Monday, April 4, 2011

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You re-use those?!

It was a look I will never forget.  My mother's face was overwrought with terror, shame and disgust.  I thought she might threaten to send me straight to my room.  It was the day when I told her about my new purchase of cloth menstrual pads.

Now, my mother is about as eco-conscious as a Dixie Cup manufacturer on a bad hair day.  But I totally thought she would be proud of me for being so thrifty and trying re-usable, cloth pads.  Nope.  When I told her about them, and dared to suggest that she might want to order some cloth pantyliners - she gasped, as if I'd just invited her to engage in illegal and immoral activities. "Oh Amanda," she said, "we used things like that when I was growing up because we had to.  Regular maxi-pads didn't exist!  No, no - I wouldn't ever use them again."  My mom is nearly 70.  She cloth-diapered a couple of my brothers and was glad to switch to disposables with my sister and I.  However, she was really impressed by the modern cloth diapers I had chosen to use with my children.  She just wasn't ready to hear about my new purchase - and she wanted no part of it.

Admittedly, the apple hadn't fallen far from the tree.  Years earlier, an ex-hippie, co-worker of mine was telling me about the good old days she had lived in the sixties - and about another hippie friend of hers who had used cloth diapers and "even used cloth maxi-pads."  At that time, I had never even heard of such a thing.  I also shot down the idea with a sick look on my face.  "That's insane."  I replied.  We both agreed that the concept was just gross.

It wasn't until I got my first, postpartum period - when my firstborn was about 10 months old, that I thought of the concept of cloth menstrual care again.  My tune had changed so much by then - after saving so much money buying cloth diapers, after seeing how comfortable my daughter looked in her fluff, and after knowing that I didn't really want to dump so much trash in a landfill - I was ready to open my mind.  And I'm just so glad that I did.

I bought my first set of cloth pads and I was instantly hooked.  Here are some reasons to give cloth pads a try:
  • They are SO soft against my skin.  I truly forget that I'm wearing a pad at all.
  • Because of the superior absorbency, cloth pads don't need to be changed as often as paper ones. 
  • NO ODOR.  You know that unfresh scent that can sometimes occur when you wear a regular maxi-pad?  Nonexistent with cloth pads.
  • Savings - obviously none of us spend all that much on menstrual care - but wouldn't it be nice to never spend another penny on disposable pads or tampons?
  • No adverse side effects.  The dry-weave layer of most pads can cause vaginal dryness and irritate hemorrhoids.  (I never thought I would write a blog post that included the word hemorrhoids.)
Kelly's Closet carries the Happy Heiny's Mama Pads - an excellent choice for menstrual care.  But take my advice, and don't tell your mom about them.

By Amanda W.

27 comments:

Ashley said...

I'm interested in the whole washing routine. Are stains a given?

HereWeGoAJen said...

I just started using these at a few days post-partum and they are SO much more comfortable on sensitive areas.

Sincerely, Sara said...

I'm an advocate of Mama cloth and diva cups! So easy to use, environmentally healthy, comfier, and less money! Win, win, win.. and win. I would have never thought of using them before having a child though.. somehow having a kid changed my mindset on a lot of things of this nature. I'm crunchy and LOVING it. Doing my part for this environmentally suffering world.

Michael said...

The same thing happened with my mom! She even suggested that i use cloth diapers on my first born, which i shot down with a "that's crazy! Why would i do that?" By the time i had my second i had changed my mind, and she was so proud of me! But she was so disgusted with the idea of cloth pads!

amanda said...

My 12yo is very close and we've talked about paper pads, mama cloth and even tampons. She wants to use mama cloth. <3 She considers them on par with cloth diapers, way softer and practical than paper against your sensitive bits! (I don't use anything since I have a Mirena so it's not like she's learning from example here!)

Ada said...

Great post!

Adele said...

I've debated trying them out. I'm pretty sure my mom and my sister would throw a fit. My little girl is 3 months and they are just now considering the idea that cloth diapers might not be so bad. lol.

http://www.pawshoovesdiapers.blogspot.com

Becca said...

I've been contemplating trying cloth pads! I'm still not sure yet, but thanks for sharing this! I think this is the first actual article that I've read about it! I think maybe I will try it :D

Nicole Everitt said...

I actually did tell my mom, and at first, her reaction was similar to yours. But then, she saw them (unused, right after I had my son and before I had gotten to them) and she was impressed with how darn cute they are.

Other WAHM brands are Homestead Emporium, GEM Cloth, MotherMoonPads, and Pink Lemonade. All fabulous! (And a lot cuter than Happy Heinys!)

Jelli Bean said...

I have 2 cloth pads as well, and love them. I'd love to buy more, as only recently have I realized how easy they are to find online. I originally purchased from a few hippies at a craft show who never returned the following year.

Missy!! said...

So, I gotta ask. Isn't washing them, just, well, eww?

I'm all about the cloth diapers... even cloth wipes.. I'm not sure about this though. Not to be too graphic, but how long can you use them? Several potty breaks? And, the all important question, after one use, do they look used? Or is it obvious that they are clean?

