Having a baby? Congrats! Pregnancy is such a wonderful time spent preparing for baby but don't forget you will have needs postpartum too! Whether your birth goes as planned, the complete opposite, or somewhere in between all women who have given birth will have advice and helpful information to share with first-time Moms. Let this be one tidbit of advice that will bring YOU comfort!
Use cloth postpartum pads.
You will thank me weeks later when you have been wearing a pad for anywhere from 1-7+ weeks 24/7. For most women, the bleeding that happens after a delivery (whether it is a vaginal delivery or a C-section) lasts no more than 6 weeks on average. Some women only bleed for 4 weeks, and some can bleed for up to 8 weeks. Giving birth can be a traumatic time for your body and healing will take some time. Your perineum will be sore and possibly swollen postpartum after a vaginal birth and discomfort may last days or weeks. If you have stitches due to a torn or cut perineum, it will take 7-10 days to heal. Disposable pads aren't comfortable at the best of times and postpartum is no different. Now imagine the alternative, the softest fabric (often used to make baby blankets) snuggled up in your underwear ready to catch your flow while feeling like a little "pillow".
While you recover, sitting on an ice-pack several times a day for 10 minutes will help relieve the pain but an even better option is to wet a "Pad Booster" with witch hazel, freeze it then lay it on top of your cloth pad. Pad boosters are also great placed farther back for hemorrhoids (another common postpartum affliction).
Sounds like something you want to try? Not sure where to start?
For postpartum bleeding most women find the bigger the pad the better! Better be safe than sorry! If you have a c-section mobility may be an issue as well so having a big absorbent pad at the ready can really help. Tree Hugger Cloth Pads postpartum pads measure 12" long by 3" wide and are comparable in size to most disposable night time pads on the market. They have two thirsty layers of Zorb inside and a water resistant fleece backing.
How many will you need? Much of this decision will be based on how often you will be able to do laundry. We recommend a good collection of 12 pads. This will give you 1-3 days worth of pads before you need to wash and re-use them. Your bleeding will be heavier the first few days so you will go through them quicker in the beginning. Some women prefer to have a mix of sizes in which case we recommend 6 postpartum pads as well as 6 heavy flow day pads for use while the bigger pads are washing and which are better for later on in your healing when your flow lightens up. It is also easier to work 6/6 into a regular monthly period stash when that day comes. Don't forget the Pad Boosters too! Sold in packages of 6 one package may be enough (but I suggest washing them in a mesh bag so you don't lose these little guys).
Now comes the fun part! Choosing fabrics! Tree Hugger Cloth Pads offers 3 different fabric tops which mainly come down to personal preference. We have a great blog post about the fabric types and their pros and cons. I personally recommend bamboo topped for postpartum only because it absorbs slightly faster than the other fabrics and with a super heavy flow that is a great feature! There really is no beating minky fabric though for softness and luxury so it's not a bad choice either.
If you have a hospital birth one thing to consider when choosing your prints for postpartum pads is that most hospital nurses are trained to monitor your blood loss by how it looks on a disposable pad. Having a dark colored cloth pad may throw them for a loop or may be actually not allowed. Go for light colored pads or if your hospital has rules, tough out the hospital disposables until you are headed home (then you will really feel the difference for yourself!).
I hope you have found this helpful and we wish you a smooth delivery and a great recovery! Please check out our website for more information or join our private Facebook group where you can ask opinion and get advice from thousands of cloth pad users.