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When I gave birth to my first baby I decided to go down the route of being as environmentally friendly as possible. I didn't want my child to be contributing to landfill. I bought a stack of washable nappies and had 12 of these washable breast pads. I used 4 each day. One for each bra cup in the morning to soak up any leaks during feeds. Also leaks occurred when my baby hadn't fed for some time. These pads usually soaked up the milk but sometimes my clothes did get damp when there was more milk than the pad could soak up. I always changed the pads at bedtime.
I did find that the pads don't stay in the same position while sleeping. I wear a sleep bra and find that occasionally my nightie and sheets are wet where the pad has moved away from the nipple area during the night.
They were very good value compared to buying disposable pads.
I have now had another baby and am using the original pads again. They wash well and show little wear after using for 2 years with my first baby. I always wash them in a special lingerie bag. They dry quickly after being washed.
While my baby is young and I am feeding a lot I carry spare pads in the changing bag in case milk leaks and the lads are soaked.
Having decided to go down the cloth nappy route with my youngest, it only seemed right that rather than filling landfill with disposable breast pads, I should buy myself some washable, reusable pads to soak up the rather excessive milk that leaks from my boobs during feeds, when I hear a baby (any baby) cry or even look at my month old son. I actually bought two brands of reusable breast pad to try, the Little Lamb Bamboo Breast Pads and these Avent reusable breast pads. Price-wise the two types of pad are comparable, with the Little Lambs coming in at £12 for 10 and the Avent at around £6.50 for 6, but other than the price there is simply no comparison.
The Avent Washable Breast Pads are supplied within a basic cardboard box which also holds a handy net bag for when it's time to stick the pads in the washing machine. Each pad is approximately 10cm in diameter and formed of a brilliant white material. The part of the pad that sits against your boob is a brushed cotton lining that doesn't feel particularly soft even when brand new. The pad is then padded with an absorbent material, with what I would imagine would be a waterproof layer held under a lacy backing. Avent describes this lacy backing as feminine, but to me it reeks of old lady. Avent also claim that this backing will help stop the pad from moving around in your bra (which seems to be true for the short period of time I can wear them before changing).
I bought these pads several weeks before my baby was due and gave them a couple of washes to ensure that they reached maximum absorbency before they were needed. While the drawstring net bag is a great idea for keeping the pads together during the wash cycle, I did worry a little that they wouldn't move about enough during the wash. Even after just these first preparatory washes the condition of the pads had deteriorated considerably. The brushed cotton lining had already started to bobble and the pads where no longer sparkling white, in fact they had turned a distinct grey. Oh well I could forgive this as long as they soak up the breast milk that leaks profusely whenever it feels like.
After my baby was born it was time to slip these pads into my nursing bra to prevent those embarrassing wet patches. The pads fit fairly well, they are slightly domed which helps them fit over the nipple area but that's about as good as it gets. I find the brushed cotton is anything but soft, in fact I find it itchy and scratchy (isn't that a cartoon within a cartoon). I also find them very bulky, they do a good job at disguising my nipples, but are so bulky that they can be seen through my bra and top, which makes my boobs look less than attractive (and a bit deformed if truth be told), although they might not look so bad on more average or less than average sized boobs than my bazookas.
So they're not the most attractive or comfortable of breast pads, but this could still be forgiven if they could manage to do the job of containing my spurting milk fountains. But sadly they can't, no where nearly, in fact they leak everywhere. I will admit that I have a more than adequate milk supply and a great let down reflex that allows me to spray milk on the opposite wall with the boob that isn't in use, but I would still expect these breast pads to cope for at least one feed. But they don't, on the rare occasion I've forgotten how bad these are and have worn them out of the house, I have still managed to produce those embarrassing wet patches that give away the fact that I'm lactating. The last time I wore these I was happily feeding away on the left boob for less than five minutes when I felt something dripping down my right side. I actually thought that I had forgotten to wear pads, but nope, I had saturated the Avent pad within seconds and was now dripping enough milk to add to my tea (ew no thanks). It's a good job I keep spare pads with me and have learnt to perform a sneaky, unobtrusive change (to a Little Lamb Pad), otherwise I would have looked rather strange with a large wet patch on my top.
