Maternity pads are extra long, thick pads made specifically for the heavy bleeding called loch that accompanies the first week postpartum. Many women choose maternity pads for their absorbency, comfort and hygienic properties.
Maternity pads aren’t needed for the entire 4-6 weeks of postpartum bleeding. After the first week, many women switch to a less bulky postpartum pad.
In this post we will discuss the details of maternity pads in hopes that you will have a healthier and more comfortable first week post birth.
The Best Maternity Pads for the First Week Postpartum
Are Maternity Pads the Same as Sanitary Pads?
Maternity pads are what you receive in an out-of-hospital birth kit or at a hospital birth. They are disposable pads.
Maternity pads are longer and thicker than the typical heavy flow pad you can buy at your local drug store. They are a step up from the thickest pad you normally see at the store.
Maternity pads generally do not come with wings but all have sticky adhesive to keep things in place.
Some maternity pads work best when paired with mesh panties.
Maternity pads can be used like overnight pads.
Maternity Pads + Mesh Panties
In my experience, the “maternity pad mesh panty combo” is overrated. Many mamas rave about them, but they don’t work for me. I remember using them after giving birth to my third, the pad didn’t stay in place and I leaked on my sheets. What a disappointment!
Ideally, maternity pads with wings would have kept everything in place and prevented leaks. The particular maternity pad I was given in the hospital did not have wings. Without wings they seemed rather worthless. (I have yet to find a maternity pad with wings. Leave a comment and let me know if you found one!)
What I should have done was place a chux pad over my sheets to sit on. This would have prevented having the hospital staff needing to change my sheets. But does a freshly postpartum mama really need to be thinking of such things? Probably not.
Cesarean birth mamas, however, rave about the mesh panties as they keep a pad in place but are extra soft, gentle and high wasted removing any potential pressure from their incision site. For a cesarean recovery, a maternity pad in mesh panties is much more gentle than an adult diaper. This makes so much sense to me!
What Maternity Pads Are Best?
Not all maternity pads are created equal! The following are three brands of maternity pads that are popular, work well and can be purchased online.
Organyc maternity pads are ultra soft, thick and fluffy, and made from 100% organic cotton – perfect for that first week postpartum.
Because Organyc’s pads are made from natural materials, they are biodegradable, compostable and bleached without chlorine.
Unfortunately, these maternity pads come without wings, but Organyc does have a “super flow” pad, with wings, available on Amazon, that many women have been pleased with for that first week postpartum.
Each of Organyc’s pads are individually wrapped.
Unfortunately, these maternity pads do not come with wings.
For the price, they are a good choice – just make sure to sit on chux pads those first few days to prevent leaking on the sheets. (It’s easier to replace a chux pad than it is to wash the sheets.)
Each of Covidien’s pads are individually wrapped.
Natracare makes a maternity pad similar to Organyc’s, with the biggest difference being that it is slightly longer and more narrow than its counterpart.
Similarly, it is made with organic cotton, biodegradable, chlorine free, and super soft. Women love this pad for the first week postpartum!
However, an odd feature of Natracare’s maternity pads is that they are not individually wrapped. This is a non-issue for most women, but some find it frustrating to travel with these pads – you can’t just throw one in a diaper bag!
Like the others, Natracare’s maternity pads do not come wings.
Common Questions About Maternity Pads
I Have Sensitive Skin. Where Can I Buy Cotton Maternity Pads?
The best place to buy maternity pads is online, specifically Amazon.
How Many Maternity Pads Should I Buy?
You will need around 30 maternity pads for the first week postpartum. Depending on how many pads come in each package, 2-3 packages should be sufficient.
When Should I Use Maternity Pads?
Since maternity pads are extra thick and long, the best time to use them is during the first week postpartum when bleeding is heaviest and new mothers are resting and recuperating from giving birth.
When Should I Stop Using Maternity Pads?
After the first week postpartum, many women are ready to switch to a less bulky postpartum pad for the remainder of the 4-6 weeks of bleeding.
Can I Use Maternity Pads to Make Padsicles for Postpartum Healing?
Yes! Padsicles are wonderful for encouraging healing and easing pain, especially during that first week postpartum. For detailed instructions on how to make your own padsicles at home using maternity pads, head on over here.
What Else Should I Buy for Postpartum?