Pilgrim family said...

I am curious as to how you wash these?

Jenny H said...

I've been wanting to try cloth pads but haven't yet. Ever since having a baby, tampons just don't fit the same. I always have leaks.

I've been hesitant because I don't like using disposable pads and I'm not sure if I would like the cloth either.

Maybe a diva cup?

Karen said...

I'm ok with people using them, I just don't want to myself. It's not something I want to do! Cloth diapers, heck yes, but I hate pads of all kinds. Now, cloth liners would be fine with me. I'll use those with my Diva Cup for extra protection, but I love the Diva Cup. Just love it! I don't get the sick, crampy feeling with it that I do with tampons.

Betty said...

i have seriously thought about making this leap as well, but my husband just isnt as on board with this as he was cloth dipes. im intrigued at the no smell thing though. i hate that odor.

Angela said...

I think that if I used pads, I would probably use these. I, however, use tampons and have since I was a teenager. I simply will not go back to pads. Tampons are FAR more convenient and comfortable to me. It may not be as "natural," but I'm ok with it. I plan on cloth diapering all my babies, but this is something I'm ok with NOT doing!

Julia Shober said...

I love Happy Heiny's cloth pads - I first used them after I gave birth. I, too, was grossed out by the prospect of using cloth for myself, until I realized I was going to use cloth on my son & the concept really wasn't that different. I disagree about them not holding onto a smell, though, mine do. Maybe that's because they were used for 13 months before being stashed in a drawer with pregnancy #2. Anyway, I do agree with not telling mom. Ha! She wasn't so enthused with me either! :)

Mrs. Haid said...

I agree with your PROs list. The cons are that sometimes you cannot wear the underwear you'd like to because of poor fit, whereas with some of the fanciest disposables you can! I have only bought 1 package of disp. in the last 3 years though, and it is SO NICE to not have to remember to go to the Feminine Hygiene aisle (haha, sounds so funny!) and then read a dozen packages looking for a good value and the specifics you want! I haven't had any problems with repelling or smell like people are prone to with diapers... and I usually wash the every day panty liners with regular clothes and undies!

Amber said...

my only question... wash just like cloth diapers??? or how does it differ? TIA

Anonymous said...

what about washing is it similar to cloth diapering?

adamswifey said...

lots of questions about how to wash these - here's my input:
i am still cloth diapering my youngest. so i just throw the pads right in with the cloth diapers. however, i've also thrown them in with a load of towels or other laundry with no problems at all.
as for the question about stains - they stain a little - but just a tiny bit. i would assume, if you hung them on a clothesline, in the sun - the stains would come out - just like with cloth diapers. but - what might the neighbors think?!
though i hang dry my CD's - i just send these through the dryer on high heat with whatever else i'm washing.

also - these can be rolled up and neatly snapped shut while they are waiting to go into the laundry.

oh - and someone asked about how often they need to be changed . . . i rarely use more than one during the day - they are so absorbent and odor-free that you just don't feel like you are wearing anything.

Sincerely, Sara said...

for those asking how you wash.. just wash WITH your cloth diapers. It's super easy. Other wise if you aren't cloth diapering just wash as you would the diapers. Simple.

Nicole Pond said...

I've been using cloth pads since the birth of my child. the first set I bought I HATE, BUT they came with a freezer pack so that PP pain was soothed and they were great then. I've had better luck with future purchases altho I'm always on the lookout for newer WAHM styles and brands.

As for washing, there are two methods, wet and dry. wet means you either soak or rinse in cold water immediately after use then store (I use a bowl) until washing. Dry means storing until wash without risining. I then wash either with the diapers or with towels. I have had times when washing didn't get them perfectly clean, but not so much in a staining way, but more in, I let them sit too long before washing way. another wash always did the trick and now I use a combo depending on how soiled the pad becomes.

Anna Kauz said...

I agree with previous commenters, how do we wash them? I really really want to try them but I have no idea how to wash. Oh and how many do you buy? Do you use them full-time? Do you buy enough to last the entire period or do you try to keep washing them throughout the week?

Thanks!! :)

Amanda said...

I had a similar experience with my mother! She was all for the cloth diapers (I was CDed in the early 80's) but when it came to mama cloth (and Diva Cup)...I felt like I had done something awful as well. I LOVE them! No more irritation on my bikini line from the plastic woven disposables. They truly wick all the moisture away. I just toss them in with my son's dipes and sun bleach them. I suppose once my son is out of dipes I'll have to run a seperate wash, but now it is easy. I also use the Diva Cup. This is the 3rd month and I'm still having problems with it, but I refuse to give up!

jessw said...

I have been using for a couple of months now and I wash wiht the cloth diapers - rinsing them out first. Mine are a dark flower pattern and so they don't show stains at all! They are Wasabi Mommi Works Mama Cloth brand! Love them!

One Sassy Mama said...

Sorry...but, no way. I just can't see myself making that transition to that in spite of being a CDing family.