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My six-month long experience with these reusable silicon breastfeeding pads, or rather silicon shell-shaped concave/convex cups.
These hand-washable and reusable non-absorbent breast pads collect small amounts of leaking breast milk. Made from transparent silicon and with a slight sticky/tacky coating, they are very easy to use. Unlike regular, absorbable breast pads, LilyPadz are invisible under clothes. They can also be worn without a bra, which removes the necessity of night-time bra-wearing. The LilyPadz are really only suitable for small breast leaks. I recommend waiting until breast milk supply has settled - possibly six to eight weeks post-natally - before using for longer than a couple of hours.
The pad is concave, similar to an open shell. To use, simply put the "outside base" (ie the convex curved side) onto your nipple by placing one finger in the "cup" - as though you're going to catch raindrops into the shell - and then smooth down the sides so that the convex side has now become concave. The inherent tackiness means that they stick to the wearer rather than the bra.
I used LilyPadz at night and for short intervals during the day as alternative to disposable and washable fabric breast pads. They are reportedly safe to use with lanolin nipple cream. These pads collected the small amounts of nipple-leak I produced. When removing the pads, I always made sure that I had tissues near by in case I spilled any milk onto myself. After removing the pads, I washed them by hand with dish detergent then let them air dry. LilyPadz has produced a cleaning agent and cleaning wipes which I've not used.
The company used to claim that this product lasts several months, but more recently it suggests replacing after several weeks due to decreased adhesive effectiveness. I had several leaks, including one that I noticed as I stood up from the desk at my then voluntary job - the entire contents of one pad had leaked at a bottom corner and saturated a large area of my top.
I recommend this product for occasional use.
Currently (April 2013) £14.95 at amazon.co.uk
I first saw lilypadz advertised when I was pregnant with my son 4 years ago. I remember thinking at the time it was an interesting concept but having no experience of breastfeeding decided to stuck to traditional breast pads initially. After feeding my son for about a month I became increasingly fed up with soggy pads in my nursing bra. I had at the time completely forgotten about the lilypadz and it was my mum who actually purchased them for me after seeing them in boots.
The pads themselves are thin pads of silicone with a slightly sticky side and a smooth side. The whole concept is that you place the sticky side over the breast putting pressure on the nipple so that milk doesn't leak out. You in effect flatten the nipple down. The pads can then be washed in soapy water, stuck together to be stored and used again and again. No more need for disposable pads and no need to wear a bra if you don't want to as the pads stick to you. To feed baby you just peel the lilypad off and place to one side. On paper it looks like a great idea and it is, sort of.
I loved the freedom of not having to wear a bra and for short trips out when I knew i wasn't going to become engorged they were great. At first they stuck really well, they are very easy to apply. I found them comfortable and easy to wear, they were very light. They are obviously going to be visible under tight tops but for looser fitting items you'd never know I was wearing them. Not having to buy loads of dispoables obviously has it's positives aswell.
There were however a few things I didn't like about the lilypadz. For a start they certainly don't stop the milk leaking out. If I was away from the baby of ge slept through a feed time the lilypad would become full of milk, sometimes to the point of falling off. Once the milk had pooled under the pad it becomes very messy to take them off. This also means they're certainly not suitable for nights. I also found that despite looking after them as per the instructions they lost there stick very quickly. Maybe a month of so of not heavy use. Finally I found them impossible to use discreetly when out and about. With a disposable it can just be pushed aside with your bra but you need to remove these and store them somewhere clean with isn't always easy to do.
Overall great for short trips but I didn't find then any good for prolonged use.
Lily Padz are a great invention for nursing mothers, they stick to you rather than the bra. They are recommended to be used once breast feeding is established, usually after around four to six weeks. I used them from when my son was around 3 months old as disposable breast pads were working out to be quite expensive. I didnt like the idea of the re-usable normal breastpads as knew i would lose one in the wash or get sick of washing them so just buy disposables.
They are made out a clear silicone type material and come in a plastic storage pot. They are easy to put on and apply gentle pressure to the nipple to stop leakage, they literally just stick to the breast. They cant be seen through bras or clothing and can also be used in the swimming pool.
You wash them with liquid soap and water then rub the sticky sides together to ensure they stay sticky. Mine lasted for around 3 months but a friends have lasted for more than 6 months so i think it varies for each person.
I used them for quite a while in the day but for me they did not work at night. It was lovely that i didnt have to wear a bra to bed, although i looked a little odd with my nipples pushed down, but I found that my breasts filled with milk and leaked much more at night so when it was time to do a night feed and peel the Lily Pad off my poor baby would get a face full of milk that had collected in the Lily Pad.
The only downside for me was that with a disposable breast pad that sticks in the bra i would just unclip the cup and quickly be able to get the baby onto the breast but would have to remove the Lily Pad completely and put it somewhere, fine when i was at home but not so easy to be discreet when breastfeeding in public.
