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A lactation consultant gave me a pair of these at the hospital and they helped heal my sore, dry, and cracked nipples. They have a gel that helps heal and they also keep your nipples from rubbing on your clothing. I can't say enough good things about this product and it's totally worth the money (think of what you would be spending on formula if you weren't breast feeding). (Posted on 10/13/2009)
You need some kind of hydrogel (any brand really) if you're going to try breastfeeding. I would not have made it through the first week without them. They're good for a few days, so you'll need more than one pair. Ask for a pair before you leave the hospital. I think I ended up going through three or four pair. I have also seen another brand at a big-box retailer.
These feel wonderfuly cool and soothing on red, irritated skin. And they help heal. The lactation consulant who gave me my first pair told me to store them (in their packages or a plastic bag to keep them moist) in the fridge and use them several times a day.
I am so thankful that these were available to me. The first couple of weeks are really difficult, but if you make it through them the pay off is amazing. Use these and whatever pain reliever they send you home from the hospital with (it's safe for breastfeeding). Get a good lactation consultant and these gel packs. Best of Luck. (Posted on 10/13/2009)
I was given these while my son was in the NICU and I was having to pump constantly to build a supply. They were BY FAR the most relieving thing I found. I tried the Gerber, Medela and Platex gel pads and they just didn't cut it. The great thing about the Ameda hydrogels is that you can keep using them over and over and over. I used the first set for about a week and just kept them covered in the fridge when not in use.
I bought a couple more packs of these when my son was teething to relieve my discomfort from the process and would (and do) highly highly recommend them to new moms and moms having discomfort. They aren't messy like the platex ones and aren't sticky like the Gerber and Medela ones and they last at least 4-5 times longer than the others. (Posted on 10/12/2009)
I thought I would quit breastfeeding because my nipples were soo sore! I saw my skin practically peel off my nipple when I started to breastfeed. I placed the gelpads on, and within two hours, I could see the healing begin. I tried olive oil nipple cream, and didn't even want to try anything with lanolin because I read it wasn't good to ingest,and it did not help at all. This is a great way to sooth nipples naturally. Just let your breast air dry with a little of the breast milk (natural oils), and then place the pads on the nipples. they are LIFE SAVERS. I think I only needed three pairs, until my nipples were used to the rigors of breast feeding (about 2-3 weeks). DON'T GIVE UP! Try these first, these work! (Posted on 10/11/2009)
I just should have tucked them into my hospital bag!!
Baby number 1 - cracked, bleeding nipples for more than two months
Baby number 2 - same problem. I threw myself on the mercy of the lactation consultant at the hospital. She had gotten these as a sample, but never used them. I started to heal soon after and the problems never returned.
Baby number 3 - bought myself a set (one package gives you two pairs of pads), but I left them at home. What was I thinking? At the hospital they gave me Soothies immediately, but I still was sore and bleeding. I got scared when the baby started urping blood (mixed with milk). That was when I remembered the Hydrogel pads I had already purchased. The scabs were gone within 24 hours (and the baby stopped throwing up blood bits). I ended up needing to replace one of the pads after about 4 days on the side that was more injured, but was completely healed in 10 days.
I was never able to store these in the refrigerator like some of the other suggestions because I was ALWAYS WEARING THEM! Even with 24 hours/day wearing with the occasional rinse off, they last for 4-6 days (unlike Soothies which are not reusable). I was told they use similar hydrogel dressings for burn victims. (Posted on 10/11/2009)