Congratulations, new mom—and welcome to the wonderful world of motherhood. As you gear up for this next adventure, you'll want to make sure you've got all the newborn checklist essentials ready to roll for when you bring your little one home. Sure, diapers, nursing gear, and wipes are all handy but don't overlook postpartum pads.
According to Melissa Dean, midwife and the founder of the California-based Casa Natal Birth and Wellness Center, they can help manage post-baby bleeding and help reduce discomfort and swelling from stitches. "Postpartum pads are used for bleeding that occurs after birth," Dean explains to Today's Parent. "Bleeding is caused by the separation of the placenta after birth and lasts about three to four weeks."
Even though they play a significant role in postnatal care, finding the right postpartum pads can be a bit of a pickle—there are many choices available! We've done the hard work of sorting through reviews, prices, and materials to bring you the best.
One Amazon search on postpartum pads can lead you to a plethora of options, each with different materials and designs. So, if you find yourself a tad overwhelmed, consider Dean's tip: "Always consider both the materials and size/length when choosing the best one for your needs," she tells Today's Parent.
Dean suggests that is best to choose organic or nonscented pads without bleach or fragrances.
"Non-organic pads have been found to contain PFAs and phthalates, which are known endocrine disruptors, meaning that they can affect the hormone balance and thyroid function causing high blood pressure, certain cancers, reproductive, neurological, and cardiovascular harm," she says.
Dean also advises shoppers to think about the size of postpartum pads. Although most postpartum pads come in standard sizes like small and beyond, they also come in various lengths. To be prepared for any situation, Dean suggests using pads with varying lengths and thicknesses, especially as recovery progresses.
"Use extra-long overnight pads during the first few days, as they provide better coverage and reduce the risk of breakthrough bleeding," she says.
Rael's incontinence pads are a postpartum godsend, made from organic cotton and engineered to be super absorbent. They boast a four-layer core that's like a fortress against leaks, similar to period panties but with a unique twist: extra-long wings for ultimate protection.
These pads are a breeze to slip on and off, and they're easy to dispose of once you're done. Plus, they come in two styles and four sizes (up to XL), so you can effortlessly stock up.
Reviewers can't get enough of their support, softness, absorbency, and non-toxic materials. One verified Amazon shopper writes, "For this for postpartum c-section recovery. So much better than the disposable underwear and thick pads they give you at the hospital."
If you're an Always devotee, you'll want to add these extra heavy overnight pads to your postpartum toolkit. Sure, they're unscented and lightweight, but don't be fooled — they're incredibly absorbent with sturdy wings and provide a full 12 hours of coverage.
Dean's go-to postpartum pads are a slam dunk, and the reasons are clear. These pads are made from certified organic cotton and top-quality absorbent materials and are biodegradable, making them not only effective but also eco-friendly. Reviewers can't get enough of their perfect fit.
"I love how they are *just* narrow enough to fit in normal panties, but long enough, and absorbent enough to wear overnight," gushes United States, a verified Amazon customer—and their skin-friendly, stay-put design. "The fabric is crazy soft and perfect for sensitive areas," says Jaze, another verified Amazon shopper.
If you've gone through a c-section, these fragrance-free, chlorine-free, and dye-free postpartum pads are your new best friend for those heavy post-baby bleeding days. They're free from fragrance, chlorine, and dyes, and they've got six layers of protection and strong side walls to handle any leaks or accidents while keeping you feeling dry.
Plus, they offer full coverage from front to back, so you don't have to worry about stains on your undies.
Wings on postpartum pads are a must-have feature, as they keep pads in place and offer extra protection against leaks and spills. And with these pads, you get a double set of wings, ensuring you're getting double the protection. Other standout features of these pads include an extra-long length and a thick and absorbent core that prevents leak issues.
The soft, comfortable, contoured design also bolsters the fit, and the adhesive sticks to underwear well and doesn't bunch with movement.
For a touch of added security, why not try LeFresh's winged postpartum pads? They offer extra protection during the heaviest postpartum bleeding days. Although they're thinner than some other postpartum pads, many Amazon reviewers love the wings on these pads, as well as their softness, comfort, and absorbency.
Jingyu Li, a verified Amazon shopper says, "Good for postpartum and soft." Plus, they're made from 100% organic materials (organic cotton and natural wood pulp), making them a winning choice!
If you're looking to team your postpartum pads with some postpartum underwear, Kindred Bravely’s five-pack of panties is just what you're looking for. These panties are specifically designed to provide comfort and support for c-section incisions and post-baby bellies, and they come in sizes up to XL.
Made from a rayon, spandex, and cotton blend, these panties are stretchy and comfortable to wear, making them a perfect choice for new mothers. These panties are machine washable, so you can keep them fresh. These are our top pick for the best postpartum underwear on the market.
Just like menstrual pads, postpartum pads come in a range of styles and lengths, so it's essential to check that yours fits correctly. While the use of poorly fitting postpartum pads generally doesn't carry serious risks, Dean cautions that using pads that are too small or pairing them with the wrong underwear could result in breakthrough bleeding.
"When considering purchasing postpartum pads, consider that you will need two to three days of larger, overnight pads," Dean tells Today's Parent. "After that, three to five days of regular menstrual pads, and after that smaller liner-sized pads."
Dean recommends that new moms focus on being as comfortable as possible during the postpartum phase. She suggests wearing regular, comfy, cotton underwear similar to bikini bottoms, along with postpartum pads."Thong underwear is impractical for the first weeks postpartum," explains Dean.
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