How Many Nursing Pads Do I Need to Prepare for a Day?

It’s time for shopping! You know that it’s due anytime and you can feel it. Your belly is now heavy, and you’ve got cramps all over. As you check the supply list, you’re still uncertain on the nursing pads.

“How many nursing pads do I need?” First-time moms usually need help on this kind of stuff. Therefore, for mothers like me and you out there who have been in these circumstances once or twice, I’m happy to share some facts.

What is a nursing Pad?

Nursing pads or breast pads as some may call it are a piece of fabric, usually an average size of 10 cm. It comes in different shapes like fancy hearts, but the most common is a circle that properly fits inside the bra. It’s designed to absorb the milk that leaks out and is made with waterproof backing so not to stain your shirt.

Moms have this natural response to their baby’s needs. When it comes to breastfeeding, the milk generates automatically as soon as the baby cries. However, the amount of milk that comes out may vary from each mother. Some leak plenty but others not as much. Nevertheless, all of them need nursing pads.

What are the Different Types of Nursing Pads?

What are the Different Types of Nursing Pads

It’s good to know that you have options when it comes to shopping. For nursing pads, you can choose between disposable and reusable kinds. If you want to know how many nursing pads you need, you better acquaint yourself very well.

Reusable pads

When I was nursing, I made it a point to try both types of pads. To be honest, the reusable pad is my favorite. I love to use the organic bamboo breast pads. Of course, it saves a lot when it comes to money and is environmentally friendly. But my main reason is the comfort. I found out that only reusable pads feel gentle on my sore nipples. The soft, breathable natural fibers allows air to flow inside and helps in the soothing of my tender nipples.I need 2-3 reusable pads a day. I don’t leak that much, just enough to sustain my baby’s hunger. I replace my pad every feeding. The wet feeling is very uncomfortable and letting it stay longer makes me feel itchy. Whether you leak slowly or not, three pads daily will suffice. I suggest you wash it right away after using and let it dry. By night time, the other two are now dry and ready for reuse. When traveling, I bring extras since I don’t have easy access to wash them.

The only downside with reusable pads is the time and effort you need to wash them. For me, it’s not that much, it’s just small round pads, and it dries in no time. I recommend you use the mildest detergent to prevent harm to your sensitive skin.

Disposable Pads

Disposable pads are useful for on the go moms. If you find it troublesome to wash and wear, this is for you. This kind is convenient when traveling and for moms who are working. Since you don’t need to wash at all, it requires less time and effort.Be careful in choosing breast pads. Testing several brands first is advisable. Find the type that is soft and does not irritate your skin. Using disposable nursing pads may cost high compared to reusable ones, but it comes in handy when not at home.Depending on the ability of the pads to absorb, I can use 6-10 pads daily for moderate leaks. With this idea, it would be better to purchase in bulk to save money. I recommend Lansinoh dry pads, since it’s what I use when I’m outdoors. 

How Many Nursing Pads do I need?

Every mom doesn’t have the same answer to this question. That’s because there are a lot of factors that you need to consider to know the right figure. To be able to determine, I’ll mention the factors and try to see if some of it will fit in for you.

Milk Flow

At an early stage after birth, you might need a few pads. The breast is still at the phase of early lactation. Once your baby masters suckling, milk flow will start to be heavy. Then, you will need more to prevent stains.If you think your milk flow is minimal, 1-2 pads/day is reasonable. For average to heavy milk flow, 3-5 pads will do. But then, of course, other factors may make you agree otherwise.

The type of nursing pads

Being familiar with milk flow, considering the kind of pad matters too. There are few pads needed for reusable type since you can wash them after but for disposable ones, you may need a lot more!

​How often do you need to change pads?

Changing pads for a fresh one every 3-4 hours is hygienic. With this, you’ll need an average of 6 pads. Don’t leave wet pads too long since it might be the cause of infection. This condition, however, is your personal choice for later on, you’ll have your comfortable routine.

You should be able to determine the number of pads you should prepare for a day once you’ll consider the three factors I have given. So, it’s safe to buy the minimal #of pieces of a disposable pack or 2 reusable pads for a starter. After that, you can adjust as you familiarize yourself with the nature of your breastfeeding.

Here is a video showing you how to use nursing pads. The short demonstration is excellent, especially for first-time moms.

Final thoughts

I found it embarrassing and extremely icky when milk stains my shirt. Imagine how happy I was upon discovering the usefulness of the breast pads. For me, I always have a pack in my baby bag for use. Otherwise, if I opt for the washable type, my three pieces would mean one that I’m currently using, another one in the drier and a spare.

Only you can determine how many nursing pads you’ll need in a day. So when you buy one, keep in mind what holds important to you. Is it comfort? Budget? Or both?

Other Related Articles:

  1. How to Induce Lactation Quickly: Several Ways Mothers Should Try

  2. The Best Breast Milk Storage Bags You Need Today

  3. Why Has My Milk Flow Suddenly Lessened? How Can I Fix It?

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Sarah Palmer
Hi! I'm Sarah. My husband and I have a beautiful little girl; plus we’re anxiously awaiting the arrival of Baby #2, so this is a very exciting time for us. Throughout this amazing journey called Parenthood, I’ve learned so much and love sharing my experiences with other parents at I'd love to share my discoveries with you too!
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