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Buying for Baby: Breast-feeding...disposable breast pads

Monday, 13 April 2009  |  Admin

I thought I'd kick off the next of my baby buying tips with covering off baby feeding. Obviously the cheapest and most natural way to feed your baby is breast-feeding. You've got the equipment for it already in place and you can take it with you wherever you go. But check out the shelves of your local baby shop and they've got a bewildering array of breast and nipple related accoutrements which seem to be designed to confuse. So which of these if any do you need?
Well breast pads seem to be the obvious place to start. No matter whether you intend on breast feeding or not, you're going to need breast pads to soak up leaks (and believe me when you've leaked milk onto your husbands back during the night, you'll come to appreciate the benefits of breast pads!) Breast pads can be disposable or reusable and I've tried both sorts so am happy to share my experiences.
With disposable, I'd really recommend that you buy a well known brand because you definitely get what you pay for. I liked Johnsons or Avent because they were nicely padded and absorbent, but soft too, with no rough edges. I did try some supermarket brands (mainly because they didn't stock any alternatives) and generally they were pretty rubbish. Not enough absorbency and irritating crinkly paper bits round the outside which itched and were very uncomfortable too.
The benefits of disposable pads are that you change them fairly frequently so from a hygiene perspective that's good especially if you suffer from thrush or mastitis). Plus because you're changing the pads, in theory you shouldn't ever smell of stale milk (but given that you've generally got a splodge of baby sick somewhere about your person for the first 6 months of their life, that's probably not as much of a bonus as it should be...).
The downsides are that they're more expensive (about £4 for a pack of 30 which was enough for about 2 weeks for me) than reusables in the long run and obviously have more environmental impact as they are disposable. One word of caution too on disposable pads as they seem to have a life of their own and whilst I was using them I would keep finding them in strange places where they'd escaped from the confines of my bra and were making a run for the border!

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