Maternity Pads Unwrapped: Your Go-To Guide for a Comfy & Confident Postpartum!
Updated: Apr 20
Just a few years back, there was no understanding of the need for specific maternity pads after delivery but like all other aspects of women's health, period products have come a long way. There is increased awareness of women's health and self-care needs for new mothers. Here we look at what are maternity pads, why do we need special sanitary pads after delivery, how to use maternity pads etc.
What are maternity pads? Maternity Pad Use?
Maternity pads, also known as postpartum pads or maternity pads, are a type of sanitary pad designed specifically for women who have given birth. They are larger, more absorbent than regular sanitary pads to manage the heavy bleeding and discharge that occurs after childbirth. They have a non-woven upper layer to give you a soft and comfortable experience without getting entangled in the stitches, if any. Just like regular sanitary pads, these maternity pads are used to absorb your period blood and other fluids from the vaginal area after delivery, which can last for up to 6 weeks after delivery. The bleeding, also known as lochia, is a normal part of the post-childbirth recovery process, and using disposable maternity pads helps to keep the area clean and prevent infection. Organic and Natural Maternity pads with wings are specially designed to be soft and comfortable, as your vaginal area may be sore and sensitive after childbirth.
Are maternity pads suitable for use when I have stitches after a vaginal birth?
If you have stitches after a vaginal birth, Maternity Pad use is even more important to avoid disturbing the stitches and causing discomfort or infection. Here are some steps to follow when using maternity pads with stitches:
Non-woven upper layer: Regular pads have textured and woven upper layer, which can disturb the stitches or get entangled in them. Important to choose a pad with a non-woven upper layer. Spirit Pads are one of kind - non-woven ultra thin and Natural - everything you expect from the best Maternity Pad.
Choose the right pad: Choose a maternity pad that is soft, absorbent, and large enough to cover the perineal area. You may also want to choose a pad that has wings to keep it in place.
Position the pad correctly: To prevent rubbing against the stitches, position the pad so that it sits comfortably against your body without putting pressure on the perineal area. You may need to adjust the position of the pad as needed.
Change pads frequently: It's important to change your pad frequently to prevent bacterial growth and infection. Aim to change your pad every 2-3 hours or when it is full.
Use soothing products: If you experience discomfort or itching, you can use soothing products such as aloe vera gel, witch hazel, or a sitz bath to ease discomfort and promote healing. Always check with your healthcare provider before using any new products.
Practice good hygiene: Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water before and after changing your pad, and use a mild, fragrance-free soap to clean the perineal area. Pat dry gently with a clean towel.
How long should I use maternity pads after giving birth?
The duration of maternity pad use after giving birth can vary depending on several factors, including the type of delivery, the amount of bleeding, and how quickly your body heals. It is common to feel the need to use maternity pads for the first 4-6 weeks after delivery. During this time, your bleeding will gradually reduce from heavy to light, and the body will start to heal. However, you may need to use maternity pads for a longer period, especially if you had a cesarean delivery or experienced complications during or after childbirth. It is important to keep your healthcare provider - midwife or doctor updated about the duration of using maternity pads after giving birth and any other post-delivery symptoms that you notice. They can recommend post-partum care specific to your situation.
What are the best brands of maternity pads?
There are several brands of maternity pads available in India, and the best maternity pads after delivery in India is a new brand Spirit Eco Health, which offers maternity pads with wings. Most Maternity Pads are thick and uncomfortable but Spirit Pads are ultra-thin and natural, providing the same level of protection as thick pads without the discomfort of thickness. Not only are these pads specially designed for heavy bleeding, are ultra-thin and are herbal, they also have non-woven upper layer to be safe to be used around stitches. They can be safely said to be best maternity pads after delivery in India. They are made of natural ingredients - Bamboo, Corn & Organic Cotton, hence much safer to use during the crucial recovery time, when vaginal areas are more susceptible to infections, rashes and allergies. Ordinary plastic pads can cause long term health issues, if used during the health wise delicate & vulnerable time of post childbirth recovery.
Where to buy maternity pads?
The best place to buy maternity pads is online from Amazon or e-Bay or from Spirit Website - click on Shop icon on top of the page. The packs will be delivered online within 5 days of order anywhere in the country. To last the entire post-delivery recovery period, order 3 packs of 15 pads each, at the minimum. Maternity Pads Price varies according to the quantity ordered.
Can I use regular pads instead of maternity pads after giving birth?
It is generally not recommended to use regular pads instead of maternity sanitary pad after giving birth. Maternity sanitary pads are specifically designed to handle the heavy bleeding and discharge that occurs after childbirth, which can be much heavier than a regular menstrual period. They are larger, softer, more absorbent than regular pads, have non-woven upper layer and come with dual wings to prevent leakage. Regular pads may not be able to handle the gush of bleeding and may need to be changed more frequently, leading to discomfort and irritation.
