which can be inspected by medics.
Disadvantages of postpartum pads
- Discomfort – If you are a tampon wearer, using pads can be very uncomfortable, especially when your vagina is sore and tender.
- Overheating – Any pad can cause you to feel hot and sweaty down below. You should change your pad regularly to prevent any bacterial growth causing an infection.
- Expense – You will bleed for up to 6 weeks after birth. This can add up to a lot of disposable use or requiring a large supply of reusable pads.
Postpartum Pad FAQ
What is a postpartum pad?
A postpartum pad is a sanitary towel for maternity use. After birth, you will bleed, like a heavy period, so you need to be able to absorb this. Maternity pads have a slightly different design to normal pads. These small design differences help to make recovery easier.
Do I need to use a pad?
Tampons are not advisable to use for the first 6 weeks after delivery. They can introduce bacteria into your vagina and increase your risk of infection. Using tampons makes it harder to observe any changes in your blood loss.
The same applies to using a menstrual cup for your postpartum bleeding.
How do I use a postpartum pad?
A postpartum pad is used as a sanitary towel. Disposables are placed into the underwear with a sticky pad to hold them down. You’ll throw them away after they are soaked.
Reusable pads are clipped onto your underwear. Once soaked you should wash and dry them to use again.
Maternity pads should be changed every 2-3 hours. If you are heavily soaking through a pad every hour, you should seek medical advice.
How Many postpartum pads will I need?
You may need to change between 5-10 times per day. You will probably go through at least one or two packs a week of disposables. For reusable pads, you should consider buying 15-20 pads which are a 2-3 day supply. This will give you time to wash or have spares if caught short.