Hi, my name is Amy, and I have leaky breasts. Apparently the leakiness is supposed to sort itself out in the first few weeks, but it just hasn't for me; my breasts leak when I haven't fed Delphine for a while, and when I'm feeding her on one side, the other side leaks. Therefore, I need nursing pads, and I need good ones. Where some women apparently only need the panty liner of nursing pads, I need the super maxi overnight pad of nursing pads.
I've been trying different brands to find out which is the best value, and I'm now posting what I have found out so that the rest of the world doesn't have to go through what I have gone through.
I got the prices for this page from drugstore.com, apart from the price for the Evenflo pads which I got from MedShop Express.
I'll continue to post new reviews as I try other products. In the meantime, if anyone knows of a non-disposable nursing pad which is very absorbent, I'd love to hear about it.
These pads are highly absorbent; they have that infinitely absorbent gel stuff in them. They're contoured to fit the shape of the breast so they aren't too conspicuous, and do not stick to the nipple. I give them five stars.
Price: US$4.19 for 36, so 11.6 cents each.
These pads have a contoured fit for discretion, but they aren't absorbent enough to deal with my degree of leakage. More distressingly, though, they actually stick to you when wet, so you have to peel them off your already-tender nipples. Give these ones a miss. One star.
Price: US$3.99 for 50, so 8.0 cents each.
These pads are also contoured for discretion. They have the same super-absorbent gel as the Johnson's, so they soak and soak and soak, and they're big so they provide ample coverage, yet thin so they aren't obvious. I had no leaks with this product. They have a nice lining material which doesn't stick to your nipples and keeps you dry. They come in a box of 60, so you don't have to buy a new box as often.
I have only two minor concerns with these pads: first, they have an adhesive patch on the back to stick them to your bra, like a panty liner. I found, however, that my breasts and my bra move around in relation to each other enough that committing to one location for my breast pad at the beginning of the day was imprudent. So I left the little paper liner on the sticky spot, but I found that the text on the paper liner was actually visible through a white bra and shirt.
The other concern is that each pad is individually wrapped; this is unneccesary and environmentally hostile.
Apart from these concerns, this is a good product. I give it four and a half stars.
Price: US$8.99 for 60, so 15.0 cents each.
These pads are useless. They're no better than a few paper towels stitched together. They hardly absorb anything, and they stay wet so your nipples get sore. The absorbent layers aren't sealed at the edges of the pad, so they leak very easily. They aren't contoured, so the edges pucker and show up under your clothes.
Also, when they get soaked they disintegrate, leaving bits of crusty material stuck to your breasts.
Avoid these pads. No stars.
Price: US$3.29 for 36, so 9.1 cents each.
These pads are neither super nor absobent; in fact, they aren't much better than the Evenflo pads, although at least they don't dissolve and leave crud on your breasts.
They don't absorb much, and the odd thing is that they allow the milk to flow right through the pad; it doesn't leak just at the edge, but right in the middle. The pads aren't contoured, so they show through clothing.
I was only able to buy these in boxes of 24, so the box doesn't last very long, which is a blessing for me because I'll be rid of them sooner, but annoying for someone who actually likes them.
I give these pads 2 out of 5 stars.
Price: US$3.79 for 40, so 9.5 cents each.
The Bravado Nursing Pads represent my second attempt to purchase non-disposable pads. (I can't remember the brand of the first set I bought, so I can't fairly review them, but they were crap anyway.) They're pretty good, but don't offer as much absorption as I need. They seem to start leaking through the pad before it is saturated; my friend Ellen thinks they leak through the seam, which is plausible.
Bravado also sells "doublers" which increase the absorption quite a bit, but they're CDN$3.95 for 2, which seems a bit steep.
They are contoured so they are quite discreet, and they're very comfortable. I'd recommend them for someone with less absorption needs than I; I'll give them 3 out of 5 stars for being comfortable, contoured and environmentally responsible.
Price: US$16.00 for 10, and they come with a mesh laundry bag.
Here ends the research, because I have run out of the brands which are readily available in the drugstores near my place. The winner is the Johnson's Super Absorbent pads, and I will buy them from now on.