Last Updated on January 20, 2023 by Avi Steen
Giving birth is an amazingly beautiful experience full of ups and downs. The result is a bundle of joy that you’ll get to take care of for the rest of your life! But it also means a lot of healing afterward. After childbirth, most women will experience bleeding and soreness in the vaginal area. That’s why it’s important to invest in the best pads for postpartum. In this blog post, we’ll give you our recommendations after three births of our own and multiple conversations with friends, family, and professionals!
Postpartum Pads Basics
Postpartum pads are an essential part of the post-delivery process. They provide comfortable and absorbent leak proof protection to help you heal after labor and delivery. Most pads, except the reusable pad type, come with an adhesive strip to adhere to your underwear.
Choosing the right pad is important for your comfort and healing, so it’s important to research and select one that fits your needs. Here are some basic guidelines to help you find the right postpartum pad.
- Best Pads for Postpartum For After Birth Bleeding in 2023
- Momcozy Pump: What You Need to Know (Complete Review 2022)
- 7 Ways to Take Mommy Time Without Feeling Selfish
- 7 Best Nursing Tops for Easy Breastfeeding in 2022
- 20 Unique and Trending Gender Reveal Ideas for 2023
How Long Will You Bleed After Birth?
The amount of postpartum bleeding you experience after delivery depends on several factors, including the type of birth (vaginal or c-section), your body’s healing process, and any medications you may have taken. Generally, expect to bleed for four to six weeks after birth similar to a medium to heavy flow.
What to Consider When Buying Postpartum Pads
When it comes to the best pads for postpartum, there are a few things to consider:
Look for postpartum maxi pads that can absorb more liquid than your regular period pad and provide you with the protection you need. Highly absorbent pads unlike menstrual pads will help give
It’s important to find a pad that is comfortable against your skin, especially when you’re dealing with an area that is healing from childbirth. Look for a pad that contains soft padding and breathable materials to keep your sensitive skin feeling comfortable and dry.
Make sure the pad you select fits securely in your underwear. The adhesive strip will help but if it’s too big, it won’t stay in place. If the pad is too small, it won’t provide enough coverage.
Price can also be a factor when selecting postpartum pads, but when it comes to this kind of protective gear, you should always prioritize comfort and absorbency over cost.
How To Choose the Best Pads for Postpartum
Recommendations From Other Moms
When it comes to selecting the best postpartum pads, word of mouth can be the best source for sound advice. Check within your community for recommendations from other moms who have been through it before.
You can also look online for reviews and ratings like this blog post on different brands of the best postpartum pads. This will help you narrow down your choices and find the best option for your needs.
Test It Out
Finally, if you’re able to, it’s a good idea to test out a pad during pregnancy. This will give you an opportunity to make sure that it fits well, is comfortable against your sensitive skin, and provides adequate protection.
It’s also great if your water breaks in the middle of the night like mines did.
Decide Between Cloth or Disposable Pads
When choosing a postpartum pad you have a variety of different types to consider. But ultimately choosing between reusable pads or disposable pads is a personal decision.
Cloth pads have the added benefit of being reusable, but they may not provide enough absorbency or protection during your heavy flow days. Disposable pads are convenient and can be thrown away after each use, but they’re not always eco-friendly.
How Many Maternity Pads Do I Need?
Depending on if you choose cloth or disposable will depend on how many postpartum pads you need. For cloth postpartum pads, you should have at least 12-15 for each day of heavy flow and 6-8 for light bleeding days.
For disposable pads, try to get enough to last 3-4 days before replacing them. Pro tip: Keep the packaging or take a picture of the box to show your husband in case he needs to make a quick store run.
Buy a Wide Assortment
Not every day will be the same on your postpartum journey, both physically and mentally. So make sure you have a wide assortment of postpartum pads in sizes and absorbency levels to accommodate each day.
Why Do You Need Pads After Giving Birth?
Postpartum pads are necessary after giving birth to help absorb any excess blood and fluids that come with your body’s recovery process. This includes uterine contractions, which cause the uterus to expel any remaining tissue left from pregnancy and delivery.
Additionally, using postpartum pads can help keep you feeling clean, dry, and comfortable during this time. You can also add ice packs, witch hazel cloths, and sitz baths to your postpartum recovery routine.
Ultimately, while postpartum pads may not be the most glamorous of items, they are an essential part of your recovery. So make sure to do your research and find a pad that will provide you with the right level of protection and comfort.
When Do You Start Using Postpartum Pads After Birth?
You should start using postpartum pads immediately after birth. In the hospital, they often provide you with a few packs of hospital postpartum pads for your initial postpartum bleeding.
You can also bring your own maternity pads to help with postpartum bleeding. Once you give birth your nurse will show you how to do postpartum care and help you to the bathroom as needed.
The hospital will also provide, in most cases, mesh underwear that is stretchy. This disposable underwear can help keep you comfortable after a c-section or vaginal delivery in your early postpartum days.
It’s also important to keep in mind that it takes some time for your body to heal after birth. As healing progresses and your flow lessens, you can switch to different types of pads with lighter absorbency.
When Should I Ditch Postpartum Pads Altogether?
Most women will ditch postpartum pads after 8-10 weeks of healing. At this point, postpartum bleeding should have decreased significantly and you’ll feel more comfortable transitioning back to panty liners or underwear.
Can I Use Normal Pads After Birth?
Period pads can be used after birth instead of postpartum pads, however, it’s not recommended. Postpartum pads are designed to provide more protection and absorbency than regular sanitary napkins, which is essential during this time.
