So Little Man is almost 3 months old now and I have not stopped leaking. I don't think I will. If you are lucky enough to stop, good for you! Otherwise, you're going to be investing in some serious nursing pads. Here's what I've tried. You can purchase all of these at any baby store or Wal-Mart.
Johnson & Johnson Contour Nursing Pads
These come in a box of 60 for about $10 per box. They have a little contour for your nipple so they don't flatten it out uncomfortably, but that contour shows through on the other side, so if you don't wear a padded bra, it looks like you're...well...chilly all the time! Not cool. Also, the fabric sticks to your skin when it gets wet, so they get itchy. Last but not least, after nursing a time or two, the absorbent material inside them bunches and won't lay flat again, so then you can see them through your shirt all bunched up. This is probably due to the fact that these only have adhesive on one corner of the pad instead of two, so they slide around a lot.
Lansinoh Disposable Nursing Pads
Let me start out by saying that Lansinoh is a great brand for nursing items. I've liked everything I've tried. Their lanolin was a life saver. So when I tried their nursing pads, I was not dissapointed. They have adhesive on two sides, so they don't slip, and the fabric is soft and absorbent, despite being nice and thin. The only thing I didn't like about them is they're not perfectly smooth on the outside, so for the first hour you wear them with a thin bra or sportsbra, you can see the shape of them. But after a couple hours of being against your body they smooth out. Did I mention they're the same price as the Johnson's?
When I read about these, they sounded great. They're reusable and actually use compression to prevent you from leaking, so even though they're about $20 each, I decided to try them. Here's the deal, forgive me for the slightly graphic explanation. When you first put them on, they are great. They stick without irritating and do prevent you from leaking. But you have to remove them to nurse, which is fine at home, but a little difficult when you're out. Where do you put them? How do you get them off/back on without flashing someone? And I kind of depend on the disposable ones to catch the dribbles Little Man lets out of the corner of his mouth when nursing. Obviously these won't do that. And here's the worst part. After you nurse, your nipples will be hard, and they will stay that way for longer than you will want to wait to put the pads back on. If you press down on your nipple when it is hard and put the Lily Pad back on, it will leave a little gap of air all around your nipple inside which milk can and will collect. So the pad will either leak, or next time you take them off milk will squirt out everywhere. So. Not. Cool. And when you sweat, which you will as your boobs will stay hotter than the rest of your skin when producing milk, when you take them off your nipples will smell icky. Imagine old milk plus old sweat with a hint of sulfur...yes, it's pretty unpleasant.
Sorry if I grossed you out, but this is what I went through testing these. I never tried the cloth reusable kind because milk-soaked cotton sitting in my hamper for a week sounded too icky to even test. If someone has had a good experience with these, let me know and I'll do a test run. But I'm not promising I won't go right back to my Lansinoh's! And remember the most important rule of nursing pads, change them at least twice a day - I do once in the morning and once before I go to bed, and I change them during the day if I leak a lot or if the pad ever feels wet.