After giving birth, in the postpartum stage, most women will experience six weeks of bleeding. This is normal and a part of the birthing process, but it sure isn’t fun. You can make it a little easier on yourself by preparing and purchasing some of the best postpartum pads in advance.
There are some great postpartum pad options on the market and knowing when to use pads and what to shop for will save you time and the hassle of trying to find the best pads when you need them. They can even provide some great relief, especially when you make them into padsicles (an absolute must-have for those early postpartum days).
Why Use Postpartum Pads
After you give birth your uterus begins the healing process from growing, carrying, and birthing the baby. Part of your uterus recovery includes repairing itself from where the placenta was attached. During this repair and healing is when you experience significant bleeding, which lasts for upwards of six weeks.
Bleeding and cramping during this time are normal and you may experience passing clots as well. The bleeding may intensify if you do too much too soon. Pay attention to the rate at which you bleed and your pain level. Take it, easy mama! Your body has been through so much, and there’s no rush to jump back into your old ways of life.
Postpartum pads are typically large overnight-style pads that you will use during the first week or two after giving birth. As the bleeding slows and the healing continues you can transition to your usual period pads.
After giving birth you will likely be advised not to use tampons or menstrual cups, as the uterus and birthing canal are healing. Inserting anything can introduce bacteria and lead to an infection. It is best for your body to heal naturally. This means only using disposable menstrual pads, cloth menstrual pads, or period underwear during this postpartum period.
When to Use Postpartum Pads
You will begin using these pads immediately after you give birth, so make sure to toss a few in your hospital bag. The first week is often the most difficult as you will experience heavy bleeding and cramps as well as pain and swelling.
Many women use adult diapers and pads together to reduce leaking and help position things in the right area. I know wearing a diaper probably is not how you imagine the beginning of motherhood, but it really will make things easier. This phase will pass before you know it, so just focus on soaking up that sweet baby.
In the second week, you can move to overnight or larger pads compared to needing an adult diaper and pad system. This is when you have a lot of choices and variety to decide which will work best for you.
The best pads for the remainder of the six weeks will depend on the following:
- Comfort: You want something that fits well and feels comfortable throughout the day
- Size: The pad should be large enough to cover but not too large so it stays in the right place
- Absorption: The bigger the pad the more it will hold
- With wings: Pads with wings will stay in place and will reduce leaks
When choosing disposable maternity pads you may want to start with the same brand you use during your period or menstrual cycle. This brand may deliver what you like about your go-to pad in a larger, more absorbent postpartum option.
Types of Pads
There are two main types of postpartum pads: disposable and cloth or reusable. There are a wide variety of options within each of these categories, but disposable pads are more readily available in most stores. Either option is fine, but keep in mind you will be busy and pretty exhausted. Because of this many new moms go with the disposable option.
Best Postpartum Pads
Disposable Postpartum Pads
Always Maxi Overnight
The Always Maxi Overnight pads are a top choice for postpartum bleeding because they’re large, comfortable, and can be easily found wherever you shop.
These pads are designed to wick liquid away quickly and have a stay-dry top layer to reduce wetness. The wider back reduces leaks and helps you feel protected through the night. Check pricing here.
Poise Incontinence Pads
Many women use Poise Incontinence Pads because they are designed to catch leaks caused by weak muscles from childbirth. These pads are larger, more absorbent, and shaped to curve in all the right ways.
The overnight option has a wider back to catch leaks and is even more absorbent than the dailies. Order yours now!
U by Kotex Extra Heavy Overnight
An extra heavy overnight option that is thinner and feels more like a daily wear pad is the U by Kotex Extra Heavy Overnight pads. These pads have a special core that collects liquid quickly while keeping your skin dry.
The shape and materials in this pad give you flexibility with the necessary coverage and the soft sides make them more comfortable than the bulkier options. Here is a link to pricing.
Stayfree Ultra Thin Overnight Pads
Stayfree is a go-to brand for an average period and their ultra-thin overnight pads may be a good postpartum option. The overnight with wings has an all-in-one feature to absorb and protect, with both leaks and period bleeding.
There’s a night guard zone to help you sleep better and feel protected all night, with extra-wide coverage and wings to help it stay in place. Check out the current pricing here.
All Natural Pads
Natracare is a company that provides natural, plastic-free, organic cotton pads that are specifically designed for maternity use. Each pad has a soft, fluffy, absorbent core, with no harsh chemicals.
These pads fit well, have a good shape, and are built to be comfortable without the added frills of some other brands. Buy yours now!
The Honey Pot Company Postpartum Pads
These were my go-to after having my baby boy! I found padsicles to be too cold for me in the very beginning, but I loved the soothing mint and aloe of these.
The Honey Pot Company makes a pad specifically designed for postpartum use. These pads have natural ingredients which make them great for sensitive skin and promote healing. The postpartum line includes ingredients that feel cool as well as dry.
Each pad is infused with essential oils to keep you feeling fresh. Order yours here.
Cloth Menstrual Pads
Charlie Banana Super Plus Reusable Feminine Pad
If you plan on going the reusable route, Charlie Banana makes a wonderful postpartum pad. It is very easy to clean and stain-resistant. Not to mention, it is extremely absorbent. You can find them on Amazon in a pretty lavender color or plain white.
I love that they come in a three-pack so that you are never left stranded if you need to throw some in the wash. Props to you for being an eco-friendly mama! Shop here.
WeeEssentials Gusset Shell
If you have never heard of a Gusset Shell before, we are in the same boat. This product is a total lifesaver if you want to use reusable pads. It is basically a waterproof menstrual pad shell, which means you can simply wipe it off to clean it.
Any cloth pad of your choice can go inside. This guy will just provide you with some extra protection. Bonus, this is a super-easy way to make a padsicle as you can slide an icepack right inside. Check them out here!
Have questions about the postpartum experience? Feel free to ask in the comments Or ask a question in our Rookie Moms Facebook Group, it’s a great group of moms where you can share your experiences, ask for advice and even help out another mom!