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The Best Postpartum Pads of 2020 – Our Comfortable and Absorbent Picks for After Birth


Strange things happen to your body after a baby. Thankfully, all of the bleeding and discharge is completely normal when healing and will improve gradually over time.

The hospital likely supplied you with giant pads to use in the hospital, but those aren’t feasible for daily activities once you get home. You want something absorbent, comfortable, and gentle on tender areas.

We’ve compiled a list of the best postpartum pads to help keep you clean and comfortable.

Top 5 Best Postpartum Pads for Moms 2019Why It's BestMom Rating
Always Radiant Feminine PadsThin, absorbent, and with a light, clean scent, these pads are a great postpartum option.♥♥♥♥♥
Poise Overnight Incontinence PadsThese incontinence pads will protect against leaks of multiple kinds and are made for overnight usage.♥♥♥♥
Seventh Generation Maxi PadsFree of chlorine and other chemicals, these pads will be gentle on tender skin.♥♥♥♥♥
Always Maxi Overnight Feminine PadsOne of the best heavy flow options out there. These are a perfect choice postpartum.♥♥♥♥♥
Rael Organic Cotton Menstrual PadsThe best in the organic pad market. These pads are made of non-GMO cotton and won't irritate skin.♥♥♥♥

Here are the Best Postpartum Pads

1. Always Radiant Pads
best postpartum pad - always radiant

When you need a pad that will do its job and smell great doing it, these Always Radiant Pads are up to the task. They may be thin but can hold up to even heavy flows.

The strong adhesive keeps them from moving around and the mesh liner ensures that nothing (stitches!) sticks to the pad. These maternity pads are comfortable to wear and are not bulky, so they won’t show. There is also a handy sizing guide for ensuring the right size and absorbency. They can absorb up to 10x their weight and have wings to make sure you are protected on all sides.

Reasons They Are Great

  • Strong Adhesive
  • Absorbs 10x Their Weight
  • Scented
  • Range of Sizes

Considerations

  • Many Sizes to Choose From Can Make Choosing Difficult

Bottom Line

These pads will hold up to heavy flows and are thin enough to not be noticeable. You may even forget you are wearing them. The soft mesh lining does not stick to you or your stitches or cause additional discomfort. These are a great choice for postpartum bleeding.

 2. Poise Incontinence Overnight Pads
best postpartum pad - poise overnight

It may seem strange to recommend incontinence pads, however, they are extremely absorbent and are great especially for overnight usage. You may not sleep much as a mom, but when you do, you shouldn’t have to worry about whether your maternity pad will hold up. Poise Incontinence Overnight Pads have a core that locks away wetness and odor quickly and completely.

The back of these pads is a little wider as well to offer better protection while you sleep or anytime. Many new moms also have problems with incontinence, so these are a two-for-one deal that is sure to keep you dry and clean. These pads will help you relax and have one less thing to worry about.

Reasons They Are Great

  • Wider at the Back
  • Work for Both Blood and Incontinence Issues
  • Soft Cover
  • Reliable

Considerations

  • A Bit Bulky

Bottom Line

Even though these are primarily for incontinence, they function well for protection after giving birth as well. You can rest assured that you will stay dry when you use these pads. Plus, that makes them a dual purpose for those little bladder leaks you may also experience. So no matter what you need, these pads have you covered.

3. Seventh Generation Maxi Pads

Seventh Generation Maxi Pads, Regular Absorbency, Chlorine Free, 24 count (Packaging May Vary)

If you are concerned with dyes, scents, and other chemicals in your hygiene products, these maternity pads will set your mind at ease. The Seventh Generation Maxi Pads are free of chlorine and other chemicals. Because they have no additional irritants they will not further irritate sensitive skin and will protect well.

You can feel safe using these pads and knowing that you are not adding anything unnecessary to your regimen. They are still absorbent and soft and will feel gentle on your skin.

Reasons They Are Great

  • Chlorine Free
  • Good Absorbancy
  • Unscented

Considerations

  • Newer Version Not as Soft
  • May Fall Apart

Bottom Line

These pads will absorb whatever you can throw at them and are made without the use of chlorine so are safer for your body. If you are looking for a more natural product, this is the one you want. You can feel good about putting these against your skin after having a baby.

Pair these with some organic maternity underwear and you’ll feel comfortable and safe during your postpartum adventure.

4. Dutchess Cloth Menstrual Pads
best postpartum pad - dutchess

Another option for those who are eco-conscious are these menstrual cloth pads. They hold a large amount of liquid and the liner ensures no leakage. Dutchess Cloth Menstrual Pads are reusable and will last a good, long time.

