Monday, March 29, 2010

Lily Padz - silicone nursing pads

When I was pregnant, I did a lot of reading and research.  Although being a Mom was inevitably going to increase my impact on the planet, (I was introducing a new human to the mix after all) I felt strongly that with a little bit of effort I could find ways to minimize that impact.

I used small washcloths and warm water to wipe my little man's bottom (that's not so easy now that he goes to daycare etc), I use vinegar in my wash to minimize smells and static and I use cloth diaper service from Happy Nappy, which are washed without the use of phosphates and surfactants.

As a Momma who was planning to (and succeeded at) breastfeeding, I knew that I would need breast pads to minimize those awful milk stains on the front of all my shirts.  When I heard about reusable Lily Padz breast pads, I was sure I had found the perfect solution.  Lily Padz are made from thin silicone, that puts pressure on the nipple to prevent leaking (rather than absorbing leakage like traditional breast pads).

Lily Padz Review
In terms of maintenance, you wash and air dry your Lily Padz once a day and then continue wearing them (for about two months). Washing renews the tacky inner surface of the Lily Padz ensuring that they will stay in place.  When I purchased my Lily Padz, I was instructed to wash them with cream free, oil free and moisturizer free cleansers such as shampoo or dish soap; I notice that they now sell Lily Wash on their website.  Lily Padz don't show through your clothes and are considered safe for sleeping, swimming and pretty much all activities.

Now all of that being said, I was dissapointed in my Lily Padz.  Yes, they were comfortable, yes, they stayed in place until I removed them, yes, they created a smooth surface under my shirts instead of the wrinkly bunch of cotton that traditional breast pads create and yes they prevented the leakage of breast milk all over my clothes.  Unfortunately, after my son fed on one side, when I went to remove the second Lily Pad, I was consistently confronted with a pool of milk, which then spilled all over me or the chair I was sitting in.  I recall the instructions telling me this may be a problem early on, when your milk supply isn't regulated, but I had this problem every single time I tried my Lily Padz.

This leads to my second problem with Lily Padz.  Now that I have removed a milky, wet breast pad, what am I to do with it?  At home, its easy, I just plop it on the couch next to me and then clean it up and reapply once the peanut is done eating.  Out and About however, this is increasingly difficult.  With a cloth breast pad, you can tuck it away inconspicuously, under your leg, into your diaper bag, under the receiving blanket, pretty much anywhere.  But given the tacky surface of the Lily Padz, you don't want to have it next to anything that might "fuzz" onto it, especially if you are hoping to reapply without rewashing (remember according to the website you should only need to wash it once a day).  What of the pool of milk, that is now sitting in your Lily Pad, out and about for everyone to see?  Mopping it up with a kleenex or recieving blanket may add fuzz to your Lily Pad and who's to guarantee that the nearest washroom will have an appropriate soap to get it all cleaned up again?

Finally, despite regular cleaning (I tried both cleansing shampoo and dish soap) I found that my Lily Padz consistently looked dingy and dirty, which is not ideal for something covering your baby's main food source.  And when I left them to air dry, they still seemed to get all sorts of stuff stuck to them, which made me feel the need to wash them again.

Although they are super comfortable, I only wear my Lily Padz if I am going out sans-baby (for which they are perfect) as I just find it too much of a hassle if I'm out in public with the little one.  On the Simply Lily website, Lily Padz sell for $22.95, which seems reasonable for a product that you can reuse for about two months before it requires replacement.  If I was still breastfeeding when I went back to work, these may have been great, but since I was a stay-at-home Momma for a year they just didn't get their money's worth for me.


  1. Thanks for your review on lily padz. I'm 7 mos pregnant and already leaking colostrum on a regular basis, so I've been trying various breast pads. The disposable ones are really uncomfortable in my opinion. These lily padz may be a good option for me to use before the baby comes!

  2. Hey Marcie -
    sounds like Lily Padz might be perfect for you. I didn't leak at all before my son was born and didn't even consider that as an option. Let me know how they work if you end up trying them.

  3. Amber,
    I really liked how you brought up important things a new mom would need to know about the hassles of what to do with the leaked on pads. I would agree with you, that it would be a problem. I took Baby Sydney everyone and that probably wouldn't have worked. Plus if it got fuzzy and dingy looking. I wouldn't like it either. Great review!

  4. thanks "you think you can blog"!!

  5. Cool stuff! Glad I found you! I'm a new follower on here & Twitter!

  6. Thanks Kate - I'm following you too!!

  7. Thanks for the tips. I used disposable pads when I was breastfeeding my daughter but I wondered how the wash n wear ones would work. Maybe I will just combine then if/when baby #2 arrives. Like wear them at home but when I go out switch to the disposable ones! Thanks for your honest tips! And Happy SITS Saturday Sharefest!

  8. Chatterscene - thanks for stopping by, reading and commenting.

    Mandi - I have also used the cotton washable breast pads and liked them better than disposables, though they tended to get wrinkly once they have been through the wash. Happy SITS Saturday to you too!
    Amber :)

  9. We were just looking for something like this thanks for your review.

  10. Two weeks into the breastfeeding and finding the leaking to be a problem. Interesting read here thanks as I have been pinching the nipple to stop the leak - but looks like I need to push it in! I'm using a merino wool reusable pad which is a very comfortable natural fibre but it doesn't stop the leak. Thought these might work, but from an early breastfeeding mum - do they hurt when you peel it off???

  11. Hi anonymous, the Lily Padz are very comfortable and don't hurt at all when you take them off. I don't think there's much you can do to actually stop the leak once they really get going, just keep that breast pad on there right until you need it!! Good luck, Amber :)

  12. Thanks for your review. I thought I was doing something wrong! Nice to know that I'm not the only one having this problem. I am in the process of trying these out and they totally made me feel like I am incapable of using an "easy-to-use" solution to leakage. I'll probably end up going back to my reusable cotton pads and save these for when I am going back to work.

  13. I just bought a silicone breast pad similar to lily pads called mamma pads. I've been breastfeeding exclusively for 6 months and been using the reusable cotton pads since then. I think there are pros and cons about this 2 items.
    Yes, it is nice that we could wash the cotton pads and re-use it again but sometimes it gets wet and my breasts feel damp and it is so uncomfortable, also I couldn't wear some of my clothes because then people can see that I am wearing breast pad and it's not a 'nice view' at all. Also, I have to wear my bra every time, seriously, EVERY TIME, EVERY MINUTE.
    What I like from this Mamma Pads is that I don't have to wear bra anymore at night during sleep, it feels comfortable and relaxing. But I don't think I will wear it with bra since I am afraid the pad will get fuzzy.
    So, during the day (when I have to wear bra), I will be using my re-usable cotton pad and during night (sleeping time only), I will be using my Mamma Pads. Maybe you should try using it this way... Just a suggestion... :)

  14. I've just bought some Lily pads and l agree with Anita...I'm going to use mine at night and regular disposables through the day! It's a joy not to have to wear a bra at night!! I'm a mama of seven and have breast fed all my babies and this is the first time I've come across a product like I'm really looking forward to trying these out :)
    My baby is now seven months old, so my milk let down is not as aggressive as those early new born days! I think these silicon breast pads would be more successful when your milk supply settles! Anyhow I'll be able to tell you in a day or two if they work well!
    Warm Regards,


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