Additionally, postpartum pads contain materials that are gentler on sensitive skin. If you do use feminine pads, opt for ultra-absorbent, more than one pad, winged pads, or overnight pads.
Can I Use Menstrual Cups After Birth?
Menstrual cups are not ideal after birth due to a higher risk of infection during your postpartum period. Your postpartum flow is also heavier than usual which will cause your cup to fill quickly.
New moms should be able to resume cup use once they have their first period postpartum. Once you’re ready, I recommend this menstrual cup!
How We Made Our Picks for the Best Postpartum Pads
Part experience, part reviews from moms just like you. We wanted to make sure that the best postpartum pads had a combination of absorbency, comfort, and convenience.
We looked for pads made from soft materials with leak-proof barriers, odor-control features, and contoured shapes that fit comfortably around your body. These are perfect for giving birth to your beautiful baby.
We also paid attention to reviews from moms who have already tried them out and know firsthand how effective they are. After all, who better to tell us what works best for postpartum care than moms who’ve been there?!!
Best Maxi Pads
Always Infinity Flex Foam Pads
These best maxi pads for postpartum are designed with a contoured shape to fit your body perfectly and provide maximum absorbency. The infinity flex foam core also helps keep you dry while the breathable cloth-like material keeps your skin feeling comfortable.
They come in different sizes, so you can find one that’s perfect for you! I’d recommend the Always overnight pads or the pads with wings.
Best Organic Postpartum Pads
Natracare Maternity Pads with Organic Cotton Cover
These are for the eco-friendly mamas out there! Natracare’s maternity pads are free from chlorine, synthetic fibers, and harsh chemicals. Plus, they have a super soft certified organic cotton cover that keeps your skin feeling comfortable.
Best Cloth Menstrual Pads
Overnight Long Reusable Cloth Pads
Cloth pads are slowly replacing normal feminine pads, and for good reason. Not only are they eco-friendly, but they’re also super comfortable and easy to clean.
Overnight long pads from Lucky Pads are made from soft organic cotton with a leak-proof backing to keep you dry all night long.
Types of Postpartum Pads
Postpartum pads come in all shapes, sizes, and absorbencies. Here’s a quick overview of the different types so you can decide which one is best for your postpartum needs:
A maxi pad is designed with more absorbency than regular sanitary napkins. They usually have wings to help keep them in place and a leak-proof barrier to prevent any accidents.
Pads With Wings
Pads with wings help provide extra protection from leaks and provide a more secure fit. They are usually larger and offer better coverage than pads without wings.
Panty liners are best for light days near the end of your postpartum bleeding. This usually happens 4-6 weeks after birth. Because they have a light absorb flow, liners aren’t recommended for early postpartum bleeding.
These are made from soft materials like certified organic cotton and other natural fibers. They’re also free from harsh chemicals, dyes, perfumes, and chlorine bleach so they are gentle on sensitive skin.
The right maternity pad goes a long way in protecting your postpartum body. They are usually larger and provide more coverage than regular pads. Plus, they have extra layers for maximum absorbency.
Washable and Reusable Pads
These are great for eco-friendly mamas who want to reduce their environmental footprint. Reusable cloth pads can be washed and reused multiple times, making them a cost-effective and eco-friendly option.
These special pads have a cooling gel layer to provide relief from discomfort caused by postpartum swelling. They are designed to be thinner and more absorbent than regular pads so you can stay dry and comfortable.
Herbal pads are made from natural ingredients like herbs, essential oils, and flowers. They also offer soothing relief from postpartum discomfort and tenderness.
Lavender essential oils are often used to provide a natural calming effect. Witch hazel is another common ingredient since it helps reduce inflammation and skin irritation caused by postpartum swelling.
Post-birth underwear is designed to provide extra coverage and support while you’re recovering. They usually have a higher waistband that sits above your belly button and a thicker gusset for extra protection.
You may need extra protection from leaks if you’re experiencing postpartum incontinence. Incontinence underwear is designed to be more absorbent than regular postpartum panties, so you can stay dry and comfortable. Plus, they usually have anti-odor agents that help keep you feeling fresh throughout the day.
They also come in a few different types so you can find something that suits you best! I used pads inside of my postpartum underwear for an added layer of protection in the initial weeks postpartum.
Postpartum Pads vs Depends: Which is Right for you?
The best postpartum pads are designed to provide more absorbency and comfort for postpartum bleeding and healing, while Depends are intended for postpartum incontinence protection.
In general, postpartum pads can be used during the first few weeks of postpartum care while Depends might not be necessary at all. However, if you experience heavy or prolonged postpartum bleeding, Depends may be a better option to double up with overnight pads.
Other Postpartum Essentials
There are numerous other items you’ll need during your postpartum journey including a hospital bag for new moms, nipple cream for your breastfeeding needs, and clothes for overnight wear.
How many pads should I pack in my hospital bag?
Check with your birthing hospital to see what they offer postpartum. Most provide a pack of hospital pads for your stay that you can take home with you.
The best postpartum pads are essential for postpartum healing and comfort. There are many types to choose from depending on your individual needs, including maxi pads, organic cotton pads, reusable pads, and more. Be sure to research the different options to find the best maternity pads for you.
Octavia Steen is an NBDA certified fertility doula, health coach, certified fitness nutrition specialist, aspiring missionary with the COGIC, and owner of Mother Mindset. She helps future and current mamas become more consistent in faith + fitness and grow closer to God so they can create a healthier lifestyle from the inside out!