If you’ve had anything to do with me for the past few weeks, you’ll know that I’ve been taken over by a cloth diaper obsession. Some people would totally balk at this, because they don’t like the idea. That’s cool by me. But I’ve got to tell you, some of those little tiny diapers with kangaroo and chickadee prints are the cutest friggin things I’ve ever seen. So don’t knock it until you’ve done endless hours of online research and window shopping.
What does this have to do with the title of my post? Cloth for ladies? Well, it has a little to do with it. Babies aren’t the only ones that get cute handmade cloth these days: ladies can have it too! (If you are squeamish about reading stuff having to do with PERIODS and MENSTRUATION, please stop reading here. Again, folks, I’m not squeamish about that stuff. Natural processes, natural body parts, etc etc. So I’m going to happily write about it, and if you want to go on your way, please do so.)
In the cloth diapering and green family community, babies aren’t the only ones to get cloth. What did ladies use before the invention of Tampax and plastic pads? Why, they used cloth of course. And thanks to modern fabric like ZORB, bamboo and hemp terry, and PUL (polyurethane laminate), there can be absorbent, waterproof, thin pads that sit softly against your skin. In fact, there’s a booming internet business dedicated to selling cloth pads for ladies.
I’ll take a minute to acknowledge that some people might think this is totally gross. I think I said before (in my first cloth diapering post) that it’s about how you perceive grossness. I hate disposable pads and tampons and haven’t used them since 2007. I don’t like how they feel, I don’t like how they smell, and I don’t like throwing away so much garbage. That’s just how I roll with that particular thing.
That said, I haven’t considered mama cloth until recently. What was I using? I used the Keeper up until my pregnancy. I got it in January of 2007 for $30 (now they are running $35), and I used it for a solid three years. That’s $10 a year. You’d probably spend $4-5 a month on pads and tampons, which would be about $60 a year. I figure I’ve already saved about $150 in that regard. Oh yeah, and again, gross mention, close your eyes if you can’t handle it, but I haven’t had a single yeast infection or UTI since I started using the Keeper. It could be a coincidence, but hey, it’s true. (That’s my little advertisement for the Keeper. You can also get the Diva Cup — available at Whole Foods or other natural foods stores — or the Lady Cup, made in Europe and available to us Americans on Ebay.)
Well, the Keeper was enough for me. Why isn’t it still?
There’s this little thing called lochia. I’m really not going to explain it since you can google it for yourself. I can just say that after you give birth, your body begins to heal, and from what I hear, you definitely need pads — tampons or cups like the Keeper are unacceptable given the tenderness of your hoo-ha and your body’s natural healing process. Well, call me crazy, but I decided I really didn’t want to use Poise or Always. So I got some cloth.
The first place I searched was Amazon. I KNEW there had to be cloth pads out there! I found Imse Vimse, a bigger name brand that also produces some high end cloth diapers. I ended up getting a set of overnight pads because the price was right, and the reviews weren’t too bad. A ton of other cloth diaper manufacturers make pads — Sckoon, Fuzzi Bunz, Happy Heinys, Knickernappies … they’re all out there. Do a search for cloth sanitary pads, and you’ll find tons of the name brand items. Luna Pads and Willow Pads are also some big names. Check them out.
Well, you say, I see those boring white Imse Vimse pads in your picture, but where’s the cute stuff from?
It’s from Etsy. For those of you who are already addicted, you know the glory of Etsy. I found this shop that makes cloth napkins and breast pads. The robot breast pads are from this talented lady, as are the super duper cool 15 inch postpartum pads, the skull and crossbones pad, and the yellow monkey liners. Flannel, lovely, soft — and waterproof! The other two, with the monkey/jungle designs, are from this shop, which mostly boasts cloth diapers, but occasionally stocks reasonably priced packs of pads. I just feel nice having some cute prints.
Lots of other ladies make handmade pads — you can find them on Etsy or on Hyena Cart.
Okay … questions?
- But won’t they leak? Most fans say absolutely not at all. They are backed with a waterproof barrier — fleece, wool, or PUL.
- How do you wash them? In the washer! Cold water. I plan to rinse mine in cold water before washing.
- How do you store dirty ones? In a waterproof bag.
- How many do you need? Probably about 12 for a normal period. More if you like!
So that’s my post on cloth pads (and you can see my soft, cloth breast pads in the picture too). Some might think I’m crazy, but hey, the prints are cute, the fabric is absorbent, the environment is healthier, and they’re reusable! What’s not to like?
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I’m a liberal feminist that believes that liberal, feminist ideals should gel with embracing your gender and motherhood (if that’s what you feel like doing). I support all kinds of moms and dads and parents. Oh and, although I totally love that natural vibe and not harming the environment, I supplement my organic milk and fresh fruits and veggies with the occasional Twix, the frequent Oreo, and the daily Coke Zero. I’m opinionated, not easily offended, and a loudmouth in person and on the internet. I am what I am. Welcome.