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Tuesday, January 02, 2007As regular Lactivist readers know, I've been hunting down the perfect nursing pad since I had my son three months ago. I've tried quite a few disposable pads and have mentioned that Lansinoh Disposable Nursing Pads are by far my favorite. The problem is that I can't use Lansinoh pads at night when I'm not wearing a bra to hold them in place. With that in mind, I kept hearing about LilyPadz. After checking out their web site, I found myself intrigued. After all, who wouldn't love a nursing pad that lasted up to two months and that required no bra to hold it in place?
I tried contacting the LilyPadz team last month to see if they ever send out review products, but never did hear back from them. I would have ordered a pair online, but I hate adding 25% to the cost of a product in shipping. As it turned out, I spotted a box of LilyPadz in Motherhood a week later while picking up some nursing gear for a friend. For $20 and the potential of not having to buy nursing pads for two months, and of course, ;) for research purposes...I figured it was worth buying a set. After all, many of my regular readers have raved about LilyPadz in the comment section of my blog.
The Lactivist Says: Fantastic Concept, Didn't Work for Me
No need for a nursing bra to hold the pads in place
Reusable = less landfill waste
Invisible under even the thinnest shirt
If they fail, they fail horribly
Silicone isn't biodegradable
Didn't deliver as promised
Now, I'll start off by saying that LilyPadz are an example of why I never review a product the day I get it, or even a few days after I get it. Just like the shirt that looks perfect when you bring it home from the store, but that shrinks up as soon as it goes through the wash, some products go from "woo-hoo" to "ewww" in a matter of days. While LilyPadz didn't quite move to "eww" it did quickly move to "awww man!"
Here's the deal. I brought them home, got them out of the package and tried them out. They were fantastic. They're very easy to put on...picture a giant contact lens. You hold them flipped inside out (just like a contact) and then press the center to the tip of your nipple and sort of push in to flip them right side out (again, like putting on a contact.) They work by compressing the nipple so that no leakage occurs. In other words, instead of catching the leak, they prevent the leak. It's a pretty nifty concept and I found it to be highly effective. While I'd originally planned on getting them to use at night (and WOW are they handy at night when you don't want to wear a sleep bra) I found myself wearing them during the day as well.
Cleaning was also a breeze. You simply rinse them off with water and a mild soap and let them air dry. As soon as they're dry, the tacky comes back and they're ready to be used again. I found that they usually dried in about an hour, so it was easy enough to wear them every day.
The biggest benefit I could find to wearing them during the day was how inconspicuous they were. Even the thinnest nursing pad will sometimes show through a really fitted shirt. That wasn't a problem with LilyPadz though, they literally fit like a second skin. I also discovered how handy they were when it came time to nurse in public. Usually, as I'm unhooking everything, I have to find someplace to sit my nursing pad. Sometimes it's feasible to shove them into a pocket, but often times they end up sitting next to me and that just kinda icks me out. With LilyPadz, I found that I could peel them off and simply stick them on my stomach or on my chest between my breasts. It was pretty darn handy.
Thus, a week after buying LilyPadz I started talking them up to everyone I met. They were quickly securing their place on my mental list of "items to put in breastfeeding starter kits."
Then we hit week two.
Arg. As I said, I've found that sometimes what starts off great ends up...well...not so great. LilyPadz claim to last "up to two months" as long as you are washing them with mild soap and water. The problem was that that didn't seem to be the case with my set of LilyPadz. By day 9, I found that the tacky/stickiness of my LilyPadz was sorely compromised. I often noticed small air pockets when I tried to put them on. I even found myself wondering if maybe Motherhood was selling old boxes and that's what the problem was. I kept thinking that maybe it was the natural progression of "loss of stick" but to have this happen on day 9 for a product that should last up to 60 days?
That night, while nursing Emmitt at about 3am and relying on my LilyPadz to keep me from spraying out the other breast, I experienced my first "catastrophic failure" of the product. Apparently, that little air pocket (which appeared under the nipple, not overtop of it) filled up with some milk which then worked it's way past the rest of the tacky. Off popped the LilyPadz and I found myself with a nice half ounce of milk on my nightgown. *sigh* I got up and changed the nightgown, went to the bathroom to clean the LilyPadz off and went back to sleep sans Padz.
The next day I noticed that they really didn't seem to be sticking well at all. I washed them once more, but it seemed like the spot that had gotten milk on it simply would NOT clean. It's like the milk killed the tacky and it was never coming back. So, I retired the LilyPadz and went back to my Lansinoh disposables.
Until about five days later when I decided to give them one last shot. I'd washed them a few more times and it seemed like the tacky was coming back a bit. So I put them on, put on a nursing bra, got dressed and headed down to visit with the family. (At this point, I was at my parents for Christmas.) Enter catastrophic failure number two. :(
I was nursing Emmitt in my parent's living room while chatting with friends that were staying the night as well. They have a one year old son and he and Nora were having fun playing. All of a sudden my shirt felt REALLY warm. You guessed it, the LilyPadz quit on me again. I laughed (the friends have a one year old, she nursed for awhile, so thankfully, they get it) and asked mom to get me a towel. I finished nursing Emmitt with a towel under my shirt to keep myself from leaking through. Then I went upstairs to change. With the failure of the LilyPadz I had soaked through my nursing bra and the first layer of my shirt. If I hadn't snagged the towel I would have had a nice milk spot visible from the outside. I would NOT have been happy if I'd been out in public and had that happen.
So where does that leave things? Well...I still really liked LilyPadz. I think they're a great idea and if folks have had them last two months, then I'd say they are well worth the cost. Unfortunately, I can't justify spending $20 for a product that only lasted me 9 days and that twice caused me to "wet myself." I certainly don't think I'd trust them in public unless I first tried another pair that managed to work for at least a month or two before running into "loss of sticky" problems. That said, I'd still consider buying a pair JUST to use at night. I'd be easy enough to just use one at a time and slap them on the side that I wasn't nursing from. I could see them lasting two months that way and it would be a nice problem solver for moms that leak a lot.
Want to try them out for yourself? You can buy them online, or find a local retailer that carries LilyPadz.
Labels: Product Reviews