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When you have a baby regardless of whether you are breastfeeding or not the chances are you will need breast pads even during the few months before your baby arrives. They all seem the same but it's amazing how they can differ and how them little differences can make a huge impact upon your comfort and your ability to be able to breastfeed or not.
I was surprised by how many different choices there are on the market from disposable pads to ones which are washable. Ones which claim they are 'cooling' ones which claim they are the 'softest' and many other types. I didn't have a clue which would be best for me so I just bought these ones as they were more expensive so I thought that spending more money would be a good thing.
The breast pads contain Lansinoh. This an ingredient which is used to help soothe sore breasts. Many midwives recommend it to breastfeeding mothers who experience discomfort, pain and cracked nipples during nursing. Lansinoh, however, is likely to cause more problems than it's worth and so you should be very careful before using this cream/breast pads which contain this ingredient. Many women (The NCT said well over 10%) are allergic to it and it can lead to the sensation of burning in the breast and extreme irritation. According to some breastfeeding consultants midwives often recommend this treatment as it is a 'quick fix' but actually it has more long-term problems. I had no idea about this before buying them and I have realised that I am part of that 10% who are allergic to this. Within 24 hours of using these pads my breasts began to feel very sensitive and feeding my baby was exceptionally painful. I thought that I had problems, perhaps I had engorged milk or my baby wasn't positioned properly but a quick call to a lactation specialised for advice confirmed that it was most likely the Lansinoh in the breast pads that was causing it. And soon enough once I stopped using them my breasts began to feel much better again!
If, however, you are not allergic to Lansinoh and you do use these breast pads I still do not recommend them for the following reasons.
They come in a box of 36 and they are not individually wrapped they are just lined up inside which is fine but it's important to not let them be handled or messed with so that they can be kept as clean as possible.
The pads themselves are fairly ordinary looking- they are round and slightly curved so that they will fit within your bra. They are white and quite thick with a soft side which rests against your breast. The soft side is almost like cotton wool but without it being fluffy. On the opposite side it is plastic coated which means that breast milk will not leak through into your bra/clothes. It has a small strip which you peel off (about the size of a stamp) which is sticky and this is what you put into your bra and stick it onto the material with.
As you can guess the strip is not very big just being the size of a stamp and so it doesn't actually work very well. I always recommend putting this little sticky section at the top of your bra so that it is stuck at the top and then gravity works with keeping the bottom of it in place. I find, however, that it doesn't last long, that as the day progresses and you are busy moving and bending and whatever that the pad soon looses it's ability to stick and can move around in your bra. The fact that it can move around means that your breast may not be protected and so you can end up actually leaking and it going through your bra and onto your clothes. I had to keep readjusting the pad and ensuring that it was in the correct place which was not ideal and shouldn't have happened at all considering it is supposed to be sticky.
As well as it being able to move due to the stickiness not actually being very effective, it is also not very good at actually staying flat. When I wore these in bed I found that they would soon somehow manage to fold up on themselves. I have no idea how it managed to do this but throughout the course of the night the pad would fold up or twist or bend and result in my breast being pressed up against the non absorbent side and sometimes actually sticking to the 'sticky' section which would be very painful.
The soft side of this nursing pad is gentle against the breast, however, if you leak milk- which let's face it you must be doing if you're needing to use breast pads- your nipple will be damp and this dampness when pressed against the pad seems to result in the softness of the pad coming away and suddenly being very cotton wool like and actually sticking to your nipple. I had to pull off lots of little bits of fluff off my breast before being able to feed my baby and it was very painful to do so.
The breast pad is supposed to protect your breasts to keep them against something soft so that they don't rub on rough clothing and lead to sore and tender breasts at a time when you may be experiencing very poor feeling boobs. and want to protect them as much as possible, however, I have had nothing but trouble from these. The fact that I am allergic to the active ingredient used is unfortunate but even if I wasn't these pads would still lead to more harm than good- the fact that they do not stay in position, that they end up breaking up and sticking to my breast and that they still lead to your boobs leaking due to not staying in place.
I really do not recommend these at all. There are many other alternatives on the market or you could try some unusual but more 'natural' approaches such as using cabbage leaves to help soothe sore breasts, making your own pads out of cotton wool covered in a soft cotton which can then be washed...
If you are needing breast pads then try to buy ones which are the most 'natural' you do not need all sorts of ingredients inside them you just need some form of protection and absorbency. Paying excessive amounts is not necessary, sometimes the cheaper and simpler is the better.
If you need any advice regarding taking care of your breasts during breastfeeding then Little Angels or the NCT can provide you with lots of advice, information and support but the advice that I give you is to avoid these breast pads completely!
Great review! To be honest I found the cheaper brands to be the best and as for sore nipples, breastmilk worked wonders for healing because of the antiseptic properties it has! x
fluffy27 08.11.2011 00:26
I have rated this as exceptional because you have mentioned Little Angels! I am on the helpline tonight. Nobody's phoned yet but if they do I won't be recommending Lansinoh breast pads.
I agree about them coming unstuck and moving around. I didn't use them for long. Probably only a couple of weeks because I've never been particularly leaky. But I always found them annoying. When I bought them though, they were individually wrapped so they must have changed that now.