I can't remember where I first heard about Lilypadz breast pads, but I can remember thinking they were an amazing invention and hunting about for reviews of them online. All of the reviews that I came across seemed to be American, presumably because this is an American product, and all raved about Lilypadz so eventually I caved in and bought a set of two online.
For those of you who haven't heard of them, Lilypadz are a type of reusable breast pad. Unlike the traditional breast pads, which are either disposable and based on paper or reusable and made from fabric, Lilypadz are made from silicone. They are promoted as being soft and flexible (despite being made out of plastic) and they are actually supposed to stick to your body, rather than to your bra. The blurb says that they apply gentle pressure to your nipple which stops them leaking milk when they aren't supposed to, whereas traditional breast pads just work by soaking up any leaks, rather than preventing them.
I was quite fortunate when breastfeeding my youngest in that I didn't have so many of the problems that I experienced with my first. One issue that I did have was simply having too much milk! Daytimes were generally fine as my baby fed regularly and the milk seemed to respond and come and go accordingly. Luckily, I didn't really have any embarrasing leaks during the daytime so only occasionally used breast pads when I was out in the evenings without my baby.
The night times were another matter altogether though. My youngest did, obviously, feed through the night when he was a newborn but he never seemed to need quite as much milk as my breasts wanted to produce on the night shift! The end result was that I would end up, literally, soaking wet with my nursing bra, nightie and all the bedding absolutely soaked! The problem got even worse once my baby started sleeping through and abandoned the night feeds altogether. This was the main reason that I decided to give the Lilypadz breast pads a try. They are advertised as being suitable for use without a bra - even while swimming - so I thought they would solve the leaks at night and maybe even let me sleep without a bra.
Lilypadz certainly aren't cheap. I've just googled for price comparison purposes and I can find find them for sale at Amazon for £10.45 for a pack of two (plus postage.) They come in a little plastic storage box within a cardboard outer giving you all the usage and care instructions. The good news is that you only need one pair at a time as they can just be rinsed clean under the tap with a bit of soap and water (or washing up liquid) and then air-dried, which just takes seconds. You don't have the problem of washing them in the laundry, like fabric reusable pads, and needing a spare set while they dry.
So, are they worth the money? Well, not really, I'm disappointed to say. The whole 'unique selling point' of these pads is that they stick to your actual breast. They are supposed to be flexible and easy to use. Well, the set I had was about as flexible as a yoghurt pot and about as comfortable to wear! According to the pack instructions, you just place a pad over your nipple and then apply gentle pressure so that it flips into itself and moulds itself to the shape of your breast. I tried and tried to get the pads to 'mould themselves' but they didn't and wouldn't! The only way that I could get them to actually stick on to me was to place them inside my bra and, eventually, the heat from my body caused them to flex a little and they would become squashed up against me. They did eventually stick to me a little but not enough to be secure - just enough to be difficult to remove in a hurry (like when your baby is screaming with hunger, for example!)
I'd originally bought them for the night-time, to alleviate the messy night-time leakages mentioned earlier. They were about as much use as a chocolate teapot at night. I wanted to wear them without a bra as I find sleeping with a bra really uncomfortable. I tried that with these (once they were stuck on as best as I could get them) but as soon as I moved in bed, they just popped off!As I said earlier, I've read other reviews that absolutely rave about these Lilypadz but I really didn't get on with them. I don't even know whether I just got a dud pack, but at well over £10 for a pack I wasn't going to run the risk of buying any more!
The only real use I found for them was when I wanted to go out for the evening when my baby was a few months old. At the stage where I was waking the baby up at about 10pm for a late feed before I went to bed, my breasts would start to make milk in preparation so I was always a bit wary about going out for nights out and getting that familiar 'letting down' sensation. The odd time that I was going for a night out and was going to be later than 10pm I popped the Lilypadz in and was confident that I wouldn't have any leaks (and I didn't). The Lilypadz are transparent and, because they mould to the shape of your breast they don't show up under clothing. I was always very conscious of the shape of a traditional breast pad showing through my bra so these solved that difficulty. I wouldn't pay over a tenner just to solve that issue though and, frankly, I didn't find them beneficial for any other reason.
I wouldn't recommend using them on a daily basis as you would traditional breast pads. They would be impossible to remove and replace discreetly. I had perfected the knack of feeding in public by baby number two but, because Lilpadz are plastic, they can't just be shoved aside gently like a fabric or paper pad. You would need to actually fish them off your breasts to feed your baby! I've already explained the problems that I found trying to get them to stick so, again, this would be a real problem when feeding out in public. Perhaps there is a knack to using Lilypadz but, if so, I didn't develop it and would advise other people to save their money, unfortunately!
Avoid embarrassing leaks with these transparent breast pads which act like a second skin and stop the let down of milk by placing gentle pressure on the nipple. Lilypadz reusable non-absorbent breast pads are the only breast pads that adhere to you and not your bra.