When it comes washing these pads it's simply a case of sticking them in with a 40 degree load and then I peg them on an over bath airer to dry (well it's not really the weather to put the washing out to dry). Not being particularly absorbent they don't take very long to dry, if I wash them at night they are generally dry by the morning.
While I love the idea of these breast pads, the execution leaves much to be desired. Yes they are reusable and therefore eventually should save both landfill and my pocket, but I find they are just not up to the job. They do not feel as soft as is desirable (especially in the early days of super sensitive nipples), they do not wash well and are simply not absorbent enough to cope with anything more than a dribble. I therefore cannot in all conscience recommend the Avent Washable Breast Pads to anyone and am giving them one star out of five, because at least the washing bag is useful.
~~~ Background ~~~
Regular readers of my reviews will be aware that our daughter is now three years old, toilet trained and finally sleeping through the night on a regular basis, and that I am now in a better position reflect on which baby-related products I recommend as near necessities, those that would be "nice to have", and those that one could really do without.
After a very bumpy start I breastfed Millie for approximately 14 months. It turns out that I really didn't have much of an idea how to breastfeed or what associated accoutrements I might really need. I had become somewhat organised prior to Millie's birth by ensuring I had nipple cream and even an electric breast pump.
However I had no idea that I might need breast pads until we'd been home from hospital for 24 hours. I was sitting on the couch feeding Millie when my husband gave me a very concerned look and told me that I'd started leaking. He was right! My top had a huge wet patch around my left nipple! We were both momentarily mortified; he because he knew how precious my milk was and it was being wasted. Me because I was frustrated that I hadn't remembered about these and I really didn't want to leave the house to get any.
Thankfully my husband offered to buy some for me. As he kindly pointed out, he had been to Walmart at 10pm just a few nights earlier to buy me night-time maternity bras and had survived the ordeal. He came home about an hour later with several different styles and brands.
~~~ The product and my thoughts ~~~
As we planned to use cloth nappies, it only felt right to also use washable breast pads. So I was pleased that my husband had chosen to buy these. I see that the current price on Amazon is 4.40 plus delivery for a pack of six.
Breast pads are round, absorbent disc-like pads that are placed in your bra. They are usually a similar size to a Pringle crisp. They are designed to collect errant leaking breast milk. The pads have a soft cotton outer layer with the inner layer being the absorbent one. These Advent pads did a fine job. I never had any leaks.
Both washable fabric and disposable breast pads create a noticeable padded shape underneath the wearer's clothes. This didn't bother me as I used these Avent breast pads around the house and with various loose fitting tops, and I wore my groovy Lily Padz thin, non-absorbent collecting breast pad shells when I was leaving the house.
These breast pads come with a little net washing bag, however I usually washed them by hand in very hot water and let them air dry. They felt soft enough when washing this way; I imagine they'd be even softer if dried in a tumble drier. Over time they did start to become a little stained. From what I can tell this was mostly due to my liberal use of nipple cream.
~~~ Recommended ?~~~
I only used the one packet of these breast pads so they really are cost effective. I have lost a couple of them somewhere, but the others remain as I wait in hope that I might one day be able to use them once more. We'll see.
I breast fed my daughter from birth until around 7 months old. I found that I had a lot of milk and leaked a lot. This used to happen at any time but especially when feeding and I soaked a number of tops whilst out and about. I started off using disposable breast pads and used a number of different brands. My friend then recommended that I bought some washable breast pads instead to save on money. I therefore bought two packs of them to use.
The Avent washable breast pads have a soft cotton lining and absorbent padding to collect the excess milk. The outer layer is supposed to give a feminine appearance but to be honest I didn't care what they looked like as long as they worked! They are machine washable and dryable and come with a little bag to wash them in. There are 6 pads in a pack and they cost around £6-£7.
