When to use hydrogel pads
While new mums are often told that breastfeeding shouldn’t hurt, in reality it may take a while for your nipples to get used to the frequency and length of your newborn’s feeds. This – combined with all the hormonal changes going on in your body in the early days after the birth – means you can get sensitive or sore nipples. Hydrogel pads can help by offering instant soothing and cooling nipple pain relief. They can also protect your nipples from clothing rubbing against them and support the healing process if your skin is damaged.
Caring for cracked nipples
Remember that very sore or cracked nipples may be a sign that there is a problem with how your baby is attached to your breast during a feed, so it’s a good idea to get assessed by a lactation consultant or breastfeeding specialist. If you notice your nipples bleed during feeding, you feel a burning sensation, or your nipples are taking a long time to heal, it is important to seek advice from a lactation consultant or healthcare professional, as you may have a breast infection or other condition that needs treatment.
How do hydrogel pads work?
Medela hydrogel pads have a special formulation that forms a protective cushion that cools skin on contact and supports healing. They are large enough to cover your nipple and areola (the darker skin around the nipple) – both of which may be affected by soreness.
To use hydrogel pads, follow these simple steps:
- First, wash your hands, then open the pouch and remove the hydrogel pad from the plastic liner.
- Carefully place the pad’s gel side directly over your nipple.
- When you need to breastfeed your baby, simply remove the hydrogel pad and place it on a clean surface.
- Then, gently wash your breast with warm water and pat dry before breastfeeding.
- Once you’ve finished, reapply the gel pad with clean hands.
Are hydrogel breast pads reusable?
Yes, you can reuse one hydrogel pad within a 24-hour period. You just need to store it somewhere cool, clean and dry between uses – there’s no need to wash it with soaps or detergents. You can keep hydrogel pads in the fridge for an extra cooling effect – but remember to keep them out of reach of any other children in your household. And in the unlikely event of the clear hydrogel pad turning cloudy or milky, dispose of it and use a fresh one.