If you choose to breast feed your baby and don’t want to look like a contestant in a wet T-shirt competition then you will need to invest in some protection, particularly in the early months as your supply becomes established. Yes, I’m talking about breast pads.
Initially I started off using disposables as I didn’t know there was an alternative. There are many disposable brands to choose from with some slightly different features. Generally speaking the disposables are sanitary towels for your boobs, they consist of a round absorbent pad to absorb any leakage with a waterproof backing to prevent any milk transferring to your underwear or clothes.
I used disposables exclusively for the first month and found the following problems:
- They are terrible for our environment. I was going through around 3 sets of pads a day, that’s a whopping 168 pads that went into landfill in that month! The pads obviously aren’t recyclable and some come individually wrapped in plastic which is adding to this problem.
- They are expensive, I tried various brands; Lasinoh, boots maternity, Tomee Tippee. Working out at an average of £6.00 per pack of 60 that’s £18.00 per month or £216.00 per year.
- Some of them aren’t very breathable, this can cause yeast infections (which let me tell you really are not fun!)
- They can be uncomfortable, I have quite sensitive skin and found the synthetic fabric quite uncomfortable as they irritated my skin.
Then while scrolling through etsy I found Monkey Mei Tai, a family run business that specialise in creating beautiful handmade mei tai baby carriers and wraps. Whilst admiring their beautiful hand embroidery I saw that they also make washable breast pads in some really pretty fabrics. They promised that the pads would discretely absorb excess milk using a super absorbent bamboo and cotton inner layer to lock away moisture keeping you dry and leak-free. This sounded great and I was keen to see if the pads would stand up to their claims, helping me overcome the problems I was having with disposables.
My order arrived a few days later, inside the brown envelope was a striped paper bag labeled with the monkey mei tai stamp.
I thought that I would initially order two pairs and see how they performed. There are two different options with regards to the outer fabric, super soft plush or cotton, along with lots of bright colourful designs to choose from. I chose the ‘baby pink smooth minky’ as I thought it looked like it would be comfortable to wear and the ‘pink toadstools’ (Yes I am fully aware that no one else is going to see them but there’s something nice about functional items being pretty too!)
The monkey mei tai washable pads currently retail at £6.00 per pair plus 75p for UK shipping . They are dispatched within 4 days of your order being placed.
Each pad has two sides, a decorative side and a white waterproof backing on the other side. They are designed to be worn with the white waterproof backing facing your underwear.
I instantly liked the look and feel of them, they felt well made and the overlocked stitching was of a very good quality.
I was a little disappointed that they didn’t come with a care sheet detailing how to look after them. When it came to washing them I found myself having to refer back to the website, having said this the information was very visible and the site very easy to navigate .
I tried out the pink minky pair first, they performed extremely well. They were so comfy against my skin that they were almost a relief to wear after the irritating disposables! They weren’t at all visible under my clothes and stayed in place even though they lack the sticky tab of a disposable pad. They really seem to lock away the moisture even when they were full which is something I didn’t get with the disposables. Later in the day I changed to the cotton toadstool pair. These didn’t have the same comfort factor as the minky pair but they performed equally as well for absorbance and staying put.
The care information on the site indicates that they can be laundered in with your regular wash at 40 degrees C. They don’t come with a mesh bag to launder them in but luckily I had one at home already so used that to keep them together and stop them finding their way into one of my husbands pockets while in the machine! Washing was one of the main concerns I had before purchasing the pads. Would the regular wash be enough to eradicate that milky smell?
They washed very well, kept their colour and shape and smelled fresh as a daisy!
My overall verdict; I’m a re useable convert! I will certainly be switching to the monkey mei tai pads full-time, however I feel I will need to order four more sets giving me six in total. They will still save me a whopping £178.50 per year! Not to mention how much less wastage I will have. Is it me or does anyone elses wheely bin seem to have shrunk considerably since having a baby?!
You can order your own handmade monkey mei tai washable pads over at www.monkeymeitai.com take a look at their beautiful mei tai carriers while you’re there!