I found these were a great alternative to disposable breast pads. They didn't always last as long before I needed to change them, but at least I wasn't throwing lots away each day. I found it useful to have 2 packs of them so I didn't have to wash them quite as much and I had more spares to take out on a day with me. They were very comfortable to wear although they were a bit thicker than some of the disposable ones were so you couldn't wear very thin tops with them.
I would definitely recommend these pads. They work out much cheaper overall than continuing to buy disposable pads and as long as you don't mind washing every day, they are a brilliant purchase.
Be warned, this isn't a conversation I'd have in polite company..... But having 'suffered' from leaky breasts from about 35 weeks of pregnancy I became rather desperate to find some washable pads to avoid (a) bankrupting myself with the disposable ones and (b) do something for the environment (seriously, the landfill volume being taken up with my disposable ones was getting ridiculous)...
The Avent washable pads were the first of this sort that I tried. Somewhat naively I relied on the 'Avent' brand and as a consequence was quite prepared to spend the £6.75 asking price for a pack of 6. These have a circumference of roughly 1.5 inches and come in a box along with a net laundry bag in which they can be washed and dried....
Several things are key when buying breast pads, which I'll rate here:
1. ABSORPTION 8/10
Much more impressive than the Boots disposables that I'd been used previously, it wasn't necessary to 'double layer' these to ensure that you didn't leak all over your top.
2. COMFORT 6/10
Despite being washed with my standard sensitive non-biological washing powder, these became quite scratchy over time irrespective of the means via which they were dried (on a line - an interesting sight! - or in a dryer).
3. STAYING POWER 5/10
Unlike disposable pads, which have a sticky strip to ensure they stay in place (or try to) these pads rely on the contour of your breast to hold them in place. Unfortunately, at least for me, this wasn't particularly effective meaning they tended to slip and slide all over the place. Thankfully however....
4. SIZE 8/10
They were a decent size, which meant that they didn't necessarily completely slip off the nipple.
5. WASHABILITY 7/10
They maintained their shape providing they were washed in the included bag. Do not try to wash them without this or they bobble or disintegrate (depending on the state they were in when they entered the washer-dryer).
6. VISIBILITY 6/10
Fairly bulky on first use, these tended to mould to your nipples better with time, making them less readily visible under clothing. I'd still be reluctant to wear light coloured clothing though.
7. PACK SIZE 5/10
A single pack of six wasn't adequate for my needs between washes. I had to change them 3+ times a day, meaning a second pack was necessary.
This is another area that was a complete unknown to me before I had children. Now I'm on my gorgeous baby number 3 however and have breastfed all three so me and breast pads have become rather well aquainted. I have tried most of the different brands and varieties and to be completely honest have most rather disappointing.
A breast pad is an absorbant pad worn within the bra. They would be worn while breastfeeding and are particularly essential in the first few months. Leakages occur regularly and it is not all that nice to be out and about and all of a sudden you have two saucer sized wet patches on your front. Breast pads prevent this from happening and instead any excess liquid is soaked up by the pads.
To begin with I tended to use the disposable pads but I wasn't all that impressed with them. No matter how soft they felt to the touch, when you put them in the bra, they felt itchy and uncomfortable. They seemed to get soggy very quickly and I just hated them. I searched around for an alternative and decided to buy a pack of these Avent Washable Breast Pads from my closest branch of mothercare. A pack containing 6 cost a reasonable £4.99.
These pads are made from a soft cotton and are machine washable and you can also dry them in the tumble drier. They do feel really thick and have to admit that I was a little conscious that they could be seen through my clothes but after a few washes they seemed to slim down and I would now wear them with any top.
They are just so much more comfortable to wear than the disposible variety. I actually can't feel them when I am wearing them, they just slot in and I can forget about them, with no itching or irritation. The only downside compared to the disposible is that they obvious don't have the adhesive strip to keep them in place. You just have to remember you have tham when feeding otherwise them could just fall out.
This doesn't bother me and it is definately worth it for the comfort. I intend to but a couple more boxes and use just these in the future.