Regular pads are made of chemicals and plastics, that may lead to complications and long-term health issues. Maternity Pads are made of natural ingredients to provide softer, more gentle care for postpartum care.
Using regular pads instead of maternity pads after giving birth may also increase the risk of infection as the vaginal area is more vulnerable to infection during the postpartum period. Maternity pads are designed to be soft, gentle, and breathable, which helps to prevent infection and promote healing.
It is important to use maternity pads for the recommended duration after giving birth, and to seek advice from your healthcare provider if you are experiencing excessive bleeding or any other complications. They can provide recommendations on the best postpartum care practices and products to use.
How to use maternity pads
Spirit maternity sanitary pads are used exactly the same way as normal sanitary pads. Peel the sticky bottom layer and stick to the underwear. Peel the wings sticker and stick to the other side of the underwear and go on about life as normal. For disposing the pads, wraps them in the Corn plastic compostable wrapping provided and dispose in normal garbage bin.
How many maternity pads will I need after giving birth and in hospital bag?
The number of maternity pads you will need after giving birth can vary depending on several factors, including the type of delivery, the amount of bleeding, and how quickly the body heals. In general, it is recommended to have at least 2-3 packs of maternity pads on hand before giving birth. Each pack typically contains 10-15 pads, but it is always better to have more than less, especially if you are unsure about how much bleeding you will experience and how long will it last.
During the first few days after delivery, when bleeding is typically heavier, you may need to change your pad every 1-2 hours. As the bleeding decreases, you may be able to use fewer pads per day. It is important to change your pad regularly, at least every 3-4 hours, to prevent infection and maintain good hygiene. For hospital Bag, keep a whole pack of 15 pads - bleeding is especially heavy in 1st few days.
Are reusable maternity pads a good alternative to disposable ones?
Reusable maternity pads may seem to be a good alternative to disposable ones for reasons like Cost-effective - Reusable pads can be washed and reused multiple times, making them more cost-effective in the long run than disposable pads. Comfortable & Chemical-free: Reusable pads are often made from natural, soft and breathable materials, which can be more comfortable to wear than disposable pads and are free from chemicals or fragrances that can cause irritation. These days you can find disposable maternity pads, which are natural and chemical free, they are the perfect solution.
However, there are some potential downsides to using reusable maternity pads:
Washing: Reusable pads need to be washed and dried after each use, which can be time-consuming and may require special care instructions. With little baby, you sure have too much to do. No point adding to your list of chores.
Absorbency: Reusable pads are not as absorbent as disposable ones, which can be a concern during the heavier days of postpartum bleeding.
Availability: Reusable maternity pads may not be readily available in all areas, and it may be difficult to find a suitable brand or style.
There are many cost-effective, eco-friendly disposable options available that combine the best of organic, sustainable and natural options for maternity pads.
How often should I change my maternity pad?
The frequency of changing your maternity pad will depend on how much bleeding you are experiencing. During the first few days after delivery, when bleeding is typically heavier, you may need to change your pad every 1-2 hours. As the bleeding decreases, you may be able to use fewer pads per day, but it is still important to change your pad regularly to maintain good hygiene and prevent infection.
In general, it is recommended to change your maternity pad every 3-4 hours, or more frequently if it becomes soaked with blood. It is important to pay attention to your body and adjust the frequency of changing your pad based on your individual needs.
It is also important to note that during the postpartum period, the risk of infection is higher, and using a clean and fresh pad can help to prevent infection. You should wash your hands before and after changing your pad and avoid using scented products or wipes that can cause irritation or infection. If you are experiencing any unusual symptoms, such as fever, severe pain, or heavy bleeding, it is important to contact your healthcare provider right away.
Can I use menstrual cups instead of maternity pads after giving birth?
It is not recommended to use menstrual cups immediately after giving birth. Menstrual cups are not designed to handle the heavy bleeding that occurs in the immediate postpartum period, and there is a risk of infection and damage to the cervix and vaginal tissues.
After giving birth, the body undergoes significant changes, including healing from any tearing or episiotomy, and the uterus contracting to expel the placenta and other tissue. The bleeding that occurs during this time is typically much heavier than a normal menstrual flow, and it is important to use products that are specifically designed for postpartum bleeding.
Maternity pads are the recommended product for managing postpartum bleeding, as they are designed to be more absorbent and provide more coverage than regular menstrual pads. Maternity pads are also softer and more comfortable than other types of pads, which is important during the postpartum period when the body is healing.
How do I choose the right size of maternity pad?
