A nursing pad is a cloth or disposable pad worn against the nipple and breast of a nursing mother to absorb any milk that may leak between feedings. It is inserted between the bra and the breast. Disposable pads are common and located easily online or in specialty stores. Wikipedia
How to use breast pads?
Every woman has different experiences with her breasts during pregnancy and after delivery. You may need to wear breast pads for anywhere from a few weeks to months. Nipple leakage can happen to any woman who is pregnant or breastfeeding. Breasts that leak, drip or even spray milk in the weeks (and sometimes even months) after delivery are a common and normal symptom.
Breast pads, which are also called nursing pads, are a great way to absorb leaks and keep your clothes clean and dry. You can use breast pads by placing them properly in your bra, removing and caring for them, and deciding on the right type for your needs
Change breast pads promptly after they get wet. If the pad dries and sticks to your nipple, moisten it first with warm water so that you don’t remove any skin as you pull it away from the breast.
Breast pads can really be a savior. Some women prefer cotton ones that are washable and reusable because they are more environmentally friendly, but there are disposable ones as well. There are also silicon pads that apply pressure to stop leaking. Just pop any of these in your bra and the leaks are at least contained. Some of these pads can show through an unpadded bra, making it look like you have really pronounced areolas, so padded bras are a good idea. If, you ever find yourself in an emergency situation without pads, but fear a leak is eminent: Just use a menstrual pad or panty liner, cut down to fit, and stick it to the inside of your bra. Works like a charm.
What causes leaking breasts?
In pregnancy, the breasts may start to produce milk weeks or months before you are due to have your baby.
If your nipples are leaking, the substance is usually colostrum, which is the first milk your breasts make in preparation for feeding your baby. Leaking is normal and nothing to worry about.
It’s just your body getting used to both making milk and the feeding schedule you and your baby are trying to perfect right now with breastfeeding. Breasts leak because of the letdown reflex — a powerful and normal part of the breastfeeding process.
A baby’s cry (even if it’s not yours) or even a glance at your baby’s picture might trigger a squirt. You might experience a leak in the shower, in your sleep or when you’re thinking or talking about your baby. You may also leak if you’re running a little late for a feeding, and you can drip from one breast or both. There’s just no telling when or where you might leak.
Once your milk production is well-established and your feeding schedule is in full swing, you can try to stop by pressing on your nipples when they leak or crossing your arms tightly against your breasts. Avoid this trick in the first few weeks after delivery, though, since it may inhibit let-down or cause plugged milk ducts, which you definitely don’t want.
Signs that your baby is getting enough milk
During your first start breastfeeding, you may worry that your baby isn’t getting enough milk. It can take a little while before you feel confident that your baby is getting what they need.
When you offer your both breasts at each feed and alternating which breast you start with will help to stimulate your milk supply. Hold your baby close and holding them skin to skin.
Let your baby be your guide, and feed him as often as he wants. There’s no maximum number of breastfeeds when it comes to feeding your baby.
Feeding your baby whenever he wants is called responsive feeding. It’s the best way to nourish and nurture him. Responsive feeding works well because the more frequently your baby feeds, the more milk your breasts will make. Your baby is feeding at least eight to 12 times in 24 hours. He comes off your breast when he’s ready, and seems settled and content in between feeds, which may be frequent. Your breasts feel softer and less full after feeds. Your nipple looks the same shape after you’ve fed your baby, not squashed, pinched, or white.
However, if you have flat or inverted nipples your nipple is more likely to be drawn out after a feed. Your baby has one or two heavy, wet nappies in the first 48 hours. Once he’s over five days old, he has five or six heavy, wet nappies. By five days, your baby’s poos are a yellowy-mustard colour and he’s doing two poos every 24 hours. You can see your baby swallow while he is feeding, and he seems to be latched on properly. You’ll be able to hear him swallowing more clearly too, once your milk has come in. Your baby changes rhythm while sucking, and pauses during feeds. He should start feeding again when he’s ready
When to get help?
If you have any problems with breastfeeding, it’s important to ask for help from your midwife, health visitor or a breastfeeding specialist as soon as possible.
If you need help after your baby is born, seek advice straight away. A minor problem can worsen rapidly, but most issues are quick and simple to fix if caught early.
Healthcare professionals, such as midwives, nurses, and doctors, often have standard training in breastfeeding support. If you have more complex needs it’s worth seeking professionals who’ve had additional training. These fall into two broad categories – breastfeeding specialists, which include peer supporters and counselors, and lactation consultants:
The important thing to remember is that, although it can be tiring at first, with the right preparation and support, breastfeeding can be plain sailing. And if problems do arise, getting expert help early can steer you back on course.