With the imminent arrival of baby number three, I've been busy packing my labour bag for all those pre- and post-birth essentials. Amongst the items that I'd highly recommend purchasing and packing is a set of Avent washable breast pads. Not the most glamorous of items, admittedly, but they certainly come in useful.
First time mothers might be a bit surprised by just how much excess milk can be created following the birth of a baby. In fact, I've already started to notice little drips of colostrum (first stage breast milk) forming during the last few weeks of pregnancy, although it hasn't been enough to warrant the use of breast pads yet though. Once your milk 'comes in' a few days after birth, there is likely to be a surplus of milk that even the hungriest of babies won't be able to deal with. It's also worth noting that this excess milk production in the early days will happen even if you're not actually breastfeeding and, without the option of feeding a baby, you need breast pads more than a breastfeeding mum will!
Breast pads are simply circular pads that can be slipped inside a bra cup and used to soak up any excess breast milk. They are either paper-based disposables which seem to work on a similar basis to panty liners or reusable and washable varieties. Having tried both types, my personal recommendation would be to use reusable pads, specifically the Avent brand which is very well-established in the baby product field.
I found the paper-based disposables to be a bit too rough and itchy against my extra sensitive nipples and preferred the feel of the cotton-lined reusable pads which are much softer and more comfortable to wear, even at night if necessary. The pads are a little thicker than most brands of disposables but I find this reassuring and certainly have never experienced any leaks or embarrassing moments whilst wearing these. The cotton lining absorbs any excess moisture and the lacy covering on the top of the pads seem to stop this from leaching through to the other side and causing any dampness or moisture to work its way through to my bra. The downside is that they are cleary visible under clothing as distinctive circles because the pads are so thick and quite bulky, even when worn under a nursing bra and top, but that is infinitely preferable to even more tell-tale wet circles!
Avent sell the reusable pads in a pack of six which cost £4.99 from Mothercare. It comes supplied with a drawstring net bag so that they can be safely machine washed without going astray. The bag is actually surprisingly versatile and I've also used it for small baby items such as socks and scratch mitts. The pads can be washed at 40 degrees numerous times over again and actually become softer and more comfortable over time. The do need to be washed fairly frequently, even if you don't seem to be creating much excess milk as breast milk does have its own distinctive aroma and the pads can quickly pick this up. A normal machine wash removes any smells and leaves these pads soft, fresh smelling and absorbent once again.
Personally, I would recommend Avent reusable breast pads over the disposable variety every time. The initial outlay might seem expensive compared to disposable pads but, considering the number of disposable pads you are likely to get through in the first few weeks alone, these pads soon pay for themselves many time over and also avoid the waste associated with disposables.They are cost effective, environmentally friendly but, most importantly, fulfil their function efficiently whilst being comfortable and easy to use.
Whether you decide to breastfeed or bottle feed your baby, most women will find that at some point or another they will leak milk from their breasts. This can cause a lot of unnecessary washing, embarassing stains and bad smells on the clothing. The best way to stop this is to use breast pads.
Avent washable breast pads come in packs of six and come with a drawstring laundry bag to help prevent them getting lost in shirt sleeves etc. They are what I would estimate to be a medium in size. They are made out of soft absorbent white brushed cotton with a white lace outer to prevent them slipping about.
I did not have any problems whilst using this product, I recommend them to anyone who is expecting. They have saved me money, eased my conscience with regards to environmental impact and were a lot more gentle on my skin than disposable alternatives. If you are mainly breastfeeding I would advise buying two packs as you will need to wash around 6-7 pairs per week. It is advisable to wear a firm fitting bra to prevent them from sliding around, I did not have this problem but I have heard other women that have.
When I bought them, they were half price in Toys 'R' Us (about £2 each). Currently you can buy them from boots.com for £5.00 or from Mothercare.com at £4.99. In total, for a mainly breastfeeding mum would cost £10.00. A pack of disposable Avent breastpads cost £4.99 from Mothercare and will last on average less than 3 weeks. The savings really add up.