With five cloth pads in the set, it is easy to wash them and keep some on hand. They are a bit pricey at first, but will more than make up for their cost within a few months of usage.  They are lined with double charcoal bamboo layers and dark lining keeps them looking like new.

Reasons They Are Great

  • Reusable
  • Natural Materials
  • Durable
  • High Absorbency

Considerations

  • Must Be Laundered
  • Pricey

Bottom Line

If you are looking for an environmentally friendly option to use postpartum and even beyond, these maternity cloth pads are the right choice for you. They can be washed over and over, maintain their absorbency, and will always be on hand. You will not be contributing to landfills with these reusable pads and will always have them ready for when you need them.

5. Always Overnight Maxi Pads

Always Maxi Feminine Pads with Wings for Women, Size 5, Extra Heavy Overnight, Unscented, 36 Count - Pack of 3 (108 Count Total)

Another great Always brand product belongs on this list. Always Overnight Maxi Pads are larger than most and are wider toward the back to offer better protection for heavy bleeding.

The soft cover feels nice against your skin and these pads absorb the most of any on this list. The wings further provide protection against side leakage and keep the maternity pad firmly in place. They are especially good when your flow is the heaviest the first couple of weeks after delivery when you’re healing.

Reasons They Are Great

  • Best Absorbency
  • Wings
  • Wider at the Back
  • Very Long Pad

Considerations

  • Very Large and Bulky

Bottom Line

Although these pads are very long and even bulky, they are sure to protect against any leakage. With the wider back, wings, and pad length you will feel thoroughly protected when you wear one. These are a must-have right out of the hospital, especially at night.

6. Rael Organic Cotton Pads
best postpartum pads - rael

These pads are the cream of the crop. Rael Organic Cotton Pads are made from organic non-GMO Texas cotton, are super absorbent, and provide maximum airflow to keep from feeling that damp, uncomfortable feeling you often get when wearing maternity pads for an extended time.

They are biodegradable so they won’t hurt the environment and feature leak blocker side panels. These are another great organic pad you can feel good using. If you are prone to rashes from other pads, that will not be an issue here. The all-natural ingredients are non-irritating and comfortable against your skin.

Reasons They Are Great

  • Organic
  • Non-GMO Texas Cotton
  • All-Natural
  • Great Absorbency

Considerations

  • Expensive

Bottom Line

If you can afford these, the Rael pads are a great choice that is good for you and the environment. The cotton is comfortable against your skin and is unlikely to cause an irritation or rashes. You will greatly appreciate these postpartum pads if they are in your budget.

7. Always Discreet Incontinence & Postpartum Underwear

Always Discreet Incontinence & Postpartum Underwear for Women, Small/Medium, 64 Count, Maximum Protection, Disposable (32 Count, Pack of 2-64 Count Total)

Did you like the postpartum underwear you were given in the hospital? If so, Always Discreet Incontinence & Postpartum Underwear allows you to continue to wear this full-coverage underwear with padding. These padded underwear protect you from leaks day and night and cover you front and back in a discreet way.

Unlike adult diapers, these underwear allow you to feel feminine and protected without making it obvious you’re wearing padded underwear. The cotton-like fabric with cute designs help during your healing process as well.

Reasons They Are Great

  • Full-coverage
  • Feminine
  • Not bulky
  • OdorLock technology

Considerations

  • Sizing could be off
  • Scent may be strong

Bottom Line

These are a great choice if you’re looking for more coverage than a standard pad but without the bulk. They are comfortable and hug curves well in addition to being designed with a feminine touch.

What to Look For in a Postpartum Pad

Many women are shocked after giving birth to realize they will be bleeding for quite a while and often very heavily, especially for the first week or two postpartum. If you have never delivered a baby before, you may not realize how extremely tender that area can be and may wonder how best to control your blood flow. Tampons are not an option, so pads will be your go-to. Here are some very important features to look for.

Comfort

You will likely not want anything against you in that area for quite some time. Therefore, you want to find a pad that is comfortable and soft against your skin. A maternity pad that slides around, irritates your skin, or is rough will not do. So make sure you choose one that you can pretty much forget about while you wear it.

Absorbency

When your flow is very heavy you need to be sure you have a pad that can handle it. You don’t want to feel constantly damp and be waiting for the pad to absorb. Choose one that absorbs quickly and can hold a lot of liquid. You may possibly want even an incontinence pad or a postpartum diaper if your flow is extremely heavy.

