Monday, February 24, 2014

Reusable Nursing pads

This is a super old project that I never posted on because, well, let's just say I am busy...  Hence the not posting for 7 months.  Oops.  Anywho, I loved these little lifesavers and they saved me a bundle since I didn't have to buy nursing pads for the year and couple months that I breastfed.

My breast feeding experience included a lot of leaking. My milk supply is shall we say... Ample. To give you a nice TMI, if I didn't nurse or express frequently enough, I was likely to shoot your eye out. As a result I burned through breast pads pretty quickly. I didn't want to use disposables since I was trying to be eco friendly, and the reusable pads I found didn't quite work.  The store bought ones were itchy, the handmade ones seemed really expensive, and ones that didn't have the drawbacks above couldn't dried in a dryer.  I laugh thinking about hanging up or laying out billions of tiny little fabric rounds.  People already thought they were coasters all the time.  So not working for me.

So, of course, I decided to make my own. I made some burp cloths and swaddle blankets so I had lots of scrap flannel lying around. I didn't trust layers of flannel to be absorbent enough so I cut up towels to layer between two pretty flannel pieces.

Reusable Nursing Pads

1) Make a cardboard template. Find a circle to use, like a coaster (haha) or bowl, or draw one with a compass (or use the string and a pin method). Mine was about 4" in diameter although a bit bigger might be nice for larger breasted mommies.  I am rather small busted, so adjust as you see fit.

2) Use your template to trace circles on your flannel and your old towel.  You can use a sharpie for this as you will be cutting them out, and if you have a serger, you will be trimming off the ends. For each pair you need 4 flannel circles for the outside and 2 terry cloth (towel) circles for the absorbent layer.

3) Cut out the circles and stack them up flannel, towel, flannel. Make sure the pretty side of the flannel is facing out.  Line up the edges the best you can.

4) Serge the edges, going slowly enough to keep the round shape and all the layers even. Make sure the layers don't bunch. If bunching is a problem, baste the layers together in an x before serging. This should help.  If you don't own a serger, you can turn and top stitch.  It will take longer, but is still really cheap and easy!

Some people say to use PUL (a waterproof material) for the backing. I'm a little afraid to use waterproof material because it's not breathable and can encourage yeast growth which causes thrush.

Don't want to make them yourself?  Check out my Etsy shop to buy a few pairs!