How to Choose Postpartum Pads


Description: Delivering a new baby is a bittersweet moment accompanied by a messy affair that takes weeks to clear up. But, it is all smooth-sailing if you arm yourself with the right postpartum pads for mom. Therefore, take your time to choose only the best brands.

Tips to Finding the Best Postpartum Pads

After you give birth to your little bundle of joy, you have to contend with lochia — a bleeding period that typically lasts for six weeks. If you are lucky, lochia can last for only four weeks, but you should prepare for eight because at times, the bleeding lasts longer than expected. Lochia is a mixture of blood, mucus, cherry-sized clots (occasionally), and tissue oozing from the uterine wall spot where the placenta was previously attached.

In the first 7-10 days after delivery, the bleeding is usually heavy and bright red. The color lightens to pink or brown in the subsequent days as the bleeding gradually reduces in amount and consistency. By the time it stops, the color has changed to light yellow.

The best way to deal with the bleeding mess is to wear postpartum pads. Note that you need the pads whether you had a cesarean or vaginal birth. You should stock up on the right postpartum pads, but how do you know which pads are the best for you? What is the best pad for postpartum bleeding? What are the qualities the ideal postpartum pads brands should have?

The following is a guideline on how to choose postpartum pads:

  • Ability to Absorb

You will find all sorts of postpartum pads for mom in the market, even models that cannot absorb the bleeding properly. It beats logic why such a pad with poor absorbency should be in the market, but there are. You will experience vaginal bleeding after giving birth because your body is flushing out the blood and tissue from your uterus. Your body increased blood volume to support the body, but the extra is unneeded after your delivery.

In the first week or so, you need a postpartum pad that is able to soak up much blood, so choose one with high absorbency.

  • Comfortable

After delivery, your skin tends to be sore, especially if you had a C-section delivery. The soreness can also be intense in your midsection if it is your first baby. Anything that irritates your most sensitive area at that moment should be avoided.

Ensure the postpartum pads you choose are comfortable for you whether you are walking or seated. The right pad should not rub like sandpaper against your healing wounds. An ideal pad should be soft. You will realize that a softer model costs more, but you should go for it for the sake of your comfort. You need peace of mind to concentrate on loving your newborn, so pamper yourself with soft things.

  • Stretchy

Your vaginal area assumes a different shape when you lie, sit or walk, so you need stretchy postpartum pads that will conform to the contours. If the postpartum pads you use are not flexible enough, they are not fit for you.

  • Breathable

Your raw wounds (especially if you underwent surgery) need to dry up, so there should be free air movement around the area. Therefore, you should ensure the pad is breathable enough to allow air to flow freely to help dry up the place. If the wound area remains damp, it could become a breeding ground for germs. Breathability also ensures there is no foul smell.

  • Dependable Support

An ideal postpartum pad should be supportive enough to remain intact when you move around after delivery. It is hard to be secure in a loose pad that threatens to fall anytime. The last thing you want is to be embarrassed when your innerwear soaks in the blood that soon finds its way onto your outer garment. Your postpartum pads and underwear depend on each other.

Therefore, you should choose postpartum pads with wings, especially in the first week after delivery when the bleeding is heavy and consistent. Only a supportive pad will hold up and resist the pressure.

Is It Okay To Use Sanitary Pads Instead Of Postpartum Pads For Moms?

Most postpartum pads are designed exclusively for new mothers, so they are about twice more absorbent than a typical sanitary pad. A postpartum pad is also soft enough to be gentle to your tender skin, so you will experience no itches. It is also more hygienic, hence protecting you from infections and rashes.

Furthermore, postpartum pads for moms are more comfortable to move around in. When possible, do not use a sanitary pad instead of postpartum pads if you are serious about aftercare. Go for the postpartum pads made strictly for mom.

As you can see, the debate is still raging about what pads to use for postpartum. There are now even DIY varieties said to have healing powers. You can consider them if you have the time and skills to create them.


It would be best if you shopped for a large number of postpartum pads at once; these are one of those things you need to have ready. Make sure you choose more overnight pads because you will need plenty of them in the first 7-10 days. They are heavier. As the bleeding slows, you can start using lighter ones.

How often to change postpartum pads will depend on how light, heavy, or consistent the bleeding is.

For heavy bleeding, you should change the pad every 60 minutes. What are your thoughts?

*Top image by Polina Zimmerman@Pexels

Author’s Bio: Rachel Hudson is a blogger and childbirth educator who writes on topics that help parents enjoy a better experience raising their babies. Also, she is a breastfeeding advocate and a passionate researcher on issues that touch on health and wellness. She is proud to help moms-to-be navigate the intricate journey to welcoming their bundles of joy.