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Sunday, November 15, 2009

Perfecting the Nursing Pad

I don't know why it didn't occur to me earlier to make cloth nursing pads. Probably because I had gotten a few bagloads from my sister, and bought some more boxes of nursing pads with an awesome coupon I had early on, so I had plenty to go around. I didn't love any of them... the Lansinoh and Medela ones were great in terms of absorbency. They soaked up liquid like a sponge. They are contoured so they fit well, but they have an adhesive tab that you peel off so they stick to the inside of your bra. When is the last time you tried to stick something fairly non-sticky to fabric? Then, add the fact that there is moisture in there, plus, you're flapping your bra cups down every time you feed your baby. They didn't stay put, and they would get so contorted and misshapen every time I pulled my bra down to nurse, that it would take minutes with my hand down the neck of my shirt, gumby-style, trying to get everything back in place. Or possibly worse, forgetting to reposition the pad, so there would be an odd growth-like lump on my chest for the rest of the day.

The Gerber pads were much cheaper, and I went through a few boxes of those, but they are flat discs. If you put a flat disc on your breast and try to wear a t-shirt or any kind of fitted shirt with smooth fabric, it is going to look like you have 2 small saucers for breasts. This was no exception.

So now that I am:
A). running out of my nursing pad stash
B). am no longer edging out the super soaker as a favorite summer toy
C). am drowning in ideas for things I can sell in my Etsy store

I decided to make nursing pads. Well, it wasn't my idea, actually. A friend challenged me to make some. She is my rat. My monkey. My guinea pig. I spent 2 days putting together different combinations of fabrics, in different shapes, and stuffing them in my shirt. I wanted the pads to be absorbent, but I also hated having to always wear 2 or 3 layers (a camisole, tank top, and t-shirt) every time I left the house because otherwise my nursing pads would show.

I thought I had it down, and sent a few to my guinea pig, when she proceeded to tell me that they soaked up about as much moisture as a tissue. So it was back to the drawing board, and adding some more padding actually helped smooth the pads out and make them less noticeable under shirts. My favorite have a lush velvet exterior. The plush velvet helps the pad not to touch your clothing, so even if the outer layer gets wet, it will keep the moisture away from your shirt. And they are so sexy, I might just have to tape them on and wear them to some holiday parties.


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