I only found out that I needed breast pads for my nursing bras, at least in the first few days after giving birth, when I was in my last couple of weeks of work. The sage-like mammies that I work with set me straight when I thought that I could use breast compresses instead. I didn’t really understand what a breast compress was. Listen, sure how would I? There’s been no babies in the family since we were babies and I only had one friend with a baby so I’d never seen any of these pregnancy/new mum related products in action.
Off I went in search of breast pads and decided to treat myself to some serious-looking Tommee Tippee individually wrapped, contoured and adhesive stripped breast pads. At €7 a box they seemed like a bargain.
It turns out ho ho, did I need breast pads! When little S was born, I had an oversupply of breastmilk for the first few months which meant I was keeping the breast pad industry in Ireland afloat as I tried to avoid my nipples shooting off by themselves, which happened frequently and in public, and soaking through my bras, tops, nightdresses and bedsheets.
When you’re beating your way through at least three pairs of breastpads a day, suddenly €7 for a box of 50 (oh, you clever marketing people! That’s only 25 pairs!) doesn’t seem like such a bargain after all. That’s when the cheapskate in me made a rookie mistake. My sister in law gave me a box of own brand breast pads from a leading pharmacy chain that came in a very pretty box but weren’t up to the job of taming my (literally) heaving bosoms.
I tried some cheaper brands and some supermarket own brand ones. A few of them had no adhesive on the back. This was a total disaster. Breast pads on the move are no good to a leaking woman, particularly in the summer when she’s having coffee with her friends and two perfectly circular but expanding wet patches appear on her white vest top.
A few brands sold themselves as being absorbant but thin and discrete. They turned out to be just thin and completely indiscrete when they let me down. Now there’s no doubt in my mind that they’re all perfectly adequate for most mothers but I needed that extra confidence (I sound like a sanitary towel ad, sorry).
I did find some nice ones like the Johnson&Johnson or the Nuk ones which rocked in at the same price as the Tommy Tippee ones but they actually had even less in a pack and I was getting to the bottom of the box quicker than I would remember to replenish them which led to a few dodgy outings when I thought I might just risk it. I’m sure you can guess how that ended.
So lesson #2 I learned was don’t cheap out on breast pads, it’s a false economy!
Cheap breast pads = lots of wet nursing bras and tops = more washing and drying = bigger cost.
The maths says it all – the pricey Tommee Tippee ones is was! They didn’t seem so expensive now. Not having to keep checking my boobs in public was price enough to pay. Funnily enough, it’s only in the last few weeks I’ve been able to do without. I don’t miss them I have to say!