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The Best Maternity Pads in the UK 2024

If you're expecting your first baby, you'll probably understand that you'll bleed post birth for a while, which is called lochia. This is a mixture of blood, uterine tissue and mucus and it usually lasts for around 6 weeks, getting gradually less over that time.

You'll likely have a period of heavy bleeding straight after labour and birth which will taper over the next four to six weeks.

To deal with this bleeding you'll need to use maternity or postpartum pads. And you'll need a LOT of them! Initially these will be extra long maternity pads but as the bleeding eases you can downgrade to regular pads and eventually panty liners.

Here at Team Cheeky we've been all about 'Simple Reusables' since we launched our bestselling reusable wipes kit back in 2008. Having had 4 children myself, I understand how tricky it can be to anticipate what you'll need for that tricky post partum period, so I thought this blogpost might help!

We'll compare disposable and reusable maternity pads so you can get an idea of what might work best for you and the pros and cons of each.

Heads up: any amazon links in this article may earn us a commission but that isn't why we're recommending any items in particular. We're recommending competitor products alongside our own Cheeky reusable products, so we may as well make a penny or two off it! 

In this guide, not only will we recommend the best 6 maternity pads but we'll also answer some of your questions around maternity pads :

We get asked this question a LOT. Generally, disposable maternity pads are different to normal sanitary pads as they tend to have less plastic and be gentler on your very delicate post delivery vulva area.

With reusable pads, the same pads can be worn for heavy periods as for maternity or overnight use. That's because reusable pads don't contain plastic anyway and are generally SO much softer and more absorbent anyway!

Will I Need Maternity Pads If I Have A C-Section?

Yes, you'll need maternity pads if you have a C-Section because the blood, tissue and mucous still needs to be expelled from your womb.

How Many Maternity Pads Should I Take To Hospital?

Hospital stays after you have given birth can vary a LOT in length. With my eldest, I was in hospital for two nights. However for number two and three, I was lucky enough to have a 6 hour discharge.

For a C-Section, you could be in hospital for 5 days or more. All these factors will obviously impact how many pads you'll need.

You should allow 8 maternity pads per day for the first 2 days after giving birth if you're using disposable maternity pads, or 6 per day for reusable pads. For the following 5 days, allow 6 disposable pads daily.

Assuming that you'll kept in for an average of 2 days, you'll need to take 16 disposable maternity pads or around 12 reusable pads to hospital in your hospital bag.

Don't forget those other hospital essentials such as breast pads, nursing bras, lip balm and your car seat!

What Are the Different Types of Maternity Pads?

There are 4 main types of maternity pads. Classic pads, winged pads, reusable maternity pads and plastic free maternity pads.

Classic Maternity Pads

By this we mean large maxi pads, tailored specifically for maternity use. They tend to be longer and wider than normal disposable sanitary pads. They sometimes have glue on the reverse to keep them secure in your knickers.

Many supermarkets and chemists offer their own brands of maternity pads like this, so they are often the cheapest option to buy.

Winged Maternity Pads

Most of the big brands that you'll recognise offer winged maternity pads, which go under your knicker gusset, tailored specifically for maternity use. These winged maternity towels tend to be more expensive but generally thinner also.

Plastic Free Maternity Pads

There are now some great brands of plastic free pads which are also tailored specifically for after your due date! They have less chemicals, relying on cellulose based absorbency rather than chemical gels. These will be less absorbent overall but better for your delicate healing vulva skin.

Reusable Maternity Pads

Reusable maternity pads are made from absorbent materials such as bamboo, cotton and microfibre. They'll contain a waterproof layer to stop leaks and can be worn with regular underwear or postpartum support knickers for extra absorbency and comfort.

Here we've chosen our selection of the best maternity pads in the UK. We've chosen a mixture of brands from post partum specialists through to period specialists.


6 of The Best Maternity Pads in the UK 

  1. Lansinoh Extra Long Maternity Pads
  2. Lil-lets Maternity Pads
  3. Fridamom Maternity Pads
  4. Natracare Maternity Pads
  5. Cheeky Bamboo Reusable Maternity Pads
  6. Cheeky Cotton Reusable Maternity Pads


Lansinoh Extra Long Maternity Pads

1. Lansinoh Extra Absorbent Maternity Pads

Lansinoh are well known for their range of healing products for post birth and breastfeeding. These extra long winged pads are made specifically for the first two weeks after birth when your bleeding is heaviest.

Style: Winged disposable

Material: Not specified

Price: £14.94 for 60

Customer Reviews: "They are much longer than usual sanitary pads and cover the whole of the gusset of your knickers. They also have 2 sets of wings to keep the pad in place.

I found them to be really soft and comfortable and only slightly bulkier than usual sanitary pads with no leaks at all even overnight."

Lil-lets Maternity Pads

 2. Lil-Lets Maternity Ultra Thin Long Pads

Along with Tampax & Always, Lil-lets are one of the bigger brands of period protection in the UK. Similar to the Lansinoh offering, these long winged pads are more of a general maternity offering. I'd recommend these for weeks 3 onwards as they aren't as cushioned as standard maternity pads. Good price!

