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.