As you start packing your hospital bag — folding in baby’s homecoming outfit, a comfortable labor gown and snacks — make sure you have a stocked toiletry bag for after labor, too. Pro tip: You’ll want to pack your toiletry bag like you would if you were going on vacation, making sure you have the essentials such as shampoo, lip balm and your favorite skincare treatments. But there are a few select not-so-exciting staples to include, too, like your toothbrush and postpartum pads. Yes, you read that right.
It can take anywhere between six to eight weeks for new moms who aren’t breastfeeding to get their periods back, and for nursing mamas, that time frame can vary even more. However, no matter how you’re feeding your child, no matter if you delivered naturally or via Cesarean surgery, every new mom will experience lochia, aka postpartum bleeding. Think of lochia as one long period: It’s a natural part of the postpartum phase when the uterine lining sheds and shrinks back to its normal, pre-pregnancy size. Bleeding can extend anywhere from two to six weeks, and in order to manage the more-than-usual amount of blood, postpartum pads are a must.
Unfortunately for tampon users and period cup enthusiasts, you really aren’t supposed to insert anything into the vagina for at least six weeks after delivery, leaving postpartum pads as your only option for support. Luckily, postpartum pads come in all different sizes, materials and absorbency levels so you can find a feminine hygiene product that works best for your individual flow and preferences. And in order to take one less task off your already chaotic to-do list, we’ve rounded up the best postpartum pads below.
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1. The Honey Pot Company Postpartum Herbal Pads
The Honey Pot Company Postpartum Herbal Pads were made for the mamas who strive to choose holistic products whenever possible. These postpartum pads do more than manage blood flow: they assist in the overall healing process. Infused with plant-based essences of lavender, mint and aloe, each 100-percent naturally made pad works to soothe, cool and reduces odors to help ease the discomfort brought on by lochia. These sanitary napkins are also highly absorbent, featuring wings that wrap around your underwear to protect your garments from potential leakage.
2. Curity Maternity Pads
Postpartum bleeding can be heavy — after all, your uterus has been housing your child for nine months, not shedding. Heavier flows require heavy duty support, and Curity Maternity Pads provide that for you. Curity postpartum pads are thick and bulky, but don’t consider this a disadvantage — they are also lightweight and soft, so not only are they supportive, they’re super comfortable. It’s worth noting that these pads do not include wings to wrap around your panty line, but do have an adhesive to keep them in place.
3. Always Maxi Overnight Pads
Consider these Always Maxi Overnight Pads like supportive sleep sacks for your nether-regions. Lochia can hit at any time — day or night — and in order to prevent leaks and stains, Always Maxi Overnight Pads offer a whopping 10 hours of overnight protection with deep channels that absorb fluid and keep it away from the edges of your underwear. These postpartum pads also feature wings to wrap around your undies, with a back that’s two times larger than regular Always Maxi pads for guaranteed stay power.