How To Care For Your Nursing Pads
For most women, 2-3 pairs of LANACare woolen nursing pads are all you’ll ever need.
You do not need to wash the pads before wearing them the first time - they can be worn right out of the package. The natural lanolin content provides anti-bacterial properties.
When your pads feel wet, or at least daily, let them air-dry while wearing a second pair. Placing them over a mild heat source, such as a mildly warm radiator or on top of a running dryer, will hasten the drying process. If you live in a humid climate, the use of a dry heat source is especially important, since drying time will take longer. Occasional sterilizing is recommended, especially if you live in a humid climate. (see below – Sterilizing Your Pads).
As the wool absorbs the moisture of your breast milk, the natural lanolin of the wool is converted to lanolin soap, which cleanses away bacteria and removes any odors. The pads do not need to be washed each time they become wet. The lanolin in the wool cleanses away the bacteria as the wool dries. After a period of use, depending on how much you leak, you’ll notice the pads begin to feel “stiff” towards the center. This is a sign they will need to be washed. On average, this is every couple weeks.
Wash As Follows
Wash by hand in lukewarm water with LANACare Lanolin Soap/Wool Wash to replenish the lanolin content of the wool. Use just enough soap to keep the water mildly sudsy. Swish the pads gently in the water, then let them soak in the sudsy water for 5-10 minutes.
Rinse in lukewarm water. Always use lukewarm water when washing and rinsing wool. Both hot and cold water can shock the wool fibers, resulting in shrinking and felting of the wool.
Place or roll your pads into a towel, pressing out the excess water. Give the pads a quick, brisk shake to help them regain their form and elasticity. Lay pads to dry, preferably over a mild heat source or on a towel. In humid weather, you may also place them in a microwave on high for 2 minutes prior to laying out to dry – this will hasten the drying process & help remove bacteria.
Over time, you may notice that the pads slightly felt - most women notice this if they buy a new set for a second baby. It rarely affects the functionality of the pads.
Sterilizing Your Pads
It has been shown that placing your woolen pads, directly after washing, in a microwave on high for 2 minutes removes all bacteria. In the case of yeast infection, place them in a microwave on high for 3 minutes to remove yeast – but skip the step of rolling them in a towel to remove excess water (or do this after microwaving them, once they've cooled). Yeast may also be removed by placing the washed pads in an oven at 100 degrees C (212 degrees F) for 10 minutes. (Always make sure your pads are wet when placed in either a microwave or oven – or they may become singed!) Pads may also be boiled by the following method:
Boiling Your Pads
Boiling of the pads is recommended for women diagnosed with breast yeast infections. Occasional boiling is also recommended for women living in humid climates, where drying the pads thoroughly can be more difficult.
Boil your pads by this special method only! The key is to not expose the wool to extreme temperature changes.
Place the pads in a pot with lukewarm water. Gradually bring the water, with pads, to a gentle boil. Let boil for 10 minutes, using a spoon to periodically push the pads under the surface of the water. They tend to float to the top. Avoid stirring or agitating the pads. Remove the pot from the heat. Do not remove pads from the water. Let the water with the pads cool to lukewarm.
After boiling, the lanolin content of the wool must be replenished. Using 1 Tblsp. Lanolin Soap per quart of water, wash the pads as directed above.