Are you breastfeeding? If so, definitely check out these easy to make breast pads. Just three materials and you can have washable breast pads. They will definitely help you on your breastfeeding journey. Check out below!
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Easy DIY Breast pads
Breastfeeding is definitely a journey. In some ways its simple but it can also be difficult, complicated and emotional. There are many things to consider including special bras, pumping, tongue or lip ties, nipple shields, low supply and leaking.
I have a forceful letdown. Its painful and fast. In fact, its so much so quickly it looks like I’ve sprung a leak with milk going everywhere. Because of this I am always looking for a breast pad. They get soaked quickly then they begin to smell (yuck!).
These breast pads are easy, only 30 minutes from start to finish. They only require three types of materials and very few sewing supplies. Check out below the way to sew them. If you want other easy sew absorption options, check out my post on reusable unpaper towels. The concept is the same.
- 1/2 to 1 yard Zorb (C)
- 1/2 to 1 yard PUL (C)
- 1 yard fleece (or cotton if you don’t have fleece)
- Sewing machine
- Protactor or a 5 in diameter bowl
- Marker or pencil
You can use just fleece though too, if you don’t soak things so much. Its pretty absorbent and works fine for making a decent breast pad.
Step 1 – Measure breast pads
Measuring your fabric is the first thing you will do. Many people wash them for shrinkage and color issues before beginning. You can do this if you want to but since they are going to live inside your shirt, I don’t see the point.
I have a protractor for other projects and made my breast pads 6 inches in diameter, but 5 would be better as 6 is really large. You can you a bowl or cup or anything around the house to the diameter you desire. Don’t go too small or it will be difficult to sew and turn inside out. You want one circle of each fabric for one pad.
Step 2 – Cut and layer
Layer the fabric in the correct order. First, put the the PUL layer on the bottom with the shiny, sticky side face down. Then put the Zorb layer on, it does not have a right side so it doesn’t matter how. Finally, put on the the fleece or cotton.
The order will be important soon as turning the project inside out is important. You will want the final layers (once turned) to be PUL (with the soft side facing out), then fleece or cotton which will be the part that sits on your body, then Zorb.
- PUL layer (top)
- Fleece or cotton
- Zorb (bottom)
Step 3 – Sew around the edges
If you do use pins or clips, now would be the time to line those up. Then sew your project using 1/4 in seam allowance. PUL is difficult to work with and pins will help you with this. The sticky side of PUL does not want to move with either the feed dogs or the needle.
To sew, put the project upside down. The PUL should be where the needle and foot are. The feed dogs will pull on the Zorb layer. The PUL layer has a tendency to bunch, so go slow. Remember to back sew the first few stitches. Then sew around the edge and leave a gap. I usually leave 1-2 inches.
Step 4 – Trim and turn
Cut any excess material that will bunch when you turn your pad. Turn your project through the gap. In this case, you want the Zorb and fleece to pull through on one side and the PUL to pull through on the other side. Try to poke out all the bumps and bunches. Your layers should now be like below:
- Fleece or cotton (top)
- PUL (soft side facing out)
At this point you want to fold in the gap. This will need a little room to put the raw edges inside the pad. Sew the gap first so the project stays contained.
Step 5 – Sew around the edges again
Sew the out edges with a 1/4 in seam allowance and cover the circle twice. If you want, sew in the middle around a small circle or across the project for an “X” to keep the materials together. This is optional as the pads are not huge and will not shift much. This step just makes them sturdier.
Good job! Easy breast pads!
That’s it! Just 3 fabrics and 5 steps and you can make as many breast pads as you need. Be sure to wash them regularly. The fleece or cotton side will go against your body and shouldn’t feel to too rough or worse stick!
In my experience with disposable, store bought reusable and homemade cloth breast pads, I have yet to find one that doesn’t show through an unpadded bra. However, these are large enough that they look like part of the bra through the shirt. You might want to at darts to help the rounded cup shape, depending on the size and shape of your own body.
Good luck and let me know how it went! Please leave a comment below.
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