You will find yourself with less irritated nipples and more money to treat yourself which is well-deserved after the hard work of bringing up your little angel.
I bought these hoping to save both money and the amount of waste from using disposable breast pads every day. I was horrified by the amount I was throwing away, it pretty much negated any benefit I was having from using cloth nappies and wipes!
I have to say I was rather disappointed with these. Initially, I thought I'd use them at night, but that proved to be the worst time to use them. The lacy outside of the pads don't help them stay in place like I think they're meant to. I would wake up soaked as they would shift when I moved and not cover where I needed!
I also found they would get uncomfortable after a while as you felt the wetness more than in a disposable pad. I have had mixed success using them in the daytime, and only now that my son is 7 months old and I'm leaking a lot less am I able to use them again. I have found some bamboo ones that do a better job, and will be usign them mostly from now on.
I liked the little mesh bag that they came in to keep them together in the wash, and the size was just about right, but I can't help but feel disappointed that these didnt' work out for me a bit better.
First I would like to say that any breastfeeding mum - breast pads are an absolute essential it is just up to you whether you decide on disposable or washable. Personally I prefer washable - I use disposable after the birth up until I have got the energy to do the washing regularly and after that use the washables. They are far cheaper in the long run and are also eco friendly.
As far as the avent washable breast pads go they are good but not amazing. They do the job for moderate leakage but I find if there is a lot of milk coming out I need to change them very quickly. They are also on the smallish side and I do not find they shape around the breast in your bra that well. On the plus side they are pretty but I think I would rather go for a better absorbency than attractiveness.
Overall not bad they wash well and look good and provide moderate absorbency.
When I started breastfeeding I bought the Johnson & Johnson disposable pads. They were great, but at close to £3 for a 15 day (maximum) supply, were getting expensive. After doing some research on the net I discovered that washable pads were available. I bought a pack of 6 Avent pads at Boots for £4.99.
They are made of a soft material with a waterproof backing & have a lacy side which aswell as looking a bit more feminine serves the purpose of 'gripping' the inside of your bra to make them more secure. They come with a small net in which to wash them so that they don't get lost among your laundry (vital if you don't want one whizzing out your sleeve in public when you take your freshly washed cardigan etc off!). I've been breastfeeding for 3 months now & there's no telling how much money I've saved. Since they are not tapered at the edges, nor do they have indentations for your nipples, they are bulkier than disposables, so invest in a padded nursing bra, otherwise they'll be seen from space! They do soften & subsequently mould easier after washing the first time. I always wash mine in non bio detergent when washing baby's clothes, just to be sure that they don't cause any irritation to my skin.
I still use disposable pads on the odd occasion that I wear a non-padded bra, or tighter-than-usual top, but for the most part I use the washables, knowing that I'm being green & saving my pennies!
These breastpads have a smooth cotton face that goes next to your skin, and a lacy flower pattern on the other. When I first tried these pads I was really disappointed as they showed through my tops really badly like two saucers, however after washing and wearing them a few times they seemed to soften up and are more discreet now. The only time I see them through my clothes is when I accidentally get one folded over.
They come with a washing bag which is handy for keeping them together in the washing machine, otherwise they tend to get stuck in the door seal. The fact they are washable makes them very good value as you can use them over and over again, however as there are only three pairs in a pack you need more than one box if you are going to use them regularly. I have two other brands of washable pads and they don't wash nearly as well (they either go hard or get rucked up), so I always tend to use the avent ones first.
They are the most absorbent washable pads I have tried although sometimes they are not able to cope with the amount of leakage they encounter, which can mean you end up with wet patches on your top. I therefore tend to use them in the house where it doesn't matter so much if they leak. If I am going out I often use disposable ones as I find they leak less, although are much more expensive in the long run.
I have been breastfeeding my son for 5 months and feel that I am now able to review Avent Washable Breast Pads. For anyone who has breastfed, there is nothing worse than getting caught short (especially when out and about) and finding that you have wet patches on your tops! So I purchased Avent Washable Breast Pads at Boots for £4.99 after reading good reviews about them, but unfortunately I found them disappointing.