A must-have for the postpartum period is Earth Mama Organics Perineal Balm (not to be confused with their “Baby Bottom Balm”, which is wonderful but for baby).
During the first weeks postpartum, Earth Mama Organics Perineal Balm soothes the possibly swollen, bruised, and sutured vulva. The cooling sensation from the lavender and peppermint always made me feel a bit more at ease, knowing that this herbal balm was hard at work speeding my recovery.
Many new mothers prefer the simplicity of an herbal spray in lieu of or in addition to the above mentioned bottom balm. If this is you, you’ll love Earth Mama Organics Herbal Perineal Spray! Witch hazel, lavender and peppermint cool the tender lady bits, but also speed healing.
I love how portable this spray is. You can throw it in a diaper bag for healing on the go.
My favorite part? This spray bottle works upside-down. Genius.
My other favorite part? It smells like a hint of cucumbers. It’s such a soothing scent and feels amazing.
If the cooling sensation of the above balms and sprays has piqued your interest, Tucks Medicated Cooling Pads are a must have for those suffering with hemorrhoids. MUST. HAVE.
To use, simply follow the instructions I found on an Amazon review (hysterical and yet an extremely good visual). “Just stack the Tucks on to a pad like a subway sandwich artist putting salami on a roll and voila, a refreshing compress for your tender lady bits!”
An important part of postpartum care is keeping our lady bits clean in order to avoid infection.
However, after childbirth sometimes said lady bits are tender, sore and swollen. Because toilet paper can feel rough and very uncomfortable, a “peri bottle” is a perfect alternative to wiping with toilet paper after urinating.
You can even fill a peri bottle with a sitz bath tea or diluted iodine to speed healing.
Another important safety tip, before and after using the restroom, it’s important to wash your hands with soap and warm water.
Does the peri bottle sounds appealing? If so, you’ll love Fridababy’s MomWasher.
When I saw the MomWasher I thought to myself, “Why would you spend more money on something that accomplishes the same task as a peri bottle?” Turns out that it accomplishes the same task but more thoroughly and efficiently.
Because of it’s angled neck, it will clean exactly what you want, when you want. Splashing, spilling and getting things wet that aren’t supposed to be wet will be a thing of the past once you have the MomWasher.
If you end up with stitches, swelling, bruising and/or hemorrhoids keeping things cool during first week postpartum will make things more comfortable and aid with healing.
Since they aren’t meant to be worn while out and about, Medline’s disposable cold packs are perfect for those early days while you’re resting in bed.
The best way to use these is with an adult diaper. Simply place the cold pack in the diaper and hop in bed.
If you like the idea of a cold pack, but want something less disposable, you will appreciate TendHer Feminine Cold Packs. This eco-friendly option is less bulky and yet still gets the job done.
While using one cold pack, put the other back in the freezer for next time. Each cold pack lasts about 30 minutes and just like Medline’s disposable cold packs, is made for when on bed rest.
For those who want something in addition to or in lieu of Motrin, WishGarden’s AfterEase tincture is extremely helpful for easing those afterbirth pains, which are always such a shock to my system!
Don’t forget, if this not your first baby, your postpartum pains will be exponentially worse each time. Be prepared!
Homeopathic arnica goes together with postpartum like peanut butter and jelly. Swelling, bruising and soreness are common complaints after any kind of delivery and arnica is a perfect remedy to relieve symptoms and promote healing.
The Best Maternity Pads for the First Week Postpartum
To recap, maternity pads are long, thick pads made specifically for the heavy bleeding that accompanies the first week postpartum. Many women choose maternity pads for their absorbency, comfort and hygienic properties.
Maternity pads do not need to be worn for the entire 4-6 weeks of postpartum bleeding. After the first week, many women switch to a postpartum pad that is less bulky.
These three brands are popular maternity pads for the first week postpartum.
I love the following products for those first weeks postpartum. They encourage healing and keep new moms comfortable. You’ll love them!
- Earth Mama’s Mama Bottom Balm
- Earth Mama’s New Mama Bottom Spray
- Tucks Medicated Cooling Pads
- Medline Perineal Irrigation Bottle
- Fridababy Fridet, The MomWasher
- Medline Deluxe Perineal Cold Packs
- TendHer Feminine Cold Packs
- WishGarden AfterEase, Organic Herbal Supplement
- Homeopathic Arnica
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