If you’re a breastfeeding parent, you know that nursing your child can be a beautiful and meaningful bonding experience — one that allows you to provide essential nutrients (and some sweet snuggles) to you little one. But there’s a dark side to nursing, too — one that many moms experience but don’t always talk about: sore nipples! Especially in the early weeks and months, when you and your babe are both new to nursing, the act of breastfeeding can lead to cracked, painful skin on one of your most delicate parts.
To the rescue: Nipple covers! These gel pads are designed to soothe and protect sore, tender and raw nipples, whether from frequent breastfeeding or pumping or simple postpartum skin changes. With adhesive tape on the back to stay put inside your bra and a contoured shape to fit nicely on the breast, nipple covers protect against friction from fabric rubbing against the irritated area. Many also feature instant cooling relief to alleviate pain.
It’s important to take care of yourself as a new mom (which, yes, is easier said than done). So if you’re planning to breastfeed, make sure to have nipple covers on hand when you get home from the hospital with your new bundle of joy. Not sure where to start? We’ve rounded up the best nipple cover options so you can start breastfeeding without worrying about soreness or pain — and just focus on feeding your baby.
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1. Medela Tender Care HydroGel Soothing Gel Pads
Medela’s Tender Care Hydrogel Pads combine instant cooling relief with a comfortable, contoured shape for easy use and immediate comfort. Engineered for a discreet fit, the non-gel side of the hydrogel pads stick snugly to the inside of your bra. Each pad is reusable for up to 24 hours, and each box contains individually-wrapped Tender Care Hydrogel Pads, so you can take them on the go as necessary.
2. Lansinoh Soothies Cooling Gel Pads
Lansinoh Soothies Gel Pads provide instant cooling relief from cracked, painful or sore nipples with a safe, absorbent hydrogel made from glycerin. A soft cotton backing helps protect from bra friction. Each gel breast pad comes with a reusable tray for storing in between use, and you can even store the pads on the tray inside your refrigerator to enhance cooling. Plus: Each pad can be reused for up to 72 hours.
3. Ameda ComfortGel Soothing Breastfeeding Pads
Ameda ComfortGel Hydrogel Pads provide cool, soothing relief to painful nipples with a moist healing environment. Ready to use in convenient sterile packaging and discreet under clothing, the pads also help absorb milk leakage. Best of all: These pads really last! Each one may be reused for up to six days before a new pad is needed.