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A Guide to Postpartum Pads – Menstrual Protection After Pregnancy

Congratulations! If you’re reading this then it’s likely that you’re about to experience all the joys and transitions of a new baby and we’re thrilled for you! You might already have been inundated with information about what your little addition will need and want and we’re certain you’ve researched all the best baby care items you can imagine. We’re simply going to suggest that you allocate a tiny bit of that research to your own needs before your baby arrives. By that we mean postpartum pads. You may have seen them recommended on a hospital packing list or heard them mentioned by your midwife. Here’s what you need to know and why you should add pads to your postpartum care kit.

Why do you need pads after giving birth?

Great question, and the perfect place to start. Remember your menstrual cycle? Yes, we know, it’s been a while so here’s a refresher. Prior to your pregnancy, your body prepared for this very event every month by lining your uterus and then shedding that lining when no fertilized egg was implanted. That all changed when you became pregnant and over the past few months the amount of blood in your body has increased 30-50% to nourish the baby growing inside you. Once your baby is born, that lining is shed exactly as it was during menstruation, only this time it will last between two and six weeks and may feel like the heaviest period you’ve ever experienced. Postpartum bleeding, called lochia, happens with both vaginal births and cesarean sections.

What is a postpartum pad?

Essentially we’re talking a maxi pad. Think Security® Maxi Pads: soft, absorbent and hypoallergenic. You will want the pad you choose to be extra long and extra absorbent because postpartum bleeding is heavier than what you’ve been accustomed to with menstrual blood. Softness is also a consideration, especially if you require stitches after the birth.

Wondering how to manage postpartum bleeding?

It’s good to be prepared! As we mentioned, postpartum bleeding will last between two and six weeks. The first three to ten days will be heaviest in terms of flow and look bright red or brownish red. It will lighten both in colour and amount over the following weeks, turning first pinkish and then a yellow to cream shade. You may gradually resume your normal activities. Physical activity and breastfeeding can increase bleeding, as can simply getting out of bed or standing up from a seated position. If bleeding significantly increases at any time, it is likely indicative of excessive activity. You should get off your feet immediately. If bleeding does not decrease with rest, consult with your healthcare practitioner.

How many pads should you go through postpartum?

The exact number will vary depending on the length of time you experience lochia. Specifically over the first three to ten days you may be changing as often as every four hours to ensure you stay dry. It’s not a bad idea to stock up- some new mums find that pads can be useful on the way to the delivery room once your water breaks. Plus you can always use the remainder for your next period when it returns!

Which U by Kotex® pads are best for postpartum?

You may want to consider beginning your postpartum journey in U by Kotex® DreamWear® Disposable Overnight Period Underwear . These disposable period underwear offer maximum absorbency for those first few sleepless nights (and even days!). They are designed to provide 360® degree coverage, are super stretchy and ultra soft. Plus they’re made without fragrance!

As your lochia lessens you may prefer switching to Cleanwear® and Allnighter® Ultra-Thin Pads with Wings, depending on your flow. Both are designed to fit and move with your body. Cleanwear® pads with wings are ultra-thin and still have an Xpress Dri core to keep you feeling fresh. Our Allnighter® Ultra-Thin Pads with Wings, Overnight .have a 60% larger back in comparison to our Security® Maxi Pads, Regular to provide that protection when you need it, while the Tru-Fit wings will ensure the proper coverage.

When can you wear a tampon postpartum?

Ready to get back to your Click® tampons? We totally get it, but for six weeks postpartum you should refrain from inserting anything into your vagina until your doctor gives you the go ahead2.

We know how excited you must be choosing all the tiny clothes and diapers for your little one! If we can make a suggestion that might ease your homecoming after your baby arrives, it would be to set up a postpartum care kit in your own bathroom just like you’re setting up your baby’s bath station. This is such a special time for you and your baby and you both deserve all the love and care in the world. We wish you all the best in this new adventure!

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This is not intended to be medical advice. Everybody is different so please make sure to consult your physician if you're having issues. Do not delay or refrain from seeking professional medical advice from your physician because of something you have read on this site.