Disposable Vs Reusable Nursing Pads

by Bailey Bouwman

You don’t need piles of breastfeeding gizmo’s and gadgets to be successful at breastfeeding. Arguably many parents get by with very little – but most of us will agree that at some point, you’re going to want to have nursing pads on hand, or at the very least a washcloth you can shove in your feeding bra to keep yourself from being a wet sticky mess.

Postpartum sounds wonderful doesn’t it?

Fun fact, sometimes I still leak years after. The bodies memory is a little crazy. You might find yourself leaking colostrum pre-pregnancy. Nursing pads can be fantastic during this third trimester.  

Not every woman is leaky all the time, some leak a little, some leak for a few weeks, and some may leak for their entire nursing journey. Nursing pads play an important role in preventing a wet mess and keeping your bra clean and dry (important to reduce infection).

Types of Nursing Pads

The two types of nursing paddisposable pads and reusable cloth pads. Both serve an important purpose, and arguably a handful of each can help many new parents navigate the early days of parenting. Both types work with most nursing bras and nursing tanks.

Disposable Nursing Pads

Disposable nursing pads are generally made of cotton or a synthetic textile blend.

Some brands feature a small sticky tape which holds the pads in place in the bra. They might be curved, come in bulk packs, and available in individual packages.

Why we love a disposable nursing pad

Disposable can be simply thrown when finished, and easy to keep on hand, or ‘borrow’ from a friend at your next parenting group. Disposable nursing pads can easily be bought on Amazon and other online retailers or might be accessed in your next care package.

Why we don’t love disposable nursing pads

As a single-use product, the cost of disposable nursing pads can add up over time, costing you extra money. If you’re parent who leaks for more than just a few days, then this could be a costly adventure.

Some parents can find regular use of disposable nursing pads to overdry the nipple, and cause additional irritation if your skin reacts to the synthetic materials. They can sometimes cause a sticky, crinkly mess in your bra that’s less than ideal.

Reusable Nursing Pads that can be washed

Available in many different sizes, textiles, and styles, the reusable nursing pad has been innovated and designed to meet your needs as a new mom. They are extremely soft, comfortable, and often have a waterproof barrier to reduce wicking through your shirt.  Wearing natural materials is highly recommended for mums with cracked or sore nipples as it allows good airflow to promote healing and avoid infections.

Nursing pads can be washed with almost any load of laundry, or by hand. They can be popped in the dryer, and think of it like washing any other wash cloth, or towel. Add them to the next load of baby clothes, or kitchen towels. You'll be doing lots of laundry, and it'll be easy to sneak in. 

Kea Babies - Organic Cotton Set of Nursing Pads Lil Helpers Overnight Nursing Pads  

Bonus: reusable nursing pads often come in day and night varieties offering you customization to find the right pad for the right purpose.

Why we love reusable nursing pads.

Washable nursing pads are one-time purchase and you have nursing pads for the rest of your life, this can be a much lower cost investment for many families. We love the absorbency and ease of use that reusable nursing pads offer new parents.  

Why we don’t love reusable nursing pads

Reusable nursing pads have a higher upfront purchase price, these can feel daunting, and they need to be regularly laundered. Reusable nursing pads are small, and can be easily misplaced in the laundry, but if you have a small laundry bag that can reduce the lost and found game.

Which nursing pad?

Consider adding nursing pads to your stash, they just might offer the comfort and absorbency you need. We carry a variety of different brands, all fantastic, that can support you loving local, loving cute, and feeling your best.


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