This blog post is from about a year ago, but I wanted to share it again for those who haven't read it. Yesterday, this blog post about a moldy tampon started making it's way across the internet, so I thought it would be great to share with you the alternatives to using a tampon!
These are a few of my favorite things. My Pink Lemonade Shop, Tree Hugger Mama Cloth, and Talulah Bean pads. Also pictured is my Talulah Bean wet/dry bag, and one of my Monkey Foot Designs Wet Bags. My Diva Cup and Miacup are on top of my wet bags.
Something I said that I would NEVER "do". EVER.
I had read about it a few places online a few years ago, and thought it was pretty gross. WHY would you want to use cloth pads when you could use perfectly good disposable ones ? I didn't really put much thought into it after that. Then we started using cloth diapers, and I kept hearing more and more about it. I started noticing how cute all of the fabrics were. I started noticing how soft they looked. I started noticing how much money it was costing us to buy a box of tampons and a box of pads every month! I started noticing how irritating the paper products were on my skin.
The more I researched it, the more I learned. I learned that disposable menstrual products are full of chemicals. I learned that many women discover that their cramping disappears, and their periods are much shorter without the presence of those chemicals! My period is about 2 days shorter now! Sometimes I even get kind of sad when it's over, because I have to put my pretty pads away for a month! Crazy, right ?
I ordered a few pads online, to try them out. I bought the most reasonably priced (cheapest!) ones that I could find. They came in the mail, and they were so pretty. It is just like with cloth diapers- The initial investment can be scary, but once you get them, and start using them you realize how much money you are saving! It is also kind of addicting like cloth diapering! You want to build your stash with lots of different kinds, to see what works the best for you!
I know exactly what you are thinking at this point! How do you wash them ? I rinse them if I think that they need it- sometimes they don't. If I'm at home alone, I just put them in the diaper pail. If I am at home with company, I keep a little wet bag in the bathroom cabinet. If I am out of the house, I carry a cute little wet/dry bag with clean pads in one side, and dirty ones in the other. It is much more discreet than crinkly plastic packages!
I usually just throw them in the wash with our diapers. I have washed them alone, or with towels too! There is no reason that you couldn't just throw them in with any laundry! I hang mine to dry, to extend the life of them and because I like to run my dryer as little as possible. I have put them in the dryer on occasion, and that has been just fine too! Many people also wonder if they stain. If you rinse them right away, there shouldn't be any staining. I sometimes spritz mine with a bit of Hydrogen Peroxide and that really helps.
I have had little to no leakage with cloth pads - which we all know is awesome! I have learned to wear underwear that fit tightly where the pad sits, so that they don't move around a bunch. I think it's the same way with disposables though. Cloth pads don't bunch up and twist like disposables do. That is another HUGE thing for me! They are SO soft and comfortable! It hardly feels like you are wearing anything.
It's best to order a few different lengths and absorbencies to see what works best with your body. They come in every length, shape, and style - from thong to postpartum! You can get light pads, regular pads, heavy pads, or extra heavy pads - depending on what is best for your cycle! You can even get wingless ones that just lay in. I prefer pads that have wings because they have snaps on the wings to hold them in place.
How many do you need? Most women change 6-12 times a day, depending on their flow. It all depends on how often you want to do laundry. You will also want to purchase a few night time pads for overnights.
I have "converted" about a dozen of my girlfriends to cloth! I had a little party one evening, and invited a bunch of gals over to see my mama stash. They oohed and ahhed over the soft, gorgeous fabrics! They had tons of questions and it was so fun to help guide them!
Feel free to ask any questions that you may have!