Style: Winged disposable

Material: Not specified

Price: £5.40 for 30

Customer Reviews: "These pads are nice, they are soft and long/wide enough to be used during postpartum. The two sets of wings allow better adhesion and the pad texture is softer than a regular pad (but not as soft as a typical postpartum pad). The type of absorption is similar to a regular pad and it makes it difficult to identify the “health” of the lochia. As you may know, the lochia changes over the weeks and it is important to be able to see the colour in case of an infection/health issue and with these pads, it is not always very clear… I used for the first part of my postpartum another type of maternity pads which were huge and moved into these ones for this later stage. I am definitely more comfortable with these one, but as I said, checking the color health is not obvious. Price is great"

Fridamom Maternity Pads

3. FridaMom Maternity Pads

Fridamom are an innovative brand offering postpartum recovery products. Alongside these plastic free maternity towels they also offer disposable 'pad popsicles' with witch hazel to soothe your battered vulva post borth and reduce swelling.

Style: Plastic free wingless

Material: Not specified

Price: £9.99 for 18

Customer Review: "I love the Frida mom stuff these were the most expensive maternity pads I tried but they were also the best (I tried a few cheaper alternatives as well), after the birth of my daughter I was really glad I’d invested in these whilst I was bleeding a lot, they stayed in place well and did not leak, very absorbant. Teamed well with the disposable knickers they do"

Natracare Maternity Pads

4. Natracare Organic Cotton Maternity Pads

We love Natracare here at Cheeky as another ethical and organic period protection brand. Their organic cotton maternity pads use cellulose for absorption rather than gel / chemicals.

Style: Plastic free wingless

Material: Organic cotton & cellulose.

Price: £9.09 for 20

Customer Review: "I recommend these to all new mums now for the immediate post partum period. Soft and comfortable with a good level of thickness which you can only appreciate once you’ve experienced that post partum recovery period. Also great to know you’re not using heavy chemicals and instead natural materials in the most delicate region at the most delicate time."

Cheeky Bamboo Maternity Pads

5. Cheeky Bamboo Night / Washable Maternity Pads 

Reusable pads are brilliant postpartum. You're also only using fabric against your skin which is much nicer on bruised delicate postpartum skin.

These bamboo night / maternity pads are our most absorbent reusable pads at 28cm long, they're available with a natural bamboo top layer or a bamboo charcoal top layer. Both perform the same, but obviously the blood is less easy to see on the charcoal option. Perfect for immediately after birth.

Another benefit of reusable pads is that once purchased you can of course keep and reuse them again and again. This could be for your own heavy periods, or for further children!

Style: Reusable, popper wings

Material: Bamboo, microfibre, PUL plush outer layer.

Price: 5 for the price of 4, £25.96

Customer Review: "I bought these to use postnatal and I am so glad I did! They are so much more comfortable than disposable pads and so easy to wash. Really impressed."

Cheeky Cotton Maternity Pads

6. Cotton Cloth Reusable Period & Pee Pads for Night or Maternity

These cotton night / maternity pads are thinner and less bulky than our bamboo pads, so we would recommend them for week 3 onwards.

However these are perfect for making a 'padsicle' by soaking them in a little water and witch hazel and then freezing. Place in your knickers over the tops of the bamboo pad in the immediate aftermath of giving birth to reduce swelling.

Style: Reusable cotton pad, popper wings

Material: Cotton, PUL lining.

Price: 5 for the price of 4, £15.56

Customer Review: "These are the best cloth san pro I've tried - cotton ones are thin and super comfy and ultra absorbent they wash well don't slip around or encourage thrush and don't smell at all - that awful 'period' smell I've hated all my life...turns out it was the awful plastic pads I was using not me! Never going back. I use the 'maternity' size which is a bit alarming but I obvs have a heavy flow and they aren't bulky at all. On really really heavy days and overnight I use the Minky bamboo ones which absorb a ridiculous amount but are a bit bulky for everyday wear for me. Cheeky wipes prices are unbeatable and the quality is fantastic. Wish I'd had these 25 years ago!!"

Are Maternity Pads Good for Heavy Periods?

Yes, maternity pads are good for heavy periods. In fact our customers with endometriosis really rate them, alongside our period pants for helping to manage their severely heavy flows. You can read more about that in our series of articles on endometriosis:

We hope you've found this helpful, but if you've got any further questions at all about postpartum protection or maternity pads, please do contact us. The team all use the products themselves and love to chat pee, poo and periods all day long! We've also got some further reading that you may be interested in: 

About the Author: Helen Rankin founded Cheeky Wipes, the original reusable wipes kit back in 2008 after disposable wipes caused her eczema to flare up. 4 kids later, she went on to develop their range of 'Simple Reusables' to include period pants, reusable period kits and reusable incontinence pants. Both she and the rest of the leadership team are now navigating menopause, with all the joys it brings!