How Many Breast Pads Do I Need? – For Breastfeeding & Formula Feeding

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Expectant mothers have to decide how best to raise their babies, including whether to breastfeed or not. If you choose to breastfeed your child, you will need to buy breast pads/nursing pads. For a couple of days after giving birth, you may be good enough to get along without the nursing pads, but as milk continues to come in, you will need them. But how many breast pads does a breastfeeding mother need?

It can be hard to know how many exactly you will need as it depends on if you intend to breastfeed, bottle-feed or a mix of both. If you intend to bottle feed exclusively you will only need a short supply until the milk dries up. If you breastfeed you will need a more constant supply.

A breastfeeding mother is likely to experience leaking before the milk supply balances to the baby’s demands. Some mothers may never encounter leaking whatsoever, while others may have to deal with leaking for the whole breastfeeding period. Therefore, you may need to get breast pads that suit your needs. This article discusses how you use breast pads and how many they might need. 

What Are Breast Pads?    

A breast pad, also known as a nursing pad, is an important breastfeeding item inserted onto an ordinary nursing bra. They can suck up breast milk from a leaking breast so that the milk doesn’t stain your clothes. They go a long way to prevent embarrassment and guard your clothes against stains. 

Leaking can take place anytime. For example, it can leak the moment you hear your baby crying, when you have an intimate connection with your spouse, when your breasts are full, and sometimes, for no reason at all. 

breast pads

There are two types of nursing pads; disposable and reusable nursing pads. They both differ in the material used to make them, their convenience, and their effectiveness. Therefore, when purchasing breast pads, you will have to select one of these two types. 

While the washable ones do not contribute much to rubbish piles and are a bit cheaper, they may not be practical to every mother. One may find using both breast pads a preferable idea. Also, it is a great idea to use the reusable pads at home and keep the disposable ones for when you are at work or just outside. 

Both reusable and disposable pads will have a way of clinging to your nipples as you try to remove them. Sometimes it is a bit painful pulling them out, especially when you have left them for long. It is necessary to change your pads frequently to avoid such events.   

How Many Breast Pads Will I Need If I Am Breast Feeding?

It is difficult to know exactly how many pads one needs to use daily as they vary from one person to another. The number you need is determined by the quantity of milk you produce daily and how much your baby can consume. A breastfeeding mother may need to change the breast pads no less than six times a day.

Some mothers may find that they leak less and only need to change breast pads 1-2 times a day which is totally normal. If you leak more frequently or heavily you may find you need to change 3-4 times a day. Each person’s body is different and it also depends on the stage in which you are at within your breastfeeding journey.

It is advisable to buy many brands having different sizes, shapes, and absorptivity when you are beginning to recognize the greatest type that works for you. 

Disposable breast pads are made to be worn only once and then afterwards thrown away. You get them in different shapes and thicknesses, and they are the perfect choice to wear when going out. However, disposables can become very expensive with time as you are always supposed to buy new ones.

Washable/ reusable breast pads are economical since you can wash them then use them again after you have worn them. They are environmentally good as not many pads are thrown away every day but reused. You can purchase some pairs as you will want to have some pairs available while washing some. 

Silicone nursing pads are not absorbent, but instead, they pose a considerate pressure on the breast to block leaks. These pads can stick directly to the breast hence can be worn even without a bra. They are suitable for swimming or under fancy dressing. 

There are many other elements that can influence the number of breast pads you will use, which depends on every mother. 

How Many Breast Pads Will I Need If I Am Bottle-Feeding?

You might already know this but as you become a new mum you will still want/need a couple of breast pads ready even if you are exclusively bottle/formula feeding as your body may still produce milk naturally and have some leaking issues.

Though don’t worry as many have advised that your milk can dry up in a matter of days to 2-3 weeks at the most. So you may only find you need to use breast pads for that short time. If you don’t stimulate the breast or express milk you will experience a quicker dry uptime and therefore have fewer leaks and can ditch the breast pads quicker than you might think.

You may find you need to use 1 – 2 breast pads per day depending on your flow, how much you leak and personal hygiene preference. As you are not stimulating the breast and the milk it it likely you will have fewer leaks and so may not need to use many breast pads through the drying up period.

How To Save Money on Breast Pads

It is really expensive to bring babies up. Breastfeeding is the best way to save money when it comes to spending money on your newborn baby. While lactating is an individual choice, and it turns out to be the choice that not every mother is prepared to make, those who choose to breastfeed always have a chance to save their money in several ways. 

Use Reusable Breast Pads

You can save a lot of money by using reusable breast pads. Cloth nursing pads are washable and hence can be reused. You can fling them in the water when you are washing your other baby clothes. 

Gift from friends

You can save money by getting breast pads given to you as gifts from friends, family members, or other people coming to visit your baby. This way, you won’t be buying the pads and hence saving your money. 

Buy in Bulk

You can also choose to buy nursing pads in bulk as a way of saving your money. This will result in you getting more nursing pads than you would if you had decided to buy them in a small quantity using the same amount of money. The other good thing about buying in bulk is that you never run out of nursing pads.

Look out for discounts.

Buying nursing pads while on sale also allows you to save money. This is due to the different discount percentages offered on sale varying from 5% to up to 60% and hence becoming a good offer. You can use the money you save to buy other things.