Two days after giving birth, I left the hospital with the traditional gift bag of new-mom supplies in tow. One of the items in my bag turned out to be a box of disposable breast pads. I was already pretty sure I wanted to make the greener choice and use washable breast pads, but since I had the box, I decided to try them.
There’s no doubt disposables do a good job of absorbing and wicking away moisture, but they do have downsides. First are the sticky tabs that you have to take off and dispose of every time you use them. Also, some brands are individually wrapped, which takes up even more of your time and creates more waste. But no one wants annoying and unsightly leaks, so what’s the reliable eco option? Through trial and error I found it.
The first step is buying a nursing bra with padding in the cup. This will act as a second, very crucial layer of protection. Adding quality, reusable breast pads like the ones I found from Bravado Designs—they’re soft, absorbent, and can easily be washed by hand—will do the trick nicely. They come in packs of six, so depending on how often you want to do wash, you may need two packs, but I’d start with one and then go from there. Remember milk happens, but wet marks don’t need to!
—Gabrielle Harradine, Market Editor
Gabrielle Harradine is VT's Market Editor and, more recently, a new mom. She's navigating the joys and challenges of first-time parenthood, and blogging here about her efforts to keep it healthy, green, and vegetarian.