Becoming a mom is one of the most amazing experiences in life, but it comes with some changes to your body. One of these is bleeding during the postpartum recovery phase and choosing the best postpartum pads will help you manage this.
The bleeding process is how your body gets rid of the extra blood and tissue in your uterus that helped your baby grow. It is known as lochia. While it is completely normal, it is pretty heavy at the beginning: generally for the first 10 days. You will then have light bleeding and spotting for up to 6 weeks after delivery.
And it will happen regardless of whether you had a c-section or a vaginal birth: there’s no escape. I have listed here a collection of the best postpartum pads to combat the heavy bleeding and what to really expect with your postpartum recovery.
I personally hate even when I have my menstrual period, so I couldn’t wait for the bleeding to stop (also, so I could get back into the swimming pool). But guess what?! I had spotting all the way for 6 weeks after I gave birth. Typical!
Anyway, hospitals do provide some pads but, trust me, they are horrible! They are this bulky, uncomfortable things that keep moving between your legs. You really want to be prepared and have some nice pads with you to alleviate the already present discomfort of having given birth. Also, if you have stitches, you really want comfortable pads made with good material, that will help with the healing.
The pads listed below are for the first 10 days or so, when the bleeding is quite heavy. Note that it’s also normal to sometimes feel a gush of blood when you stand. This is because of the way your vaginal cavity is shaped. The blood collects in a cup-like area while you’re sitting or lying down. When you stand, it comes out. So you really want a pad that can catch all that blood. After the first few days, you can go back to wearing your normal pads.
As a general guidance, do buy incontinence pads or overnight/heavy flow pads. And I personally prefer pads with wings, as they don’t tend to move as much as the ones without.
I would also recommend buying some postpartum shorts, that can help keep the pads into place and will help with alleviating some of the discomfort that your body experiences after giving birth.
Why the best?
Specific for incontinence and postpartum. Double leak guards to avoid leakage, absorbs odors and it's comfortable.
Extra heavy for overnight protection.
10 times drier than normal period pads.
Eco-friendly option. Biodegradable super absorbents pads!
Instant first aid ice packs built into the pad, to provide relief from stitches or hemorroids
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1. Always Discreet Underwear
If you are like me, you probably didn’t even know that postpartum or incontinence underwear even existed! It was my partner that introduced them to me when she gave birth to our first child, and I always loved the idea. I also used them when I gave birth and I totally recommend these. They are ideal for the very first couple of days when the bleeding is very heavy, and you really don’t need to worry about leaking. You will be tired and emotional, wanting to look at your new beautiful baby – let’s not worry about the bleeding at all.
This underwear comes in all different sizes to fit every mum.
2. Always Maxi Feminine Pads
These are not specific for postpartum, but they have a great absorbency. They claim to have a 10 hours protections, but you’ll probably have to change them more frequently than that the first few days. I love the fact that they have wings though, so they stay in place.
3. Posie Incontinence Pads
Another great choice to the one above with regards to very absorbent pads. The downside for me: it doesn’t have wings! I have when a pad starts moving between my legs.
4. Asana Sanitary Pads
Biodegradable and super absorbent pads, could you ask for more? If you are environmentally conscious, then these pads are for you.
Note that I wouldn’t recommend using reusable pads for postpartum bleeding. I don’t think any reusable pads could contain the bleeding of the first few days. And I say it being an eco-friendly mum – I use a menstrual cup for my period!
5. Frida Mom 2-in-1 Postpartum Pads
Postpartum can also come with quite a lot of pain down there, particularly if you had to have a few stitches after a vaginal delivery, or if you have hemorrhoids. There awesome pads combine extra absorbency with an instant ice pack built into the pad. The ice pack provides cool relief for about 20 minutes. I wish they also had wings!
You should also check out the Frida Upside Down Bottle and the Frida Hospital Bag Essential Kit. The kit includes: an upside down bottle, 4 disposable postpartum underwear, 4 pads, cooling pad liners, perineal healing foam, a toiletry bag, socks and a delivery gown. It could be a perfect addition to your hospital bag checklist.
Frequently Asked Questions
How many postpartum pads do I need?
If you buy the Always Discreet Incontinence Underwear, you’ll probably need about 10 of those for the first couple of days. After that, postpartum pads will be enough and I would recommend buying at least 150 pads for the next few days. The amount of bleeding can vary significantly between women, but if you have any left overs, you can still use them when you get your first period after pregnancy.
For how long do you wear a pad?
The duration and amount of bleeding varies from woman to woman. But I personally started wearing normal pads after about 10 days. Stock up of pads just in case. You can still re-use the pads for when you get your first period.
How long does postpartum bleeding last after giving birth?
The duration of postpartum bleeding varies from woman to woman. It is pretty heavy at the beginning: generally for the first 10 days. You will then have light bleeding and spotting for up to 6 weeks after delivery.
What causes postpartum bleeding?
Postpartum bleeding is the result of your body getting rid of the extra blood and tissue in your uterus that helped your baby grow.
Is it normal for postpartum bleeding to stop and start again?
Yes, it was common for postpartum bleeding to stop and start again or to be characterized by intermittent spotting or bleeding.
When should I worry about bleeding?
Heavy bleeding after giving birth is called postpartum hemorrhage. It affects up to 5% of women who give birth. It’s most likely to happen the first 24 hours after delivery. But it can happen anytime within the first 12 weeks after your baby is born.
Tell your doctor or call 911 if you have any of these symptoms or signs:
- Bright red bleeding beyond the third day after birth
- Blood clots bigger than a plum
- Bleeding that soaks more than one sanitary pad an hour and doesn’t slow down or stop
- Blurred vision
- Clammy skin
- Rapid heartbeat
- Faint feeling
I’ve reviewed five of my favorite pads and suggested an overall brand as best postpartum pads to help you after giving birth. Overall, great postpartum pads are comfortable, absorbent, and provide leak protection.
If you’re looking for overnight pads or just a pad that’s comfortable, stays in place and works well without fuss, any of the five will do a good job as all of the pads in this buyer’s guide will help make your postpartum experience more comfortable. No matter which pad you choose, they’ll all help keep you feeling dry and comfortable.
For more tips and information on how to survive the postpartum period: