I've been considering using cloth menstrual pads for about a year now. I looked into it and knew it was something I wanted to do but wasn't ready to invest the money. I kept telling myself I'd do it next pay check, next pay check. And of course, once I got pregnant it wasn't a priority. Researching cloth diapers the past few weeks has reminded me of my desire to switch to green feminine hygiene products.
So why go green in your underwear? For me, it's a matter of cleanliness and helping the Earth. This may be completely TMI but I'm one of those gals that is sort of prone to yeast infections. In the past I've noticed that I get them most often during the summer and right after my periods. I would use panty liners daily in the summer to try prevent some of these yeast infections but that only helped so much. After doing some research into the matter, I realized that using disposable hygiene products was part of my problem. This summer, being eight and nine months pregnant, I am in no mood to deal with yeast infections (is anybody ever in the mood for this? Probably not). As I'm more prone to them being pregnant and because it's hot as all get out (sweaty panties anyone?) I decided now was the time to start investing. I can offset the cost by making small purchases every few weeks until I have a nice stash for when I really need them, read: postpartum.
There are cloth menstrual pads available at places like GladRags.com but I knew from the get-go I'd be purchasing mine off Etsy.com. Handmade products are the way to go in my opinion. I spent hours and hours researching my options on Etsy. I looked at price, shape and materials. I knew I wanted flannel topped pads because the research I've done has shown me that it is an incredibly comfortable material. I didn't want PUL (polyurethane laminated fabric) because it is a type of plastic; if I'm using these pads to be better for the environment, why would I put some plastic in them? I also knew I wanted them to be shaped like my regular pads with wings that snapped. I finally found Crea8tiveMama's shop where all these criteria were met at a very reasonable price. In fact, Crea8tiveMama has one of the best prices on Etsy. Since I'm still at least two months away until I'm postpartum, I decided to just purchase some panty liners to try.
I purchased the itty bitty panty liners, which are 6.5" long, and got to choose my own fabric from her selection. They shipped quickly and got to my house in a very short period of time. I immediately tried them on and have fallen in love. I'm so glad I spent as much time as I did looking for my vendor because I am in no way disappointed with my panty liners. I quickly realized having only four wasn't going to cut it because I don't have enough laundry to wash them as often as I need them. I've purchased eight more to round out my stash and I'm waiting anxiously.
Here are some other awesome products I'm dying to purchase from Crea8tiveMama:
zorb? Click for details.)
A set of pads for my regular to heavy days. Her regular pads are 9" long with an inner waterproof lining and absorbent cotton/bamboo blend.
Another benefit of all Crea8tiveMama's pads is that they fold up into cute little pillows and can be snapped closed.
My next question was how many pads will I need? After doing some research I found that the answer is different for every woman. You have to consider how long your periods are, how heavy they typically are, how often you want to change your pads a day and how often you want to do laundry. I figured up the amount of pads I'd need for my period. I typically have about 6-7 day periods which consist of 1 light to normal day, 2-3 heavy days, and 2-3 normal to light days. I don't want to have to wash during my period to have enough to last me and I want to change them more than once a day. I did a break down of my general daily needs.
Day 1: 2 panty liners, 1 overnight pad
Day 2: 2 maxi pads, 1 overnight pad
Day 3: 2 maxi pads, 1 overnight pad
Day 4: 2 regular pads, 1 overnight pad
Day 5: 2 regular pads, 1 overnight pad
Day 6: 2 regular pads, 1 overnight pad
Day 7: 2 panty liners
Now I just start buying :) Have you ever considered cloth or do you use cloth currently?