Postpartum bleeding is inevitable and lasts a few weeks making it super important to find the best pads postpartum.
The reason it’s important to use the best pads for after birth isn’t merely for convenience, but important to prevent unnecessary postpartum problems. You see, your postpartum pads can affect how well your wounds heal such as vaginal stitches or hemorrhoids. It can also affect your skin.
Maternity pad reactions are a pretty common postpartum problem too. I myself had this reaction after both of my births, and the more I looked into the issue, it became obvious this was something many women experienced.
The very pads I used for years during my period, caused a very painful skin rash postpartum, (although it was more like a burn.)
Instead, let us help you find the best pads for your postpartum recovery.
The Best Pads for Postpartum
So which maternity pads should you use while you are healing postpartum?
Unfortunately, this is no one right answer. I have found that it comes down to a matter of preference. There are a few very important guidelines to consider:
- Don’t use tampons or menstrual cups the first several weeks postpartum. Wait until you are cleared by your provider at your 6-week checkup.
- Opt for maternity pads that are thicker, softer and made from more natural fibers like cotton or bamboo.
- Consider washable & reusable pads.
- While wearing postpartum pads is inevitable, try to allow for plenty of time to “air out.”
- Wear larger, looser, breathable underwear.
The difference between Maternity Pads and Normal pads
To start, let’s clarify the difference between maternity pads and normal menstrual pads. Maternity pads are specifically made for the very heavy postpartum bleeding that occurs after birth.
When choosing a good postpartum pad, you want these thicker, more absorbent maternity pads.
Normal pads just won’t cut it. They are much thinner and are not meant to be against your very sensitive vaginal skin for extended periods. (Up to 6 weeks!) This means they can cause harsh skin reactions that will prolong your postpartum healing and make you miserable.
Although the experience will make you very empathetic to any diaper rash your baby ever gets.
Also, normal menstrual pads just aren’t designed with the postpartum mom in mind. I found that the combo of thinness and the wings on these pads would attach itself to stray stitches. Not fun!
Our Pick for the Best Postpartum Pads
Our top pick for the best postpartum pads are the Natracare New Mother Maternity Pads. These maternity pads are made from organic cotton. The biggest complaint most new moms have about organic sanitary pads is that they are far too thin.
That is not the case with these pads. They are much thicker than most of the organic pads out on the market. They will be able to hold quite a bit of blood, meaning less moisture against your skin (the key to healing faster and avoiding a painful adult-diaper-type rash.)
Price wise these are a bit more expensive than typical pads, but less expensive than many of the thinner organic pads on the market. Totally worth the price while healing after birth though.
- Made from organic material
- Thick and soft
- Larger than other pads
- More expensive than other pads
I did try these organyc cotton pads, but even the overnights were too thin. They were ok for the last couple weeks, but the thinness still seemed to hold the moisture close my skin and didn’t allow for good skin healing.
Using Adult Diapers Instead of Pads Postpartum
A great tip I got the second time around was to use adult diapers for the first few days. So brilliant!
These diapers are perfect to make those first few days postpartum much easier. You don’t have to worry about fussing with pads that won’t stay in place.
Instead, you’ll just change out the whole diaper when you’re ready. What I like about these is that you can put postpartum padsicles inside of these, without compromising their absorbability.
Of course, you’ll only want to use these for the first few days and switch to a thick pad.
- Very absorbent
- Unlikely to leak
- More comfortable than a thick pad
- Easy to put padsicles in
- You’re wearing a diaper
Super Soft Reusable Pads
Washable and reusable pads are a great alternative to disposable maternity pads. They are super soft and are unlikely to cause skin reactions or irritation.
Washable pads tend to be much thinner and more comfortable than disposables.
The downside…. lots (LOTS) of washing. Unless you can get a few days worth. They also hold less blood than disposable maternity pads.
The women who use these do love the softness though. And you’ll save a lot of money.
Top healing tips to keep in mind while using pads after birth
Ideally, you will want to avoid wearing your maternity pads 24/7. Airing out your vagina will help you heal much faster. A little sunlight would help too! But that’s a little harder for most women to pull off.
If you have stitches or some extensive vaginal skin issues you want to heal, try using an herbal maternity pad once a day. The warm pad will soothe achiness while cleansing wounds and promote healing.
Plus, these feel amazing!
After using your pad, let your nether regions air out for a while before putting on your maternity pad.
If you find that your skin is becoming irritated from the moisture you can also try a barrier cream like this one. It contains herbs in it that are typically used to promote skin healing. It’s specifically made for postpartum moms during their recovery.