There are 6 washable breast pads and a laundry bag in the box. I decided to buy two boxes as I thought that one wasn't enough, but looking back I was too hasty in buying another box. The breast pads are quite big in size, so that they are suitable for various breast sizes. These breast pads are soft to the touch and the absorbent padding draws moisture away from the skin and traps it behind a leak proof liner.
The pads have a soft-brushed cotton lining which is soft and gentle against the skin and didn't cause any rashes or spots. They also look quite pretty as they have an embroided flower pattern on the front, not that anyone will be seeing this pretty design! The flower pattern is supposed to act as an anti-slip lace outer layer, but for me it wasn't very effective.
Included in the bag is a white laundry wash bag, which has a drawstring to keep the pads inside. This looks very similar to the ones you get with laundry detergent and tabs. The pads are machine washable and can be dried in a Tumble Dryer on the cool setting.
So, why don't I like them? Unlike disposable breast pads, these are quite stiff as the material is quite thick, so that it absorbs the milk. Unfortunately when you wear them you can see the outline in your tops. Even after a few washes the pads don't seem to soften at all and don't follow the fit of your bra. I have tried various bras with these and they don't provide a flawless fit. This is a big disappointment for me, as they look so obvious and are not an attractive look.
I found that the pads tend to move about a lot in your bra, especially at night. My son still wakes 2-3 times at night for feeds and I always single side breastfeed, so at night I end up with one breast bigger than the other. This makes the breast pads move when I am sleeping. Also when I get a letdown of milk; the pad doesn't always absorb the milk, so I end up with wet patches on my bra. The only way I can manage to keep the pads in place is by constantly readjusting my bra straps throughout the night.
The only advantage I can think of is that the Washable Breast Pads are more cost effective than buying disposable pads as they are reusable, so you are saving money.
In my overall opinion, I don't like the Advent Washable Breast Pads and am giving them 2 out of 5. The only reason I haven't given them 1 star is that they are washable, so in the long run it does save money compared to buying disposable pads. Other people may like these, but they are not for me as they move about too much and don't mould to the fit of your bra, leaving a visible outline.
For more information, please go to www.phillips.com/AVENT
AVENT, Suffolk, CO10 7QS, England
Freephone 0800 289064
Thanks for reading xx
© sweetdaisy 2008
I bought these with my first as thought they were a great idea and more economical being washable, they came in a apcket of with a little bag to wash them in to stop them from being washed. It was over 3 years I bought them so cant remember price but sure they were less then a fiver.
When i started using them, i found them rather uncomfatable as they were not shaped and quite flat with no lip for your nipple. Was my milk came in even during the day they were getting wet thorugh inbetween feeds and at night it was just impossible within a few hours i would wake wet through. They are just to thin and have no absorbancy, and the shape means they do not stay in position very well.
In the end I bought reusuable which i never had a problem with and have used since with other babies, might be more expensive but worth it to stay dry and comfatable.
I have to say that these were an absolute godsend! I discovered them when I had my third child and wish I had found them sooner. Disposable breast pad varied from make to make from those that were wonderfully thick and absorbant to others that were thin and would be soggy and uncomfortable within an hour or so, also as my milk supply was quite heavy when I had my 3rd (I breast fed easily till 6 months) I was getting through quite a few pads in a week which really was an unneeded added cost at the time. Although the initial outlay is higher than a pack of disposable (4.99 for a box of 6 washable as opposed to £3 for 30 disposable) in the long term it could save you a fortune! I bought 2 boxes so 12 disposable pads in total and even though they are material, they are thick and very absorbant plus you have the natural feel of fabric against your skin. You also get a wash bag in the box to place they pads in to go in the washing machine so they are kept together.
These soft, cotton nursing pads prevent staining while adding comfort for breastfeeding mothers. They are machine washable and dryable and includes laundry bag.