Ingredients

Whether you want scented or unscented, cloth or disposable, natural or not, there is a pad for you out there. This list has a variety of types to help you choose one that fits your needs. If you experience any type of skin irritation on a regular basis, you will want to stay away from fragrances and chemicals in your postpartum pad.

FAQ’s About Postpartum Periods

How long does it take for your postpartum belly to go away?

It can take anywhere from six weeks (also about the time required for your uterus to return to its pre-pregnancy position) onward to heal and return to your pre-pregnancy weight, and with no guarantee of the reclaiming pre-pregnancy shape.

Some contributing factors are, of course, how much weight you put on during pregnancy and how you eat and exercise after. Breastfeeding, in some women, also helps with weight loss. Stretched skin may not spring back entirely, so it’s important to be kind to yourself. Eat well, exercise, and recognize that, for the price of not being exactly as you were before your baby, you have earned the great privilege of being Mom to a new little person.

Do postpartum belly wraps work?

It depends on what you want to do. First of all, it’s important to know that there are different kinds of wraps. Under certain circumstances your doctor may recommend a wrap, but, if not, and if you want to wear one, it’s best to ask your doctor’s approval/recommendation. A belly wrap may:

  • take the pressure off your incision, if you had a C-section.
  • make you feel more comfortable/secure in moving around in the first days and weeks after delivery
  • enable you to move more and sooner, allowing you to gain strength and lose weight a little sooner.

Can I go back to normal activities immediately after giving birth?

Whoahhhh! Not so fast. Most doctors recommend that you resume activity slowly, giving yourself some time to recuperate. It isn’t good for
any postpartum mom to put too much pressure on her abdomen early, particularly C-section moms.

As you feel better, you can rise and walk. Beyond that, take care to begin with low-impact, low-strain activities. Do not lift, push, or pull with force. Avoid stair-climbing where possible (if you delivered by C-section, do not climb stairs at all without your doctor’s sanction).

How long should I avoid stairs after giving birth?

To be safe, avoid stairs for the first few weeks, at least until your first postpartum appointment, at which time you can review with your doctor. Should your doctor clear you early for stair-climbing, do it only sparingly in the first weeks, slowly, and with great care. If it hurts to go up or downstairs, other arrangements must be made. You don’t want to strain your abdominals in the early weeks, and you certainly do not want to fall.

How do I tighten my stomach after having a baby?

Do not resume any exercise without your doctor’s approval. When you have the go-ahead, however, you may begin with simple exercises: walking, pelvic tilt, Kegels, and abdominal contractions, as these do not apply too much strain.

When you are stronger and getting back to normal, you can begin postpartum core rehab exercises, perhaps beginning on hands and knees, stretching the back by alternately arching (curving upward) and dropping (curving downward) the spine. Eventually, you may move to other, more strenuous exercises, e.g. crunches, targeting core strength.

What are the necessities for a newborn baby?

The following are some items that you will definitely want to have right away:

  1. Diapers (ten per day)
  2. Wipes (one package per week)
  3. Soft washcloths (five?)
  4. Caps (two, probably)
  5. Burp cloths (six clean per day)
  6. Onesies and/or sleepers (three clean per day)
  7. Alcohol (or mild soap) and swab to clean umbilical stub
  8. Formula, bottles and nipples (three, if using)
  9. Car seat
  10. Safety-approved crib with mattress protectors (2) and fitted sheets (3)
  11. Swaddling blankets (three clean per day)

Wrap Up

Most women will bleed for four to six weeks or possibly longer after birth. This is not concerning. However, you need to pay attention to your flow as well as smell. If something feels, looks, or smells off, call your doctor.

Over the weeks your flow should generally decrease with the heaviest flow happening in the first week or two. You may want to bring a package of pads to the hospital to use when you are discharged home. Postpartum pads will need to be changed frequently, possibly every hour or two, so stock up. You don’t want to be stuck at home with your new baby and run out of pads.

Postpartum bleeding, as they no doubt told you at the hospital, is normal and is not generally a concern. However, you likely want to ensure that you don’t bleed all over, so having a variety of maternity pad types and absorbencies is a good plan.

Eventually, the bleeding from healing will stop and in the meantime, you can hold your sweet new addition and remember why you endure these inconveniences.

Jennifer Doss
Jennifer Doss
One-quarter Disney buff, two-thirds momma bear, three-fourths trophy wife, one-half avid reader/writer, one-eighth movie watcher. Does that add up? Hey, I’m a writer, not a mathematician. Jennifer lives with her husband and two of her four fabulous children in the state of Indiana. Her other children somehow became grown-ups and started their adult lives.