Reviews: When it feels right or the mood strikes, I’m going to review some products here. I will write reviews independent of any kind of compensation. This is so you know that my opinion is 100% untainted by dollah dollah bills. View my full review policy here.
The other day, someone in my online mommy group brought LilyPadz to my attention. She was looking for advice from someone who had used them, which I had not, however after reading the description on Amazon.com I decided I kind of needed to have them.
“LilyPadz are the revolutionary alternative to traditional nursing pads combining such unique features as flexibility, breathability, invisibility and ‘sticks-to-you-ability’ to provide the kind of leakage protection that every expectant and nursing mother needs. Put that nursing bra away – you can wear lilypadz without it. Return to activities you thought you couldn’t enjoy while nursing – swimming, a leak-free night’s sleep, a night on the town in a strapless dress.”
While I don’t know why nursing would prevent you from swimming (?), the rest was pretty intriguing to me. They arrived yesterday, so take this review for what it is – a review after 24 hours of use. But I am so amazed by these things, I just can’t wait to share.
As you may know, breastfeeding is rough for me because I have Raynaud’s Phenomenon of the boob. You can click the link, but basically it means that circulation gets cut off to my nipple. This happens during nursing, directly after nursing, when I get cold, or any time at random. It basically feels like knives stabbing into my nipples. Awesomesauce.
I’ve looked high and low for products that would help me… heating pads, breast pads, medication… most of these things “help”, but aren’t really a solution for me. Heating pads or a rice sock work temporarily, but what am I supposed to do at work? Bust out a rice sock mid-meeting and be all ‘Scuse me folks, my nippy hurts! Yeah, don’t think so. Breast pads don’t really do anything for it, but cut down a bit on the rubbing (which can make it flare up). Certain medications (over the counter and/or prescription) can help, but I’m one of those people that just doesn’t like to put lots of meds into my body and I have a hard time taking medication every single day.
So, the more I read about LilyPadz, the more they appealed to me because I read that they work by sticking to the breast after applying pressure to the nipple. This is good for me and my issue, because pressure is often the best way to bring circulation back (yes, I have to give myself a titty twister after every nursing session. Breastfeeding is SO GLAMOROUS!). Other issues I have that I was hoping for these to address were 1.) leakage, obviously; and 2.) concealing the ginormity of my nipples.
I opened these bad boys up, and immediately was like “Woah, these are super cool.” They are like pasties, but made from silicone. I think, anyway, I’ve never worn pasties?
To put them on, you peel the pad from the plastic backing (which you keep, by the way, to reuse!) and invert them so the tacky side is facing your skin with the actual pad cupping the other way. (Just look at the pics on the instructions, you’ll figure it out!) With your finger in the middle, you press the tacky side into your nipple. You do so firmly, so that you apply pressure to the nipple and it compresses inward. With your nipple flat you place the rest of the pad around the breast.
Regarding leakage: I have not leaked into them. So there’s that. I haven’t been leaking much since Nora was born, actually until just a few days ago I hadn’t leaked yet at all, so the jury may still be out on how well it prevents leakage. But so far, so good. Even when nursing on one side, my other side stays dry.
Regarding the nipple visibility: With the pad in place, the nipple now becomes basically non-existent. Like, minus the sag of my boobs, you might actually think I’m wearing a bra. Which is kind of amazing, if you know what nipples tend to look like on a nursing mom…i.e. huge. I have always been really paranoid about this when breastfeeding because you can even often see mine through bras, so I am very excited about the success here.
Regarding my Raynaud’s: I cannot believe it – these things might be the answer to my prayers!!! Even though the amount of pressure these apply to the nipple is slight and painless, it is enough that it helps prevent my Raynaud’s from flaring up. For whatever reason, the pressure helps the circulation continue to flow. Or just not get interrupted in the first place. Plus, the extra thickness helps from rubbing or irritation, and helps keep me warmer – all things that also cause flare ups. I imagine these could help anyone with vasospasm pain, but at the very least, I do recommend them to anyone that suffers from Raynaud’s!
I think the main questions people will have about these are, do they really stick on to your breast? If so, how the heck will they keep sticking?! And, does it hurt to take them off? My answers are Yes, I have no idea, and No.
The product’s website says that these can last up to 2 months with proper care. I’m not sure what the definition of “proper” care is entirely, but they do offer a special wash they sell for these so I’m assuming that is the definition. However, I will probably not be buying the special wash. Tonight, I decided to just try using my son’s baby soap and hot water. It worked great. They stick fabulously even after washing! And, just out of curiosity, I tried to stick them on when wet (which you shouldn’t do – you are supposed to only put them on dry!) and they still stuck. Apparently the material regenerates its stickiness upon washing. Pretty awesome.
Other pros to these are: You cannot see them under clothing at all, these pads don’t bunch up like absorbency-centered pads, and they are very easy to place and reapply. I’m also excited to not have to wear a nursing bra under my nursing tanks (which I do for easy access, having snaps on both). I will probably still wear a nursing bra for support with regular tanks and shirts, but that’s simply for the support and is unrelated to this product.
So far, I don’t have any cons. But, some other product reviews do say that other women find milk still pools behind these pads, so they are ineffective in helping leakage. Others say they are not good for large breasted women (keep in mind, there are 2 sizes to choose from… I am a D cup currently and they fit me fine.) Others reviews mention that they cause inflamed/peeling skin, clogged ducts, or infections. Of course, I have not experienced any of these (yet). I can say that one con I can predict will be how long they last if I am expected to also purchase and only use the special soap to wash them…but the jury is still out there. Another prediction is that these will be a magnet for dog hair.
My assumptions are that these work best for women who don’t leak a TON, and that they should be taken off some to allow the skin to breathe. Again, that is my best assessment after reading other reviews for myself. I highly recommend that you read the reviews to help you decide whether or not these will be right for you. And since I’ve only owned these for one day, I will do a few more updates on how things are going with them. Fingers crossed they keep working so well!