Choosing the right size of maternity pad can help ensure that you stay comfortable and protected during the postpartum period. Here are some factors to consider when choosing the right size:
Absorbency: Maternity pads come in different absorbencies, so it is important to choose a pad that is appropriate for your level of bleeding. If you are experiencing heavy bleeding, you may need a higher absorbency pad. It is better to be prepared for extra heavy bleeding, at least during the 1st few weeks. Heavy bleeding is a part of the healing process.
Shape & Size: Maternity pads come in different lengths and widths, so choose a pad that is extra-long & extra wide enough to provide full coverage and prevent leaks. If you are unsure of the dimensions better to go with the largest size available, it will surely be comfortable and provide adequate coverage.
Material: Herbal Sanitary pads are generally the safer option, those that are made from organic cotton or bamboo fibre. They are far more absorbent, comfortable and have minimal risk of side effects.
Can maternity pads be used as sanitary napkin for heavy periods?
Yes, Maternity pads can be used for heavy periods, but only if they are ultra-thin. Thick Maternity Pads may not be suitable for daily wear as the thick padded feeling in daily life is not the most amazing feeling. Maternity pads are designed to be more absorbent and provide more coverage than regular menstrual pads, which makes them a good choice for heavy bleeding. Natural options also reduce the risk of getting rashes and allergies due to complications of heavy bleeding. Maternity Pads price is usually not too different from XXL sanitary pad price in India.
What are the common problems associated with using maternity pads?
Post Childbirth period is a difficult period in a new mum's life. New baby, periods, weak body, breastfeeding are just a few common experiences. For Periods, maternity pads can provide effective protection and comfort during the postpartum period, there are some common problems that women may experience when using them. Some of these problems include:
Discomfort: Maternity pads can be bulky and uncomfortable to wear, especially if they are not ultra-thin, the right size or fit for your body.
Leaks: If maternity pads are not changed frequently enough or do not provide adequate coverage, they may leak and cause embarrassment or discomfort.
Irritation: Some women may experience skin irritation or rash from wearing maternity pads, especially if they have sensitive skin or an allergy to certain materials or if pads contain toxic chemicals and plastics leeching into private areas.
Odor: Because of the heavy flow and extended wear time, maternity pads may develop an unpleasant odor that can be embarrassing or uncomfortable.
Cost: Maternity pads can be more expensive than regular pads or other menstrual products, which may make them less practical for everyday use.
Environmental concerns Maternity pads are disposable and contribute to waste, which may be a concern for women who are environmentally conscious.
Choosing extra care pads, which are natural and disposable maternity pads will definitely help reduce the discomfort associated with post-child birth periods.
Can I use maternity pads for vaginal discharge during pregnancy?
Maternity pads use can be for vaginal discharge during pregnancy also, but they may not be the most practical option for long-term use. Maternity pads are designed to be more absorbent and provide more coverage than regular menstrual pads, which makes them a good choice for the postpartum period when bleeding is heavy, and the body is recovering.
An increase in vaginal discharge during pregnancy is a normal and common occurrence. If you are experiencing heavier than normal vaginal discharge and need more absorbent protection than a regular panty liner or pad, you can use a maternity pad.
How do I dispose of used maternity pads?
Used maternity pads should be disposed of in a way that is hygienic and safe for yourself and others. Here are some general guidelines for disposing of used maternity pads:
Wrap it up: After use, wrap the used maternity pad in toilet paper or tissue to contain any blood or bodily fluids.
Dispose of it in a waste bin: Do not flush used maternity pads down the toilet as they can cause blockages in the plumbing system. Instead, dispose of them in a waste bin.
Use a lidded bin: To minimize any odors or germs, use a bin with a lid and empty it frequently.
Avoid touching the used pad: When disposing of used pads, try to avoid touching them with your hands. Instead, use toilet paper or tissue to handle the pad.
Wash your hands: After disposing of the used pad, wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water to minimize the risk of infection.
How do I prevent irritation and infection while using maternity pads?
Here are some tips to prevent irritation and infection for maternity pads use:
Change pads frequently: It's important to change your pad frequently, at least every 3-4 hours or earlier, if it is full, to prevent moisture build-up and bacterial growth.
Practice good hygiene: Keeping the area clean and dry is important to prevent infection. After each pad change, wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water, and use a mild, fragrance-free soap to clean the perineal area. Pat dry gently with a clean towel.
Use breathable materials: Choose maternity pads that are made of breathable, natural materials like organic cotton, Bamboo, Banana fibre to reduce moisture and prevent irritation.
Avoid tight clothing: Tight clothing can create friction and increase moisture, leading to irritation and infection. Wear loose, comfortable clothing instead.
Use soothing products: If you experience irritation, you can use soothing products such as aloe vera gel, witch hazel, or a sitz bath to ease discomfort and promote healing.
Seek medical attention: If you experience persistent pain, fever, or signs of infection such as redness, swelling, or discharge, seek medical attention from your healthcare provider.